This morning during short presentations on the recent elections, panelists acknowledged that Republicans (and conservatives) suffer from a brand-name problem, but found some good news in polling data that shows Democrats haven’t been embraced. For instance: In 1994, “conservatives” enjoyed a net positive rating of 22 points and this year have a net negative of 3. “Liberals” had a net negative rating of 24 points in 1994, and score a net negative of 22 now. The consensus seems to be that election results would have been worse without the GOP’s ground game, that the image of Republicans has taken a hit but voters have serious doubts about the Democrats, and that the Republican party has to get “back to basics,” i.e. on issues of ethics, fiscal responsibility, and protecting the family.
I was surprised that national security was ignored as a political issue during this discussion, which might be because 1). it is an audience of state officials, or 2) no one is quite sure what to say about how the issue of national security can be a political asset for Republican candidates.