Most politicians running for the Presidency of the United States face a dilemma: they need to appeal to the base of their party to reach the general election while not going so far to the extremes that they become distasteful to the public at large. Some people resolve this conflict by taking a few stances that are mainstream on certain issues and other stances that are more right or left-wing on others. While other people say one thing to one audience and something completely different to another (although that’s become less common with the rise of digital media).
Mitt Romney on the other hand does none of those things. Mitt’s problem is that he tries to split the difference and winds up looking fake to moderates and lefties while being regarded as apostate by conservatives. His stance on gay issues is pretty typical of this: he says he opposes discrimination of gay people except when it comes to marriage. So he thinks you should be able to work and pay all the taxes you can but not enjoy the full benefits of citizenship. Classy, ain’t it?
Fox News hosted a debate for a Republican Presidential candidates last night but chances are you didn’t hear about it. Reason #1 for that being that the only serious contender who showed up last night was Tim Pawlenty and reason #2 being that Fox News managed to piss off the AP and so they refused to cover it. Yet given that it was an event by conservatives for conservatives, in South Carolina of all places, that probably didn’t matter all that much. As for the candidates who did show up aside from T-Paw, there was Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain, former Senator of Pennsylvania Rick Santorum, former governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson and of course Representative Ron Paul of Texas. If you follow politics then nothing happened last night that would surprise you. If, on the other hand, you happen to enjoy your sanity and therefore don’t pay that much attention to the bit players in Republican politics allow me to summarize:
When Zander posted yesterday about the recent poll saying that 46% of Republicans in Mississippi think that interracial marriage should be illegal, I was flabbergasted. So I decided to do some digging to see exactly what this poll found and I’m beginning to get a little suspicious. First of all Mississippi doesn’t have partisan voter registration, so it’s hard to say how exactly PPP came up with their sample. Secondly the poll is actually supposed to represent ‘usual Mississippi Republican primary voters’ and I’m pretty sure saying that ‘usual Mississippi Republican primary voters’ represent the views of the whole Republican Party in Mississippi is a bit like saying that these people are representative of the Democratic party.
Beyond that the headline that 46% of Mississippi Republicans think interracial marriage should be illegal is getting a lot of play but check out this crosstab that compares support for interracial marriage by ideology:
What this is saying is that of the people in the poll who identify as “Very Liberal” 55% think interracial marriage should be illegal and a whopping 71% of people who identify who identify as “Somewhat liberal” think the same. But wait there’s more!