Sunday, April 22, 2012

GOP Worried About Social Issues' Impact On Voters

Following the Republicans' reactionary moves on social issues in states throughout the country, consultants and officials are suddenly worried and facing a dilemma. If the party backs off and focuses more on the economy, they'll alienate social conservatives. If they continue the war on women and other divisive stances, they'll alienate other important groups in November:

...Tennessee enacted a law this month intended to protect teachers who question the theory of evolution. Arizona moved to ban nearly all abortions after 20 weeks, and Mississippi imposed regulations that could close the state’s only abortion clinic. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin signed a law allowing the state’s public schools to teach about abstinence instead of contraception.

...Some Republican strategists and officials, reluctant to be identified because they do not want to publicly antagonize the party’s base, fear that the attention these divisive social issues are receiving at the state level could harm the party’s chances in November, when its hopes of winning back the White House will most likely rest with independent voters in a handful of swing states.

...John Weaver, a Republican strategist who worked on the presidential campaigns of Senator John McCain and Jon M. Huntsman Jr., said that the attention Republicans were paying to social issues at the state level could cost the party support from several important blocs of voters, including independents, women and young people voting for the first or second time.

(Image: Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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