Unwillingness (Or Inability) to Articulate Conservatism Could Cost Republicans Down the Ballot in 2013
A brand new Rutgers-Eagleton poll out today is bad news for down-ballot New Jersey Republicans.
The Institute found that “[t]he increase from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour will be on the November ballot” is actually “supported by 76 percent of voters. [emphasis added.] Only 20 percent express opposition.” A February 2013 Monmouth Polling Institute survey found 53% of Republicans supporting a hike.
Let’s be honest with ourselves: that result is indicative of a large-scale GOP leadership failure, Save Jerseyans…
The minimum wage isn’t a family wage. It’s a proven job killer. It doesn’t work. Every darn time! Your Blogger-in-Chief & Co. have written volumes on the subject. But since the NJGOP’s elected coalition has decided to embrace “minimum wage hike lite” and accept these poll numbers instead of using the Governor’s political capital to try and move’em, no one is out there messaging/explaining/teaching why wage regulations are disastrous for small businesses (who, by the way, generate the bulk of American jobs). Except for us, of course, and a few other stalwarts out there on the political Right.
In other words, public support for the minimum wage is the consequence of a self-fulfilling prophesy.
So what does today’s Eagleton poll tell me moving forward? It reinforces the notion that Chris Christie is going to win reelection largely on force of personality.
That’s nothing new in politics (it’s always primarily a popularity contest… ask Mitt Romney), and that’s not to say he hasn’t done plenty of good work. We talk about his accomplishments all of the time which I know annoys a few of you. The problem arises in that the GOP itself, with Christie at the helm, isn’t frankly doing enough to forcefully distinguish its ideas from those of the opposition on most issues. There are real differences between the parties, folks, differences which impact your property tax bill.
How will voters recognize, appreciate and response to those significant differences when Republican acquiesce or remain silent on hugely important issues like the minimum wage?
Answer: they won’t. When the GOP chooses to distinguish itself solely on the basis of tax policy, in a progressive taxation system, then you can’t really blame ignorant voters for thinking we’re the “party of the rich” when the Democrats tell them. The end result, if left uncorrected, will be another coattail-less victory in November as voters vote for the popular guy they like (Christie) but fall back on the same lousy status quo and debunked ideas that have nevertheless gone largely unchallenged (embodied by a Democrat legislature).
Don’t say you weren’t warned. The good news? Election Day is still half a year away. There’s still plenty of time for GOP candidates to talk about big ideas on the trail. My fingers are perpetually crossed…