By Avrumi Weinberger (on Twitter @conservadox https://twitter.com/
Conventional wisdom was humbled yet again when Quinnipiac University released a new national poll http://www.quinnipiac.edu/
images/polling/us/us11042015_ xsq33a.pdf on November 4th and four takeaways firmly debunk several myths that were once part of the political conventional wisdom.
1. Run fiercely and unapologetically on social issues and you’ll win.
Republicans have been scared into thinking that they don’t have a chance at recapturing the women’s vote unless they back off so-called controversial social issues, such as abortion and “womens’ health” http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/08/
Turns out, in a general election match-up between Hillary Clinton and Ben Carson, the overtly devout Christian who has said some eyebrow-raising-comments on abortion in the past http://www.vox.com/identities/
2015/11/1/9654462/ben-carson- abortion-slavery, Carson would beat Clinton among women 45%-44%, 55%-35% among men and 50%-40% overall, a massive double digit margin.
It’s also noteworthy to point out that Ted Cruz, that’s right, Ted Cruz would beat Hillary Clinton among women 50%-41%, better than Marco Rubio who would beat her 48%-40%. Just saying.
So what’s going on?
One can reasonably suggest that an unabashed candidate who stands on principle can turn out the more conservative women to support him or her, whereas a more “moderate” or “mushy-in-the-middle” kind of candidate leaves them uninspired and cause them to sit out the election, resulting in defeat.
2. Another takeaway from the Carson numbers. The media have lost a lot of clout.
In an October 13th piece on Breitbart News http://www.breitbart.com/big-
journalism/2015/10/13/epic- media-fail-trump-carson-hold- sizable-leads-over-hillary- clinton/, John Nolte pointed out the epic media fail to bring down Ben Carson after a similar poll showed Carson beating Clinton by double digits.
Obviosly, Ted Cruz was right when he said http://www.realclearpolitics.
com/video/2015/10/28/cruz_ rips_press_at_cnbc_debate_ this_debate_illustrates_why_ we_can_not_trust_the_media. html during the recent CNBC debate that “The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media”, a line that recieved the most thundering applause during the debate, and which was replayed in almost every news story following the debate.
So, stop being so scared stiff of the mainstream media and learn how to fight back.
3. Being smiley and “moderate” and “reasonable” doesn’t necessarily help your favorability.
For decades, the Republican establishment have been arguing that we need a moderate candidate in order to win elections. Well, it didn’t work with Bob Dole in 1996, it didn’t work with John McCain in 2008, it didn’t work with Mitt Romney in 2012 and it ain’t working in 2015 with Jeb Bush.
Jeb Bush has the lowest favorability ratings of the entire GOP field, an embarassing net favorability of -33%. Who has the highest favorability, you ask? Ben Carson, with 24% equalling to a 57 point gap between the two.
Among Republicans however, the gap is even greater. Ben Carson has an almost unheard of net favoribility rating of 76%, while Bush languishes at -3%. Behind Carson are Rubio, with a 61% net favoribilty rating and Ted Cruz is close behind him with 59%. Donald Trump is way behind with a net favorability of 33%.
Also in the poll, 23% of Republicans say they would never vote for Jeb Bush, and the only candidate who does worse than that is Donald Trump with 25% saying they would never vote for him. Carson, Cruz and Rubio fare the best, with only 3% saying they would never vote for Carson, and 6% saying they would never vote for Cruz or Rubio.
Incidentally, the two candidates who would draw the largest turnout among Republicans against Hillary Clinton are Ted Cruz and Ben Carson, turning out 89% of the party.
Republican elites are working hard, trying to figure out the new criteria for creating favorability. To give a hint, timidity and weakness are not among them.
4. Americans believe that a Senator or a Congressman is better fit for the Presidency than a Governor.
Political pundits have been hammering the idea that executive experience is the key. Americans think otherwise. In the poll, a legislator beats a governor 36%-33%. This conversion is obviously pointless though, after the rise of Ben Carson and Donald Trump, the two current frontrunners on the Republican side who have never held elected office, whose combined support includes over half of the party. There’s another myth debunked.
Now you know when you hear the pundits laying down axioms and postulates, dictums and political truisms – check the data.