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Collins, Smith, Specter and Shays Should Switch to Independent

Posted by libhom Saturday, December 09, 2006

Moderate Republicans from blue states face serious difficulties. They are tethered to a party that is increasingly unpopular where they live. In the past, they could win general elections by taking occasional moderate stands on issues. However, the defeats of Lincoln Chafee and Jim Leach show that disgust with the GOP often can trump individual political positions when voters are sufficiently angry.

Of course, electorates increasingly hostile to Republicans are not the only problems facing moderate blue state Republicans. The “Club for Growth,” a group of extremely rich Republicans from the far right of that party, routinely runs primary challenges against GOP moderates.

Politicians like Susan Collins and Christopher Shays are ideologically incompatible with the GOP and have been ever since Ronald Reagan swept the Christian Right into party control in 1980. The same is true of Gordon Smith and Arlen Specter, who really do not fit that well with the Democrats either.

There is a simple solution for them. They can switch to being independents. Over 35% of voters are independents. James Jeffords showed that being an independent makes politicians more popular in blue states than being a Republican.

Jeffords ended up caucusing with Democrats in the Senate, but was able to vote pretty much how he pleased. Such an arrangement would be very convenient for many moderate Republicans.

(Note: Olympia Snowe has been excluded from this analysis because her personal popularity trumps her GOP affiliation. She can get away with staying in the GOP as long as she wants.)

3 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. Oooo big problem with that. I don't disagree that this may be a good move for these particular people. But, under your plan to have all campaigns publicly funded, your independent friends would be ill-matched against their well-funded adversaries in the Republican and Democratic parties.

     
  3. china Says:
  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.  
  5. libhom Says:
  6. Public financing certainly can accomodate independent candidates.

     

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