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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pawlenty and Crist, the canaries in the coal mine

Reading this NYTimes piece on the argument over the future of the Republican party, I was struck by how deep the division really is, and, more importantly, how different the party looks depending on where the Republican comes from.

For instance, the two loudest voices for staying on "values issues" at the RGA were Rick Perry, Governor of Texas and Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska.

On the other hand, the voices saying "enlarge the party" and get away from "values issues" were Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota, and Charlie Crist, Governor of Florida.

My internet is too slow right now to do something as basic as looking up the election results for all four states, but I think you can clearly see the geographic division.

In states so Republican that even McCain won by overwhelming margins, they're still very comfortable with the old "values" message, because it's still working there, but in the real competitive states, the ones that match more closely with the country as a whole, they see the problem of the electorate slipping away.

If they were smart, Republican in those "secure" areas would look up and see Pawlenty and Crist as the national canaries in the coal mine, twittering and chirping on their perches, trying to warn of the coming problem, but thus far, those "secure" Republicans are still chanting "drill, baby, drill."

They do have a mess, don't they?

(Related: Jonathan Martin sees the division along age lines.)

And, a reasoned case against the "Center-Right" country claptrap.


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