Monday, June 29, 2015

Rand Paul Main Benefactor From SCOTUS ?

The Supreme Court Decisions on Obamacare and same-sex marriage
have, as many observers pointed out, given the Republican Party a major fillip for the 2016 presidential election.

The decisions, once the hullabaloo has settled down, removed two contentious and, for the left, highly energizing issues which would, if not dealt with as they have been, ensured the largest potential Dem turnout.

Not only turnout, but also financial and propaganda support from the Gay lobby associated with the media and Hollywood/television. All that has been negated. As one commentator has noted it also may mean a swing to the GOP by Gays who can now look to their financial well being as a primary political concern, and may see the fiscal conservatism on offer from the GOP as a more logical home for their votes.

With, as usual, the presidential election turning on Florida, Virginia, Ohio (and now Colorado) where the margins of victory range from e.g. Florida at one half of a percent to the other three as easily winnable, any slight advantage can make or break the election for either candidate.

Sean Trende, writing at real Clear Politics produced an encyclopedic analysis of the 2012 presidential election and decided that yes, there were a substantial number of "missing White voters" who, if they had turned out for Romney would not have decided the election for him but would have made the result much closer.

Trende identifies these as "Perot voters" (others identify them as "Reagan Democrats" or "Blue Collar Voters" I suspect they are pretty much one and the same).

"For those with long memories, this stands out as the heart of the “Perot coalition.” That coalition was strongest with secular, blue-collar, often rural voters who were turned off by Bill Clinton’s perceived liberalism and George H.W. Bush’s elitism"

​How to attract these voters is of course a key​ and Trende identifies Perot type populism (which may be why Donald trump has jumped into second place in polls after he formally announced.)

"This GOP would have to be more "America first" on trade, immigration and foreign policy; less pro-Wall Street and big business in its rhetoric; more Main Street/populist on economics."

Trende acknowledges an outreach to Hispanic voters may be of value, but the fruits of such an outreach do not appear to be more valuable than the possible gains amongst Perot voters.

In another article Trende acknowledges that by themselves even maximum gains from Perot voters may not be enough to give the Electoral College edge and advised that a further outreach to other bloc's including Hispanics and Blacks could, if successful, and when added to the "missing Whites" provide the winning coalition. 

He makes the point that without President Obama running;

"Hillary Clinton, could have a greater appeal to these voters (current polling suggests that she does). But there are always tradeoffs, and Clinton’s greater appeal to blue-collar whites, to the extent it holds through 2016, could be offset by a less visceral attachment with young voters, college-educated whites and to nonwhites than the president enjoys."

This is where Senator Paul might be the best vote winner for the Republicans. "Young voters, college educated Whites" have clearly found Paul attractive for his libertarian views and he stands every chance of making inroads into that grouping. Further those who were energized by "Hope and Change" may find themselves disillusioned, or find Hillary Clinton not exactly a poster person for youthful enthusiasms as Obama was.

Black turnout, as Trende intimates, may also not be as strong for Hillary as it was, at near unanimous levels, for Obama. But there is another aspect which was highlighted By  Rev. Al Sharpton-Paul being  the only Republican candidate who has made substantial efforts to substantially interact with, and learn from, the Black community.

Sharpton, no doubt correctly, advises that there would be little chance of many Blacks voting for the GOP nominee because of this but, as he describes it, there is a real danger for the Democrats from Paul;

Sharpton, after describing how Rand Paul has interacted with the Black community  (and him) said  Paul’s efforts to engage black voters could present a strategic challenge for Democrats: 

"If the Republican senator runs for president, fewer African Americans may be motivated to show up and vote against him. If he becomes the candidate … and if you don’t get a huge black turnout saying ‘We’re afraid [of him],’” that could be a pitfall for Democrats."

Thus Paul could energize the youth vote, reduce the Black vote turnout and, given his father's populist reputation, appeal to the Perot "Missing White's" potentially mass vote turnout. With a pro-life history, and a personality that has brought grudging respect from Dem's for it's seriousness of intent, and no scandals, Senator Paul has a very strong case to present both to the voters and to the GOP bigwigs who can count Electoral College votes as well as anyone else.

As I wrote elsewhere, ("This Week Sewed Up The Presidency For The GOP") in my opinion what looked like a disastrous week for the Republicans could, with the right candidate, turn out to be a blessing in disguise with the distraction of the social issues removed from the campaign.

On the other hand those non-Perot "missing White voters" who are religious social conservatives who didn't vote for Romney because of perceived elitism, or his Mormonism, may also turnout because of SCOTUS because they are so upset by the decisions that they will vote for whomever the nominee is.

Is Senator Paul the candidate who can unite, or at least motivate all these disparate groups whilst depressing Dem turnout? Certainly the potential coalition numbers stack up very impressively and, allied with a Hispanic running mate, he could present a forwards looking alternative to "Hillary of the past."

UPDATE: Did Senator Paul just lose the potential conservative base support-one interpretation is that this libertarian approach validates any sort of contractual arrangement including group "marriage"/incest marriage if there is no regulation.

"Government Should Get Out of the Marriage Business Altogether should not prevent people making contracts"