Fair. Balanced. American.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What is the Republican base?

The Democracy Corps' focus groups have resulted in a very detailed portrait.

One of the more surprising findings: Republican women are the key drivers of the Glenn Beck phenomenon, despite the shocking allegations against him.

One of the less shocking findings: they really have lost all touch with reality.

The most interesting finding: strongly conservative independents are still sane; where rationality goes out the window is among self-identifying Republicans. The problem: two out of three base Republicans have lost touch with reality. That means Republicans who are actually interested in governance can't win primaries anymore.

The most consequential political reform we could make, therefore, might be to force open primaries for federal offices in every state. If independents and Democrats can vote in GOP primaries everywhere, moderate Republicans might have a chance of getting the nomination. That may hurt the Democratic Party in the long run, but it would make for a healthier polity.

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