These Three Minefields Ahead for the GOP Can Spell Disaster
by Steve Levy
An objective observer can make the case that Joe Biden is the worst president in American history, but that doesn’t mean the Republicans are shoo-ins to take him out.
In fact, if Republicans don’t address these three issues, they will be ensuring another four years of Biden’s socialist transformation of America.
This column warned at the time of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that, on the abortion issue, Republicans were about to become “the dog that caught the car.”
For fifty years, the most conservative wing of the Republican Party has been trying to get Roe v Wade overturned. But, as the saying goes: Be careful what you wish for. Dobbs has now placed this volatile issue front and center to voters. And it’s not good for Republicans, since the overwhelming majority of Americans want access to abortion, at least in the first trimester.
Republicans could turn lemons into lemonade by adopting a platform that limits abortions in later months, while still preserving the option in the first trimester. They seemed to have been on the path toward striking that balance with state proposals to keep abortion legal at least for the first 15 weeks. https://www.npr.org/2022/04/14/1084485963/florida-abortion-law-15-weeks
That was a winner, since it exposed Democrats for their late-term abortion infanticide without labeling the GOP as the party that wants to take away choice — sometimes, even in the case of rape and incest. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/backlash-builds-after-democrats-vote-legalize-abortion-until-birth
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis seemed to have understood this when he signed a bill with the 15-week limit. Residents of Florida reelected him overwhelmingly, knowing his position on the matter. But now he has dug himself into a massive hole, at least for a general election, by supporting a limit as early as six weeks — a point where many women don’t even know they’re pregnant. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/desantis-signs-bill-banning-abortion-in-florida-after-6-weeks-of-pregnancy
This is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
DeSantis was poised to garner a middle-ground moderate position that just about everyone could fall behind. Now he, as well as other Republicans, adopting a six-week ban, may be labeled as being culture war extremists.
A good number of Republicans believe that pocketbook issues will win the day, but what they fail to realize is that many in child-rearing age are concerned that having to support a child where they are not economically equipped will be the biggest hit of all on their wallets.
That’s why abortion is the issue that is perhaps the biggest potential single-vote shifter in the election. https://news.gallup.com/poll/313316/one-four-americans-consider-abortion-key-voting-issue.aspx
2. Trump’s Problem with Independents
You can’t win the presidency without winning independents. This was proven in 2020.
Donald Trump won in 2016 with a mere 46% of the vote and never sought to expand his base to bring in independents or moderates. https://en.as.com/en/2020/11/03/latest_news/1604429928_570647.html
Trump pursued a limited policy of motivating the base. The policy not only failed in 2020, but also led to losses in the Senate. Trump recently surged past Biden in some polls, but that will likely wane as he’s never been able to top a favorability rate in the high 40s.
Given Biden’s weakness, his party should have been wiped out in the 2022 midterms, yet Democrats exceeded expectations because of abortion and voter dissatisfaction with Trump’s post-election policies. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/09/democrats-exceed-expectations-republicans-still-poised-win-house/
Though Trump’s domestic policies made America much stronger than did Biden’s socialist agenda, his coarse personality and impulsive tweets are just too much for many swing voters to handle.
Democrats understand that they cannot survive an election focused on Biden’s mishaps. That’s why they shifted the conversation in 2022 to abortion and Trump. Trump at the head of the GOP ticket will once again keep the focus on his histrionics rather than Biden’s failures. Trump must show he can pivot to stop alienating swing voters.
3. Mastering the Changing Voting Patterns
Trump bragged that, in 2020, he received more votes than any other incumbent president. So what? His challenger banked 7 million more. https://www.businessinsider.com/bidens-popular-vote-lead-trump-grows-more-than-7-million-2020-12
That’s because the rules, fairly or not, were dramatically changed after COVID.
This column has opined that much of the voting chicanery by Democratic officials was illegal, including unilateral changes to election law by partisan governors and secretaries of state where the law clearly required legislative approval. https://www.newsmax.com/stevelevy/aclu-mail-scotus/2022/12/05/id/1099149/
The massive expansion of mail-in voting, at the same time signature requirements were significantly diluted, fueled mistrust by many Americans in this new electoral process. Republicans can continue to whine about this or start playing the game by the new rules.
In Nassau County on Long Island, Republican leaders understood this and started from day one of early voting to monitor who voted and who didn’t. That daily oversight ensured a maximized Republican turnout. Mail-in voting was encouraged among their members, and, as a result, two Democratic congressional seats were flipped to the GOP. Both the Trump campaign and the Republican Party were slow to adapt to these changes. Hopefully, they’ve learned their lessons.
Biden’s deplorable policy actions should lead him to the biggest defeat in American electoral history. Despite his weakness, he may yet get reelected for another four dismal years unless Republicans heed the warnings listed above.
Steve Levy is President of Common Sense Strategies, a political consulting firm. He served as Suffolk County Executive, as a NYS Assemblyman, and host of “The Steve Levy Radio Show.” He is the author of “Solutions to America’s Problems” and “Bias in the Media.” www.SteveLevy.info, Twitter @SteveLevyNY, firstname.lastname@example.org