Big GOP win in 2014 evidence of growing trend
BALLOT BOX — In reviewing the recent election results, what stands out is that the unaffiliated voters went for Republican candidates in very large numbers. The victories of Bill Cook in the state Senate race, Thom Tillis in the U.S. Senate race, and Andy Womble for District Attorney in the local judicial district, are the primary beneficiaries.
Many observers including media groups have reported the vote count as raw numbers but provided no explanation for why this happened. So we will give you our take.
The trend to unaffiliated voters from the two major parties began several years ago as voters sought to place themselves in the political middle of America with the freedom to vote either way based upon the circumstances they encountered.
In 2010, there was a general shift of the American electorate against incumbents who had been in office for too long, from the voters’ viewpoint. This was a benefit to challengers, who may or may not have won, but the shift should have been seen by incumbents as the threat it was becoming. But success meant holding your base while appealing to unaffiliated vote.
In the 2012 Presidential race, however, Mitt Romney understood the value of the unaffiliated vote, but in trying to win the middle, he succeeded, but he lost his base and the election. Every time he said the President Obama was a nice guy with bad policies, many people saw this as a weakness, so he lost, predictably.
So were there other factors in the recent election victories? Absolutely!
While the voters move in 2010 was more philosophical, and that still continues, the factor of Democrat National Policies has become a larger consideration for voters than before.
In 2010, President Obama had been in office for just two years, so he was not the factor then that he became in 2014 – a big factor in the Tillis race as the president’s policies were on the ballot, as he himself said.
However, in the local races the electorate had begun to vote for Republican legislators in 2010 albeit to a limited extent, and finished the job in 2012. Then, they reelected Republican candidates with the belief that more time was needed to make the changes that the voters expected.
But of all these reasons, the fact is that the demographics of the American voters are changing.
The growth of the Baby Boomer generation as retirees, are increasingly conservative. Therefore, the prospects for continued electoral success are very good, provided they govern effectively. Republican victories have cemented their control of virtually all elected offices from the Carolinas all the way to Louisiana. Many of these victories are the direct result of the policies of President Obama.
The era of big and all-encompassing government is not affordable and policies such as the War on Poverty of the Johnson Administration have been an abject failure costing $20 Trillion over 50 years without measurably improving poverty rates. If we are to control costs of government from spiraling upward and putting our nation deeper in debt, the public is counting on Republican Legislators – both state and national to prevent our economic slide.
Author Travis Brown has written that retirees are voting with their feet, away from high tax states toward low tax states such as Texas and Florida with no state taxes. He has reported that North Carolina will be a primary recipient of these voters, most being conservative. If he is correct, we will keep our conservative legislators and policies. We can only hope!!