When I saw the Rasmussen Poll, I too quickly came to the same conclusion you and Ramesh have. But this opens up a bigger issue. The results of this poll and many others, indicate a major problem the GOP has when debating social issues, specifically they don’t know how to make an appealing argument or deflect out right lies.
When debating social issues, the key is not to serve red meat to the faithful; the key is to convert those who are reasonable by using logical arguments that appeal to those who are not as emotionally attached to this argument.
The Embryonic Stem Cell Debate is a classic example where the GOP as a national party has failed. The Democrats have successfully turned Embryonic Stem Cell Debate into the Stem Cell Debate, in doing so they have accused Republican candidates of being against a position they have not in fact taken. What is worse, is that if a voter/person is properly educated on this issue, I would bet a dime on a dollar that the GOP would actually win the debate. For example, ia pollster should first provide the best arguments for each side (they can make them in reverse to smooth out bias i.e. pro/anti embryonic stem cell). Then provide the individual polled with the following three choices:
- Government should not fund nor permit private enterprise from engaging in any Embryonic Stem Ce ll Research.
- Government should permit private, but not fund Embryonic Stem Cell using taxpayer dollars.
- Government should permit research and also fund Embryonic Stem Cell research with taxpayer dollars.
I would bet you the split would come in around 25% for A, 40% for B and 35% for C. What has happened is B which is allow it but don’t fund it, disappears. What is happening is that A and C are the only two choices in the debate, whereby A loses out to C. This is the problem. A moderate GOPer would probably fall into the B, and in fa ct many Democrats would aslo fall into the B bucket. If the GOP would make the debate about B versus C as opposed to A versus C win the issue.
While GOP leadership is constantly allowing itself to lose on winning issues. What is infuriating to me is the out right laziness of our leadership to turn the tables. Specifically
The “Moderate” side of our Party, wants to throw the Social Conservatives under a bus by saying look we aren’t going to build our party if we don’t start bringing moderate voters into the party. The more “Conservative” wing of our party, would rather make arguments that preach to the choir rather than bring in those who are not fully vested on either side.
What I want is to win the issues. If government stops funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research I don’t care we20win that arguement by appealing to the fiscal senses of moderates. The same can be applied with Abortion and Gay Marriage , in the nature of a strict consturctionist view Should judges or the voters be the arbitrators on these issues?