It’s one of the oldest clichÃ? ?Ã? ©s in politics. When pundits say it, it reminds me of when baseball announcers say things such as, “This team is going to have to start scoring some runs to win the ballgame.” But there are reasons why things become clichÃ? ?Ã? ©. Such is the case with the statement that turnout is the key to winning elections. I think this is especially true for Republicans in 2006.
Quite frankly, it’s hard for me to see why any Republican would be motivated to vote next year. Republicans in Congress have been a tremendous disappointment to their supporters across the board. Libertarian Republicans are disappointed because Republicans in Congress wimped out on Social Security reform, even though Bush made it his top domestic priority this year. And, along with fiscal conservatives, they are disappointed by spending that continues to skyrocket. There hasn’t been a whisper about the federal marriage amendment or any issues that are important to social conservatives. I can go on and on. It’s just really difficult to think of one group of Republicans that Congress hasn’t let down.
Following the 2004 Presidential election, much was made of how the Republican “get out the vote” effort was comprised of grass roots volunteers, as opposed to the Democratic effort, which was outsourced to professionals. Are Republicans going to volunteer in large numbers with such enthusiasm in 2006?
In 2004, even reluctant Republicans were driven by national security concerns and many conservatives campaigned hard for President Bush because of expected Supreme Court appointments. But national security is rarely, if ever, an issue in congressional races and the Miers nomination has demoralized conservatives. True, conservatives aren’t likely to vote Democrat. But what is going to prevent them from staying home?