A dying coalition

by | Mar 13, 2014 | 2014 Elections, Editor's Blog, NC Politics, US Senate | 8 comments

Over in the GOP Senate primary in North Carolina, Greg Brannon seems to have the momentum. A new PPP poll shows him tied with Thom Tillis. He’s racked up endorsements from the darlings of the Tea Party and FreedomWorks, the organization that made the Tea Party a political force, is also on board.

And all this came about after he was found liable of bilking investors and caught plagiarizing from Rand Paul, also a noted plagiarizer. Talk about teflon!

This week, Brannon scored more points by doubling down on attacks on the GOP establishment. In June 2012, he wrote on a blog that a vote for Mitt Romney would “advance tyranny” and that there was no difference between Romney and Obama. Instead of backing off the statement, he’s stuck by it. In the Republican primary, that probably gets him another point or two.

And that’s the problem that Republicans face. Twenty years ago, Greg Brannon would be a fringe candidate. Today, he’s in a dead heat for the GOP nomination for U. S. Senate. Nothing he says or does seems to shake the faith of his supporters.

A substantial portion of the GOP base doesn’t trust the Republican establishment. If they can’t find a difference between Obama and Romney, they’re certainly not going to find much between Hagan and Tillis. So even if Brannon loses the nomination to Tillis, what’s going to motivate his supporters to show up in November?

The influence of the Tea Party may be on the wane, but it still makes up a significant portion of the base. If the Tea Party fades, what happens to those voters? Will they moderate their views, go to a third party or just stay home? As fervent as they are, I doubt they moderate. They will probably leave politics in disgust or move toward libertarianism.

Another chunk of the GOP the base, the Christian conservatives, is also in decline. And like the Tea Party, they don’t seem to realize that their views are moving outside the mainstream. As The Washington Post noted, they’re still fighting gay marriage while the rest of the country is moving on.

The future of the GOP is probably an alliance of free-market libertarians and country club establishment, but that won’t happen for quite awhile. For now, they are stuck with a dying coalition.  The question in North Carolina is can the Republicans nominate a viable candidate and can they hold together that coalition for one more cycle?


  1. Earl Greene

    The problem with liberals is that they allow their compassion to get in the way of their common sense ! The worst thing one can do in an attempt to help the poor, is to enslave them by making them dependents of the government.

  2. geek49203

    “..he Christian conservatives, is also in decline.” Wanna compare “Duck Dynasty” ratings with those of “Girls”? Who won that Amendment 1 thing?

    I mean, I realize that you WANT that to be the case. But the first step of winning an election is to accept reality, isn’t it? Seriously, you think that outside of the university bubbles in Chapel Hill and Durham etc that people aren’t “Conservative Christians”?

    Here’s another factoid — last Easter, I couldn’t get into the Roman Catholic Easter mass. AT DUKE. That’s right, AT DUKE. And I couldn’t find a seat in the Protestant service in the Duke Chapel either. AT DUKE. You know, that liberal spot?

    • Thomas Mills

      Keep believing that people are voting around issues like gay marriage and teaching evolution. That’s the mentality I’m looking for. Gaining traction every day.

    • Thomas Ricks

      If a conservative is speaking, a conservative is lying.

      So you “Won” Duck Dynasty? You lost Gay Marriage, Civil Rights, AHA, Medicare, Medicade, Entering WWII, Entering WWI, and pretty much EVERY. SINGLE. policy initiative of the 20th century.

      Reagan didn’t win the cold war, that was Trofim Lysenko and WHEAT that did it.

      If a conservative is speaking, a conservative is lying.

  3. geek49203

    “caught plagiarizing”. Is this something like repeating talking points?

    ‘Cause, ya know, I *think* that Dems — HELL, politicians of ALL parties world-wide — repeat talking points. And most of them probably use some sort of consultant who tells them what to say. Or they repeat what their party leadership tells ’em to say.

    But hey, if it is “plagiarizing” is your term, I’ll use it here to talk about any politician who repeat something someone else has said w/o attribution.

      • wesdissis

        Good to know they’re on the same page!

    • Thomas Ricks

      If a conservative is talking, a conservative is lying.

      Every time Rand Paul or Brannon open their mouths the response should be, “Neat words. Who really said it?”

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