Tuesday, 26 January 2016

National Review: Ted Cruz’s Risky Bet on the Conservative Base

National Review: Ted Cruz’s Risky Bet on the Conservative Base

Article by Eliana Johnson

But Sides is less sanguine than Cruz about the GOP’s chances in 2016. “I couldn’t yet say with any confidence whether the fundamentals favor the Republicans,” he tells me. “I’d say the jury’s out.” His bet: The president’s popularity remains a neutral factor, neither helping nor hurting the Democratic nominee. And he says it’s too early to tell which party the economy will favor.

Like Campbell, Sides offers a word of caution about deeply ideological candidates. “There is some research that shows that candidates who are strongly ideological do suffer a penalty at the ballot box,” he says, pointing to the performance of Republican Barry Goldwater, who lost a landslide to Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and Democrat George McGovern, who was clobbered by Richard Nixon in 1972.

In my opinion, running a core vote strategy is almost always a bad idea. A conservative party can rely on its base to turn out; it's undecided voters they need to win.

My conviction on this has been shaped by my formative political experiences- campaigning for the Conservative Party while we languished under the right-wing leaders William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard. We needed David Cameron to teach us to use a different language to win a different kind of voter.

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