#rsrh Mitt Romney and suburbanites: key to opening up the map?

(H/T Instapundit) Michael Barone has some interesting thoughts on Romney’s Michigan win:

Four years ago Romney carried the five-county metro Detroit area 45%-27% over John McCain; this time he carried it 45%-32% against Rick Santorum. His metro Detroit margin enabled him four years ago to convert a narrow Outstate 35%-32% margin to a convincing 39%-30% victory. His metro Detroit margin this time was enough to overcome a 42%-38% Santorum margin Outstate.

Are there implications here for the general election. I have a hunch there are. Romney has shown in Michigan as elsewhere a capacity to win votes in affluent areas—which is exactly where (at least in the North) Republicans have been weak in presidential general elections over the last 20 years.

Barone goes on to compare Romney’s showing in the Detroit metro area to both Bushes – and to note that Romney looks like he’s emulating more the elder Bush (who won Michigan in 1988) than the younger one (who did not, in either 2000 or 2004).  This detail may not cheer up conservatives, but it is at least interesting for Republican party loyalists – two groups that overlap significantly, but not completely…


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  • FeFe says:

    This has been Barone’s theme since Florida: affluent suburbanites. I find class warfare every bit as distasteful in my president as in my presidential candidates. It is one thing to appeal to a segment of voters, but to make the electability argument for Romney, to the voters and the Beltway, that he can pull affluent suburban voters away from Obama who they may well have voted for in the last election on the basis of it’s all about the Benjamins! the money, means Romney’s campaign is not about conservative articulation of freedom and liberty. Well, we’ve seen this in Romney no doubt to date. (The very thing Thomas Sowell has been lamenting.) Romney’s foot in his mouth over consistent conservative ideology of the past with a “progressive” income tax, minimum wage index, etc is a feature not a bug to his prosperity vision through government regulation.

    To paraphrase what is making all the rounds, “When prosperous liberals voted their affirmative action values, not their fiscal interests, with Obama that’s enlightened. When poor conservatives did it, its dumb.” So Beltway consensus is: Romney’s electability argument is in enticing the affluent suburbanites to vote their fiscal interests over values, and Santorum is not electable because he’s on the stump appealing to poor voters to vote their values over welfare interests. A condescending concession to the liberal worldview that both rural and urban Americans pretty much all will sell out their values or their nation for cash. The Democrat 2008 political operative Facebook-playbook: The voter is the product not the consumer.

    Of course, claiming they are the bridge between affluent suburbanites — particularly women, and our European allies counting on the Fed bailout of the IMF via a “TARP like” fund Romney supports, are the libertarians. Ron Paul is but their vessel to a piece of the power pie.

    It’s not that libertarians are one with the “centrist ideology” but, let’s be honest, they meet in the middle with RINOs that the point of their brands of agitation are to be controversial by sneering at conservatives, “upsetting all the right people.” Libertarians and the GOP establishment buy the consensus elite position to characterize dissenters as “extreme.” Conservatives belief in God or a power greater than ourselves is a bonus “extreme” for mocking.

    Santorum is too blue collar, too NASCAR, too religious, too Middle America, etc. to get the world the elites are crafting for your benefit, right? I don’t want intergovernmental “harmonization” by hook or by crook!

    Why must conservatives consign ourselves to Dodd-Frank harmonization with the EU morphing FU to appease libertarians? I want no part in inflicting penury through loans-for-austerity. No. The party of Reagan should not extinguish the lamp of freedom to realize GHWB mastermind vision of European democracy harmonization. How readily libertarians are willing to play to the left’s Republican caricature of “evil-imperialists-versus-nice-natives narrative” for a foot in the door of K Street just so long as the natives are not Middle America.

    No. A thousand times, no. “We must be consistent with ourselves everywhere.” We are being sucked dry by rent seeker ticks, just as the failed technocrats do in the EU/FU. The hastening of the independence process or returning to Constitutional limited government does not start with the State Department.

    We are the natural inheritors of free born men and we shall pass America’s cultural inheritance on to our children. Libertarians wish to deny our Judeo-Christian foundation holds the joint up. For the bionic Romney machine to claim electability on the votes of those who prosper in our nation but seek no union with those that have a hand in its moral enterprise is insulting.

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