Charlie Cook On The Republican Party’s Loss of Upscale Voters

I’ve had many posts over the last several years about the extremism of the Republicans causing them to lose the support of affluent voters, educated voters, suburbanites, and independents? When the election results showed that I was correct on this, I had another string of posts on this topic. I won’t write yet another post on this topic right now. Instead I’ll just quote from today’s edition of The Cook Report in which Charlie Cook says the same thing:

Republicans have lost an enormous amount of support among upscale voters, basically just breaking even among those with household incomes above $50,000 a year, a traditional GOP stronghold. Similarly, McCain’s losing to Obama among college graduates and voters who have attended some college underscores how much the GOP franchise is in trouble. My hunch is that the Republican Party’s focus on social, cultural, and religious issues — most notably, fights over embryonic-stem-cell research and Terri Schiavo — cost its candidates dearly among upscale voters.

The question now is whether Republicans will quickly learn from their mistakes — retooling and rebranding their party soon, putting themselves in a position to capitalize on the missteps of the Obama administration and the rest of the Democratic Party — or will languish, reduced to waiting for the Democrats to collapse and for GOP candidates to win simply because they aren’t Democrats.

Those who write off the 2008 election by saying that Republican candidates weren’t conservative enough are in denial. They are political ostriches, refusing to acknowledge that the country and the electorate are changing and that old recipes don’t work any more.

Obama’s message and agenda were a far cry from those of the Democratic Party of a generation or two ago, but the Republican Party’s message and agenda haven’t changed much other than becoming even more fixated on cultural issues and tax cuts. A top Republican pollster remarked privately to me after the election that he couldn’t think of a single new idea generated on the Republican side during the 2008 campaign.

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