The Corner

The New Electoral Map

Minnesota and Pennsylvania are both in play. Actually, a new poll today shows Obama is under 50 percent — in Maine.

These aren’t the normal swing states. And yet polls in the normal swing states show Obama tied with Romney.

What is happening?

My guess is not necessarily as good as anyone else’s but here goes: Obama is running a highly effective campaign. Where he is focusing resources, he is fighting Romney to a draw and perhaps a win in key battleground states. In the meantime, the rest of the country is swinging Romney strongly.

The horrible economy and Romney’s effective focus on jobs is pushing him forward. 

Meanwhile the GOP elites’ tactical decision to ignore social issues totally is not helping. The major Romney super PACs are “truce” PACs, refusing to run any social-issue ads at all — except the one saying Romney actually supports abortion in some cases. Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina — these are all states where, if voters learned how extreme President Obama is on abortion and gay marriage, it would help Romney.

Social conservatives are absent from this election. Their money isn’t being used in any visible way to organize voters. If Romney loses, this will be part of the reason why.

If Romney wins — and I think he will — look for an intense effort to finally push social issues out of the party.

Christian conservatives who care about life, marriage, and religious liberty need to create effective political vehicles for demonstrating and acting on this concern. Or we are going to wake up like Europe with no political vehicle for a voice.

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