Who is in the Republican "base"?

The pundits say that McCain chose Palin to appeal to the Republican party’s base. Is this true? Fundamentalist Christians are the base? Or does “base” mean something different than what I think it means?

Wherefore ‘base’? When my dimensions are as well compact, My mind as generous, and my shape as true As honest madam’s issue? Why brand they us With ‘base’? …

Hey Repubs! All your base … :stuck_out_tongue:

The guest on Colbert the other day said the apparent intention to appeal to small towns would delay their ever regaining power. I’ve found it odd when Palin says things that appear to write off the entire East coast, or all big cities.

My neighbors of 25 years here in Ames, IA, are “base” Republicans if anyone is. And they are not bloody-minded rant-happy beer-swilling troglodytes with little pig eyes. They are modest, helpful, hardworking, sweet-natured farm folk come to town - “salt of the earth” really.

Greg is a self-employed carpenter who’s renovated about 3/4 of our house. Stacey, partially homebound, takes in our mail when no one is in residence. They have 2 20something kids out in the Real World, left the Methodist church they were married in for a large evangelical congregation several years ago, and are quietly devoted to their faith, their party, and mostly, each other.

Much depends on the trust and faith of nice people like Stacey and Greg. I honestly don’t think they know what they’ve gotten themselves into, and I hope they never have to find out.

The “base” is probably best defined as the people who show the most support for your party, politically, or who can be counted on the show the most support currently. Economic conservatives who are social liberals aren’t the Republican “base” right now, but social conservatives, especially evangelical christians, are going to be voting Republican for as long as Republicans support socially conservative agendas. The Republican base right now is the religious right.

The thing is America is basically a country who’s politics is “center” but with a slight leaning towards the right. Everytime a politican moves too far from the slightly right of center they get kicked back, either through presidental or congressional election. We saw this with Clinton, who was elected as a moderate Democrat and got a bit liberal and in '94 congress went Republican.

This election is really different, Obama isn’t winning because he’s good, people are just rejecting McCain because they hate GW Bush. This is what happened in '68. Johnson was so unpopular do to the Vietnam War, Humphrey suffered because of it.

Thanks, guys. Shakespeare, a joke, personal experience, and thoughtful reasoning – typical Doper responses. Gotta love it. :smiley:

So who’s in the Democrat base?

A bunch of different factions, none as monolithic as the religious right. Academics, various minorities, and gays are all pretty reliably Democratic.

The tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to live for free,
the wretched refuse, the homeless?

I think there is a genuine division in what counts as the “Republican base”, much more than the equivalent “Democratic base”… There is the economically conservative base, who are pro “small government” and such, and the socially conservative base that are against gay-marriage, abortion, etc.

There is a real mis-match between the aims of the two, and if McCain loses badly we could see a really political bloodbath between the two sides. We saw glimpses of it during the primary season, but the “Social conservative” side of the republican party managed to get their vote split between Huckabee and Romney, and gifting the nomination to McCain (I was pretty frustrated that it was the DEMOCRATIC party that managed to a have a long, damaging primary campaign, when their leading candidates had practically no difference between them on policy).

Possibly just wishful thinking on my part, but I can really see it happening.

At one point, George W. Bush once called multimilionaires his base.

But, realistically, the Republican “base,” has been defined in recent years as the social conservatives. The economic conservatives went along, too, but Republican campaigns were aimed quite strongly at the anti-gay-marriage, pro-life, fundamentalist Christian elements. The party was more than that, of course, but the Bush/Rove strategy was to get that group out to vote in order to win.

My husband and I are both atheists and we are excited by the Palin pick. I know of two other Secular republicans that also feel that way. Conservatism is not just “I wanna ban wanking and sodomy and anything fun” any more than liberalism is “I wanna use drugs and kill my baby and legalize incestuous relationships”.

There’s more? Shit. I’ve got my hands full right now, but I’ll have to look into this extra stuff once I’m done killing these babies.

Off topic - why?

I responded in a factual way to demonstrate that it is not just the fundamentalists who got energized. I’m not going to say why on this message board. :slight_smile:

Perhaps a better parallel to understand this from the other side would be: why is Obama, a deeply Christian man and (as far as I’ve been able to tell) far more devout than John McCain, exciting a lot of his secular supporters? Same thing.

Of course, you can dissect the analogy to bits and pieces, but the basic comparison still remains.

I’ll bow out now and not speak one more word of the 2008 election here, ever…


Obama isn’t trying to interject his faith into legislation. Not same thing at all.

But you won’t get into it. :frowning: Oh well.

LOL, I like you. :slight_smile: (not being snarky here, really.)

Said I’d leave – but I’m a liar. (Whaddya expect from a Republican. :wink: )

I won’t get into it directly, but I’ve often wondered if genes lend partially to political makeup.

I’ve a very, very good friend who’s a rabid Obama supporter… if he and I get together, and we break things down issue by issue, he and I agree on nearly everything. It’s fascinating to no end.

The difference is that we place different priorities on the issues, and how we perceive an Obama administration versus a McCain administration would influence our daily lives. He perceives (IMO–possibly correctly) that a McCain administration would not do well for what he considers important in his daybyday life, while an Obama administration would promote the goals he holds the most dearly; the vice-versa holds when it comes to me and my husband.

Sure, we agree on the individual issues – but if we each had to list the issues in priority order, each list probably would look like the reverse of the other, shaped in no small way by our inherent personalities.

But I disgress… that was waaaaaaaay off topic! :slight_smile:

No problem. My question’s been answered. Feel free to digress.

You’ve said this before, but it’s really not at all true. Obama has undeniably generated a lot of enthusiasm for him, not against McCain. A lot of people voted against Bush and not for Kerry in 2004, but looking at the early voting this year, that’s simply not the case. People don’t tend to get this energized about hatred. They get excited because of hope.

The worst decision the Republicans have made was to get in bed with the “Religious Right”. We should have stuck to our basic of fiscal conservatism, lower taxes and smaller government, and left the religious whackos out in the weeds.

Exactly what are you referring to?

Hope for what? Change? What specific changes?