According to new research released today by Rasmussen, more voters identify themselves as Republican than ever in the last 8 years. More importantly, by a 4 point margin, more voters identify as GOP than Democrat. This is the largest spread between the parties ever. Worse for Democrats, the number of voters who identify with their party is also approaching an historic low.
In August, 37.6% of voters identified themselves as Republican. That is up from 34.9% in July. By contrast, just 33.3% of voters identify themselves as Democrats. That is very near their historic low in February, when 32.4% of voters identified as Democrat. The 4.3 margin in favor of the GOP is the biggest gap ever between the parties. In November 2010, when the GOP won a landslide in the mid-term elections, their advantage was just 1.3 points.
Immediately prior to Obama’s inauguration, the Democrat party held a nearly 9 point edge over Republicans. Over 41% of voters called themselves Democrats then, compared to around 32% who were Republicans. It is a stunning reversal as Obama heads into reelection.
The last time GOP was close to this level was September 2004. President Bush went on to win reelection two months later, with an electorate that was evenly split. Even then, more voters called themselves Democrats then, but the party’s advantage over the GOP was just over 1 point.
Read more here.
Ron Paul’s campaign is out with this new ad in South Carolina, which hits Rick Santorum on his “record of betrayal.”
“One serial hypocrite exposed,” the ad says, showing clips of Newt Gingrich. “Now another has emerged: Rick Santorum, a corporate lobbyist and Washington politician. A record of betrayal.”
This is the first time Paul has hit Santorum on TV so far, and looks a great deal like the anti-Gingrich ads the Paul camp ran in Iowa. Those ads helped bring Gingrich’s numbers down before the caucuses, and brutal ads from a campaign that has money to spend could have a similar effect on Santorum.
The Paul campaign is spending $250,000 on the ad buy, a source tells us, and the ad will run in South Carolina starting Monday.
Read more here.
In 2011, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker(R) served as the embodiment of the state by state battle to balance budgets and the best symbol of the struggle between the two political parties about how best to meet those fiscal challenges. His first year will extend well into his second year, quite likely culminating in a recall election to remove him from office.
He has dominated the political debate on both sides. Defining the issues. He is cited by both Democrats and Republicans as the best of example of what is wrong, or what is right with a conservative approach to government. Although they will never admit it, many Democratic governors are different from Walker only in a matter of degrees.
Nearly every governor, regardless of party, began the year saying the current path of expensive pension and benefit packages for public employees is unsustainable. The way the issue exploded in Wisconsin is as much a function of the legal and legislative tools at Walker’s disposal as it is about the specific route he chose to take.
This is why Governors Journal has selected Scott Walker as the 2011 Governor of the Year.
It is not accurate to say Scott Walker launched an unannounced attack on public employees. For decades, state and local government leaders have complained about government employee unions: Collective bargaining, growing benefit packages, under-funded pension systems and binding arbitration. The warning siren had howled.
As Idaho Governor Butch Otter(R) observed in one interview this year, the changes that occurred in 2011 could not have happened in the absence of the national economic collapse. In politics, things change when a crisis necessitates change.
That was the case this year in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Years of complaining about the problem led to action in state after state. Walker was faced with a larger crisis in Wisconsin, in large part, because the unions fighting his proposal to curtail collective bargaining rights had the help of a small group of Senate Democrats who fled the state, preventing a vote, for several weeks, as pro-union forces took over the Capitol in support.
Read more here.
The eight-page letter, which appears to carry Paul’s signature at the end, also warns that the U.S. government’s redesign of currency to include different colors – a move aimed at thwarting counterfeiters – actually was part of a plot to allow the government to track Americans using the “new money.”
The letter urges readers to subscribe to Paul’s newsletters so that he could “tell you how you can save yourself and your family” from an overbearing government.
The letter’s details emerge at a time when Paul, now a contender for the Republican nomination for president, is under fire over reports that his newsletters contained racist, anti-homosexual and anti-Israel rants.