Monday, September 17, 2007

Three Cheers for The Economist: Some Big Challenges for Republicans

As many of you know, I'm a regular reader of The Economist, a wonderful newsmagazine published in Britain but with many fine correspondents in the U.S. (and around the world). Recently, The Economist had a three-page series about the Kurdish area in Iraq, which is remarkably free from violence and just may have a bright future as an independent nation.

For my occasional series on the cable news networks, The Economist provides some very useful information.

"Since 1990," the magazine informs us, "the film industry has given seven times more [money] to Democrats than to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics [note: see the Center's link on my blogroll at:]. In television, the ratio in eight-to-one; in music, four-to-one."

The story continues, "Liberal views are not just tolerated but expected, and many Hollywood luminaries retain political advisers."

In a recent address to a meeting of California state Republicans, Gov. Arnold Schwazenegger talked about the inability of GOP candidates -- aside from him -- to win elections in the Golden State. He said, "We're bombing at the box office."

The only Republican presidential candidate who seems to have an interest in winning the California primary is Rudy Giuliani, who's far ahead in that state. How important is to win California? Very much so, because it provides more than one-out-of-eight electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

One major problem with an otherwise attractive candidate like Mike Huckabee is that it's nearly impossible to construct a scenario where he wins the presidential election. Does he have any chance of winning big, important states like California, New York, Illinois, and Michigan? In states with a high percentage of evangelical Christians -- Iowa is one -- Mike does well. Everywhere else he has trouble.

In the minds of many observers -- including yours truly -- the recent immigration debate did real damage to Republicans' ability to win the the nation's highest office.

James H., who blogs at has a column today that illustrates one of the reasons we're "bombing at the box office." Specifically, we've managed to offend many Hispanics, who are a critical "swing group" in many states, including two cites by James: Florida and Nevada. Of course, by ceding the big Northern, Midwestern, and Western states to the Democrats, we make Florida a "must-win."

During the debate on Immigration Reform, Linda Chavez, perhaps the most important Hispanic in the Republican Party, supported comprehensive immigration reform. For her efforts, one conservative worthy announced that she should "go back to Mexico."

One problem: Chavez' family has been the U.S. for several generations. In short, she's as American as apple pie.

Stephen R. Maloney

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