An Rx for more losses
A few social conservatives have gleaned the same lesson from last week’s Republican election losses that they find every time GOP candidates lose: the candidates weren’t conservative enough.
In a news story last Friday, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said Republican moderates led the party away from its core principles on social issues and caused the GOP debacle.
We heartily agree that Republicans in Congress drifted far from traditional conservative fiscal values, allowing the budget to balloon and setting records for pork-barrel earmarks.
But anyone who thinks the electorate is pining for more social-issue conservatives need only look to Colorado. Marilyn Musgrave, one of the most outspoken social conservatives in Congress, lost her 4th Congressional District seat to Democrat Betsy Markey by double digits, even though the district leans strongly Republican.
In the U.S. Senate race, Bob Schaffer, another Republican with a long record of conservatism on social issues, was routed statewide by Democrat Mark Udall, although Schaffer won in Mesa County.
Locally, Laura Bradford, one of the few Republicans to buck the anti-GOP trend this year, built her successful campaign to win the House District 55 seat almost entirely on tax and economic issues, not on social issues.
A return to social-issue conservatism doesn’t appear to be the prescription for a return to Republican dominance.