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PostWatch
 

Thursday, November 07, 2002
 
11:42 AM

Compare and contrast...

Andrew Sullivan:

[moderate/liberal Republican Richard] RIORDAN WOULD HAVE WON: Can anyone doubt that now? Bush would have a friendly governor in California in 2004 if the California Republican party hadn't allowed itself to become captive to the hard right. The Dems are not the only people to learn lessons from last night. The Republicans need to internalize the fact that religious right conservatism, especially in places like California, is poison.

David Frum at NRO:

Why the Republicans Won — Part 3: Still no exit polls, so we can’t yet identify the segment of the electorate to whom the Republicans owe their great triumph. But who will be surprised if it turns out that one more time the loyal core of the GOP prove to be regular church attenders: the much-dreaded Christian Right? The same Christian Right that is always supposedly about to drag the Republican party down to ignominy and defeat? The Republican party posted its two biggest upsets of the night in the state of Georgia. And of course the new chairman of the Georgia GOP is Ralph Reed, one-time executive director of the Christian Coalition. Will THIS finally persuade the New York Times’ Washington bureau that it’s not political suicide to appeal to religious voters in the world’s most religious country?

I'm with Frum on this one, even though politically I can't follow the Christian Right on all issues. Sullivan's take on California ignores the narrow 47%-42%-10% victory of Davis over Simon, who ran a pathetic campaign. It's at least as easy to argue that Republicans can't win without a decent turnout by Christian conservatives. Exhibit A is the Arkansas Senate race, where Democrat Mark Pryor beat previously solid Republican Tim Hutchinson [corrected], who divorced his wife to marry a much younger woman. Churchgoers--and of course other folks too--walked away.

I forget which pundit it was last night who said that more than anything else, Republicans fear a Democrat who says "I love Jesus, I love guns..."





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