Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 7, 2009

A REGIONAL PARTY.... In late January, about a week after President Obama's inauguration, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) outlined some of this thoughts on the future of the Republican Party.

"[T]he Republican Party seems to be slipping into a position of being more of a regional party than a national one," McConnell said. "In politics, there's a name for a regional party: it's called a minority party."

I thought of this quote when looking through the cross-tabs of the latest weekly tracking poll from Research 2000 for Daily Kos. Notice the regional differences (thanks to reader DD for the heads-up):

President Obama favorability:

Northeast: 88% favorable, 11% unfavorable
Midwest: 73% favorable, 24% unfavorable
West: 76% favorable, 22% unfavorable
South: 41% favorable, 54% unfavorable

Democratic Party:

Northeast: 66% favorable, 23% unfavorable
Midwest: 52% favorable, 39% unfavorable
West: 54% favorable, 38% unfavorable
South: 31% favorable, 61% unfavorable

Republican Party:

Northeast: 8% favorable, 82% unfavorable
Midwest: 22% favorable, 68% unfavorable
West: 20% favorable, 70% unfavorable
South: 43% favorable, 47% unfavorable

"[T]he Republican Party seems to be slipping into a position of being more of a regional party than a national one," McConnell said. It was one of the more reasonable observations he's ever made.

Steve Benen 1:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (37)

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Comments

If they propose they (the South) proposes the idea of becoming their own nation again, we should take them up on the idea.

Posted by: gex on April 7, 2009 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

gex: Are you going to take the refugees/ ;>

I'd prefer the Republicans take another region, it's nice and warm down here. They're welcome to Alaska.

Posted by: martin on April 7, 2009 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Its worth noting that even in the South, according to this poll Obama is only two points behind the Republican Party in approval.

Posted by: Piper on April 7, 2009 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

If they propose they (the South) proposes the idea of becoming their own nation again, we should take them up on the idea.

Only so long as Florida goes with 'em.

Oh, and we get to keep North Carolina.

Posted by: slaney black on April 7, 2009 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Martin: Of course we'd take the refugees! The anti-immigrant forces would probably want to stay in/move to the South.

Agreed on the weather, but what can you do? The cold up here in MN is unpleasant, but it keeps out the riff-raff.

Posted by: gex on April 7, 2009 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

I find it VERY interesting that the south see the Dems as 61% unfavorable Pres. Obama at a 54% unfavorable and yet they see the repubs at a higher unfavorable rate 47% that a favorable rate 43%. Who than do those southerns favor????

Posted by: redrover on April 7, 2009 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

All in all, good news. Perhaps Norquist could loan us his bathtub, now that the Republican party is small enough to be fitted into it?

Posted by: N.wells on April 7, 2009 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

It's worth noting that even in the South, according to this poll Obama is only two points behind the Republican Party in approval.

Take southern blacks out of the equation, and things would be way different.

Posted by: Vincent on April 7, 2009 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

I find it odd that Southern Republicans favor President Obama more than the Southern Democrats -- and Southern Democrats have a much higher unfavorable view than Southern Republicans.

I wonder if that means President Obama isn't far enough to the left for their tastes?

Posted by: JWK on April 7, 2009 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

I guess the Republican Southern Strategy that Nixon founded worked. Congratulations to them.

Posted by: CJ on April 7, 2009 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

The thing with polls asking questions of "republicans" is that so many of the ideologues label themselves as libertarians: "I'm not a republican, I'm a libertarian. I dislike all politicians. I just want a very small federal government that doesn't hand out tax money to corporations and individuals, because I work hard for my money..."

But they all vote GOP and would never vote for a democrat. There's a not insignificant segment of society that doesn't realize that the American landscape has fundamentally changed since the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. The federal government of 1890 couldn't handle the problems that are present today in a first world economy and culture.

Most of the pseudo-libertarians are determined that the only rational reading of the constitution is that they should be able to live in a consequence-free environment.

God forbid we ever bring the defense budget under $250 billion.

Posted by: ChrisS on April 7, 2009 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

"Take southern blacks out of the equation, and things would be way different."

Why do people say things like this? It seems to suggest that the opinion of black folks can be discounted, and that it's the opinion of white southerners that really matters.

Posted by: Maneki Nekko on April 7, 2009 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

It seems to suggest that the opinion of black folks can be discounted

I don't read it that way. I think it means that the southern portion of the poll is more skewed and divisive than it appears.

Posted by: ChrisS on April 7, 2009 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Is it too late for us to change our minds on that secession thingy?

Posted by: Raenelle on April 7, 2009 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

As the republican party becomes more of a regional party and more narrowly focused on religion, the republican party will not lose relevance.

Among the reasons that we formed our band of moderate democrats was to assure that no matter how small a minority the republicans become, they will continue to have veto power over legislation.

PUMA power forever! You should have elected Hillary as president and Senator Bayh as vice president. If Senator Bayh was going to be the next president, we would not need to be so obstructive.

Posted by: Spokesman for Evan Bayh on April 7, 2009 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

It seems to suggest that the opinion of black folks can be discounted

I don't read it that way. I think it means that the southern portion of the poll is more skewed and divisive than it appears.

That is indeed what I meant. Thanks for the clarification, ChrisS.

Posted by: Vincent on April 7, 2009 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Republican Party:
Northeast: 8% favorable, 82% unfavorable
Midwest: 22% favorable, 68% unfavorable
West: 20% favorable, 70% unfavorable
South: 43% favorable, 47% unfavorable

Even the South doesn't like the Republican Party that much.

Posted by: ckelly on April 7, 2009 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

"Take southern blacks out of the equation, and things would be way different."

The thing about the South's numbers too, is that they also include Virgninia and maybe, Maryland, two southern states that Obama won.

Posted by: DeeCee on April 7, 2009 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Ixnay on the secession talk, folks! You think we southern liberals want to be left stranded in the 19th century with a bunch of ignorant, fundamentalist yahoos? We have to stay and fight against the forces of darkness here in the south! We need support from the rest of the country, not isolation!

Look, we get TV and internet, even in the sticks. We get HGTV (headquartered in Knoxville.) We see gay people and interracial couples buying homes just like everyone else. Change *is* going to come to the south; it's just going to take a lot longer here than elsewhere.

Posted by: greennotGreen on April 7, 2009 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

it's pretty funny that even in the region where republicans have the strongest support they can't break 50%.

Posted by: karen marie on April 7, 2009 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

It looks like my long held dream of the GOP collapsing as a national party might actually come true in my lifetime.

Yes They Can!

Posted by: rob! on April 7, 2009 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

as ckelly pointed out: The Republicans don't even like their own party all that much in the South.

Later in the day a conservative from the South will inform us that they are not Republicans but true conservatives. Of course that is their stance now that George Bush is no longer in the White House.

Have any of you noticed that conservatives / Republicans don't like all that much about America. They don't like paying taxes, they don't like government regulations, they don't like people who disagree with them, they don't like people who look different, etc...

But, when it comes to sitting at the Federal pork trough the states with a majority of conservatives in it, tend to take the most.

What do those idiots think would happen if they had their own 'country'? I wonder how many years it would take for them to be classified as a developing Third world country, begging the IMF (an institution they loath) to intervene.

It would be an interesting social experiment: Observe how conservative people 'devolve' back to tribal living conditions.

Posted by: bruno on April 7, 2009 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

being an expatriated southerner-- and one who thinks wj cash (the mind of the south) had it spot on back in the 1940s -- it is not surprising to me that the south just doesn't like anybody. there is a mean streak to southern culture that is hard to describe, but can be experienced down yonder...

Posted by: neill on April 7, 2009 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Even the South doesn't like the Republican Party that much.

Exactly right. The Republican Party is a regional party only in the sense that there's one region that dislikes Republicans less than other regions do. There's not a single region where the favorable/unfavorable difference is positive.

Posted by: RSA on April 7, 2009 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Obama has 41% favorability in the South? That's a lot higher than I'd expect. I pull three things out of this poll. 1) Obama is a rock star. 2) Nobody likes the republicans. 3) People like the Democrats more, but they still don't really like them.

Posted by: fostert on April 7, 2009 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

The regional breakdowns are instructive but still really general.

I'd be very interested in seeing a comparison between the upper Midwest, which is getting measurably bluer, and the lower Midwest, which remains deep red. Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas are far to the right of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Indiana used to have more in common with Kentucky than it did with Michigan, but it shaped up pretty nicely this last round. :)

Posted by: shortstop on April 7, 2009 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

The South will fall again!

Posted by: Sarah Barracuda on April 7, 2009 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

I'd be very interested in seeing a comparison between the upper Midwest, which is getting measurably bluer, and the lower Midwest, which remains deep red. Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas are far to the right of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Indiana used to have more in common with Kentucky than it did with Michigan, but it shaped up pretty nicely this last round.

In other words, Iowa State -- where I went to grad school -- now rivals Colorado (and possibly Texas) as the most liberal school in the Big 12. Who'da thunk it? Perhaps it should be in the Big Ten, just like the U of I down in Hawkeye City.

Posted by: Vincent on April 7, 2009 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Why do people say things like this?

Why do people so quickly assign a nefarious intent to what was an obvious point?

Posted by: Rhett Butler on April 7, 2009 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

It's worth noting that even in the South, according to this poll Obama is only two points behind the Republican Party in approval.

Take southern blacks out of the equation, and things would be way different.

Posted by: Vincent on April 7, 2009 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK
____________

Take angry Southern white racists out of the equation and Obama would be treated like a hero in the South. Though based on the "bigotry of soft expectations," it would probably be considered "progress" for him to be treated as a human being.

Posted by: slappy magoo on April 7, 2009 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

All I can say is this is one thing to thank Bush and Cheney for and they don't even realize it.

I hope Cheney keeps making insane statements, it helps us out that much more!

I hope Rush keeps talking too!

Posted by: fred on April 7, 2009 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

8% approval in the Northeast is stunning (20 and 22% I would think would be amazing in any other context) — unless that changes substantially (like by at least 30% in a couple of years, in a generation, there won't be a single Republican office holder in the Northeast. There's going to have to be another party or two.

It's really an amazing number.

Posted by: Jay B. on April 7, 2009 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

wow southerners really are southern....they dislike john boehner even more than they dislike mitch mcconnell....

Posted by: dj spellchecka on April 7, 2009 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a nice gem from Fat Ass Rush....he just the gift that keeps on giving:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/07/republican-caller-tells-l_n_184244.html

Posted by: fred on April 7, 2009 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK
"[T]he Republican Party seems to be slipping into a position of being more of a regional party than a national one," McConnell said. It was one of the more reasonable observations he's ever made.

And yet, even so, wrong: the Republican Party's gone right past being a regional party and become one that is unpopular in every region -- with higher unfavorable than favorable ratings even in the South.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 7, 2009 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

"[T]he Republican Party seems to be slipping into a position of being more of a regional party than a national one," McConnell said. It was one of the more reasonable observations he's ever made.

Though he loses points by arguing that the problem is one of communication rather than content, without addressing the obvious question of why a failure of salesmanship should be regional rather than national if GOP principles are truly national. Does he honestly think Westerners will return to the GOP if the party can just find spokespeople with Western accents, like, say a Senator from Arizona or the Governor of Alaska? Have him read Republican strategist Christopher Caldwell's prescient TheSouthern Captivity of the GOP and get back to us.

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Posted by: moddar alzoubi on April 8, 2009 at 5:45 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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