Some things that grassroots activists DO need to think about for 2016.

A lot of the stuff that we’re worrying about now we don’t have to, and frankly it won’t matter anyway if we do worry about those things or not.  But there are some things that do need to be addressed.

  • If you are really concerned that the Republican nomination in 2016 will go to a moderate, then you need to make sure that Ken Cuccinelli wins the Virginia gubernatorial election. Jim Geraghty explains why: the executive summary is that the establishment will conclude that if Terry McAuliffe can actually beat Ken, then they’ll assume that no, a conservative can’t win in 2016. That’s a hard obstacle to overcome, given that…
  • The question is not whether Chris Christie will win the New Jersey gubernatorial election; it is how many Republican candidates he brings along with him.  Right now the lack of a viable Democratic gubernatorial candidate (particularly in terms of fund raising)  is causing a bit of quiet panic among New Jersey Democrats; downticket races are at risk.  If Christie’s win is matched by Republican gains in the legislature, he will be given the credit for that; if the Republicans flip one or both houses of the New Jersey legislature then Christie will suddenly start looming over the 2016 field. And that’s because of…
  • Winning isn’t everything, but losing isn’t anything. The first question that the party will be asking about any candidate for 2016 will be What has he or she won lately? This is natural for a political party that has lost two Presidential elections in a row; it’s not always the smart thing to ask*, but it will be the thing asked next go-round. And the question that should be asked?
  • How does the GOP want to win?  Unlike a lot of people on my side, I have rather rosy expectations about the 2016 elections**; what I have been thinking of is just how we want to go about winning. Everybody’s got their own opinion on how to fix the country, not to mention the party. What we don’t maybe have yet are people thinking about they need, what they want, and what they can concede for the sake of concessions elsewhere.  It’s probably not a bad idea to start prioritizing your personal wish list, honestly.

And that’s pretty much it.  Kind of dull; but the best politics are, hopefully.

Moe Lane

*On the one hand, the Democrats didn’t need to ask that in 2008.  On the other hand, how much of 2008 hinged on McCain, the sudden meltdown of the economy, or whether the Moon was in Pluto will be an interesting question for political scientists for decades to come.  On the gripping hand, it turns out that the Democrats should have asked that question.

**I always do, of course: but the people who laugh at me for thinking that in 2006, 2008, and 2012 are carefully forgetting that they were laughing at me just as thoroughly in 2002, 2004, and 2010.

12 thoughts on “Some things that grassroots activists DO need to think about for 2016.”

  1. Anyone know how Ken C is polling relative to Slick Terry? I can’t seem to find any polling data. And is this right about where Bob McDonnell was relative to Creigh Deeds in 2009? Come on Virginia – do the right thing!

    1. Nothing recent. The RCP average had McAuliffe up by 1.3. Cuccinelli only has one positive poll giving him a +6. Roanoke College. All the others including Qunnipac and Rasmussen had McAuliffe up by 3 or 4. ( Including the often discredited PPP) Cuccinelli is being heavily outspent, so if you can open up your wallet. McAuliffe has 6 million in the bank and is getting more. Cooch only has 2.7 million ( McDonnell had 4 million at this point in time in 09) fortunately some Big Time Dem donors in VA are not donating ( most of Terry’s money is coming from out of state)

  2. Christie will not win in 2016. Enough Republicans will sit out in 2016 or undervote, and Christie won’t win on the backs of Hillary ( or whoever) voters. Me personally? the only reason I’d vote for Hillary is the two or three SC justices that will likely retire within the next 8 years ( the minute that issue is dealt with is the minute I undervote Christie). What is more Christie will likely be a lousy President. Insufferable to everybody in Congress who will then refuse to work with him. Hes a narcissist. We already have one. We need a guy who is actually likeable ( Perry) and who is a conservative and might actually grow the party to include right leaning independents ( not pander to left-wing metrosexuals still ooing over his Obamabromance)
    The Establishment needs to realize ^^^^ that. Or else they risk losing a perfectly winnable election cycle due to their own hubris.

  3. I held my nose and voted for McCain and Romney; I even went so far as to put out yard signs and make some RNC donations. But there’s a limit to how much contempt a candidate can display for me and still get my vote, and Christie’s beyond it with the “Libertarianism is dangerous” and the shameless manipulation based on the victim card. People who promote Christie will lose credibility in my eyes.

    When it comes down to it, I’d rather suffer under the opposition than suffer under someone I supported. There is no one on the horizon for the Democrats to run that can make Christie look a small enough evil. I do not believe that I’m in a small minority either; Republicans will stay home in droves. Some like me will cast a protest vote. The only way Christie could win was if NPR and Oprah endorsed him over the Democrat.

    1. Then open up your pocket book and give Cuccinelli some money, or else Christie will be inevitable.

      1. So, as a libertarian, my relationship with the Republican Party is that I have to give money to a social conservative in another state or they’ll punish me with an authoritarian? How about I give my very limited resources to a candidate I believe in more instead?

        The linked article says A) McAuliffe is outfunding Cuccinelli more than 2 to 1, therefore Cucinelli’s state is desperate, not because of flaws related to the candidate and B) the Republican establishment will take a Cucinelli loss as demonstrating flaws in the candidate’s ideology. So either the writer or the Republican establishment does not understand the role of money in a campaign. They can’t both be right.

  4. No I won’t vote Christie. I know the RNC believes they need to go more left to get more donations and voters, but many people I speak to have stopped donating to the RNC, some have supported them for years and received little “awards” for being big donors. I know I won’t vote for Lamar Alexander for Senate– no matter who his opponent is, and I’ll be doing the same if it’s a bad candidate for the R nomination. They can re-make the R party to be the mighty moderates if they want, but it will be without my support.

    It bothers me if the VA race comes down to deciding how the RNC will pick our President, but there isn’t much I can do about the outcome. I contributed when Erick had the page up for it. I’m considering giving more, but after opening the floodgates for Rubio, Romney/Ryan, Toomey, I’ve been reluctant to give.

  5. You assume the GOP wants to win. There’s darn little evidence that this is the case. It looks to me like much of the party would much rather continue to grow government, gather more power to themselves, all the while declaring themselves not to blame.
    And yes, I’m done holding my nose.
    My take is simply that if the RNC does not heavily back Cuccinelli, they (and the rest of the establishment) can go sodomize themselves with a chainsaw.

    1. Grassroots want to win, Luke.
      GOP leadership? Not so much.
      This is why frightening and/or replacing leadership is (or ought to be) a priority for Tea Partiers.

  6. I will not support Christie in the primary.
    I will not support Christie in the general.
    * you may substitute Bush for Christie above.

    1. Again, fork over some dough to Cuccinelli if you can, or if you can’t #standwithKen on twitter, or anywhere else.

  7. Maybe the Republican establishment mentioned in the Jim Geraghty article is right and there is no conservative sleeping giant – no socially conservative one anyway. Maybe the actual sleeping giant is the pragmatic Libertarian wing; the ones who want to conserve Jefferson’s principles rather than John Birch’s. All the big Tea Party losses I can think of off the top of my head were socons or were painted as such in the media. Maybe we try asking the socons to compromise on a libertarian instead of always asking the socons and libertarians to compromise on a moderate squish or the libertarians to compromise on a socon.

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