The conservative brand is alive in well in Iowa, it was the Republican brand that was hurt after 2006 and 2008 according to a recent Iowa poll done by The Des Moines Register.

Forty-three percent of Iowans consider themselves conservatives, 36 percent say they are moderate, and 17 percent say they are liberal. Fifty percent of Iowans consider themselves fiscal conservatives, while 42 percent say they’re conservatives on social issues such as abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

The primary frustration with the GOP past is surrounding fiscal matters with 60% of current and former Republicans saying that the GOP is in decline because it’s leaders have not focused enough on fiscal issues.  This I think is a valid complaint.

Below are some additional frustrations:

Something interesting I’d like to highlight – 52% of former Republicans say that the party has focused too much on issues like abortion and gay rights, but then 47% has complained that action wasn’t taken on those issues.  The article makes a huge deal of former Republicans thinking that the party is controlled by the religious right, but only 24% felt that way.  The same amount of people who feel like the party hasn’t focused enough on social issues like abortion and gay rights.  18% feel the religious right hasn’t had enough influence.

So what can you really take away from this?  That right now the focus in on the economy and jobs.  There is a majority of fiscal conservatives, but there is also a high percentage of social conservatives.  People want a bigger focus on fiscal matters, but that doesn’t mean neglect social concerns.

Quite simply you really can’t expect to win over conservatives at large unless you embrace both, which has caused former Governor Terry Branstad some grief.  You also can’t campaign on social issues alone which is the perception that many have of Bob Vander Plaats.

The primary takeway from this is that only 17% of the state considers itself liberal, something that Governor Chet Culver and the Democratic majority in the General Assembly should take note of and halt the leftward shift.

Update: Linked at The BeanWalker, thanks much!

7 comments
  1. It’s about jobs stupid. I still don’t know what Governor Branstad did that makes him not a conservative besides being the only Iowa politician in Iowa history that has signed a bill making marriage between and a man and a woman. Bob Vander Plaats has done nothing to bring jobs to the state and has never signed any laws or even served in the legislature. Everythng that Ive heard from Terry Branstad is that he wants to keep our young people in the state and bring in good jobs. We’re at a point where we need some proven leadership at the Capitol, not another cheesy speaker, we already have those.

    1. @Bruce Wayne, I think you missed when I said this:

      “Right now the focus in on the economy and on jobs.”

      Let’s see he raised taxes, he had a flaming liberal run as his Lt. Governor. He’s shown that he’ll sign anything that is politically expedient, including our lottery. And he botched the gay marriage thing in the beginning of his campaign, now I’m glad he now says he supports it and is saying it publicly. That wasn’t where he was at before.

      When are you going to realize that I am not a cheerleader for the Vander Plaats campaign? How many different ways do I have to say it? In the post above I pointed out one of his weaknesses as well.

      Bruce, plain and simple, you need to be both solid on fiscal and social matters, that’s just the reality.

      I think we both can agree that whoever the GOP nominee is he’ll be far better than Culver.

  2. Good point Shane. I guess I’m just one of those people that is embarrassed that the social conservative/evangelical movement is trying to hijack the Republican party. I’m also tired of every one of them acting holier than now. I am a person of great faith and agree with a vote on the marriage amendment and protecting the unborn. I just believe that our forefathers knew best. Please read the first amendment of the US Constitution.

    Flaming liberal, have you ever met Joy Corning? It’s comments like that make my blood boil. You’re the one harming Republicans Shane.

    Botched the gay marriage thing? He’s the only one to have signed a law defining marriage between a man and a woman.

    I support Branstad because he can bring back good jobs and lower the state income tax just like he did when he was in office.

    1. @Bruce Wayne, I have read the First Amendment. I think you are misreading it. Nobody wants to create a theocracy, and it doesn’t mean people of faith have to leave the room and shut up. And as an evangelical I’m not trying to hijack the GOP. I just would like to make certain that issues I care about are addressed as well (ones that have civil/social consequences for everybody, as well as, issues related to religious liberty). We want to be certain that the party platform is respected – all of it, fiscal and social.

      By the way, I haven’t met a social conservative who is not also a fiscal conservative. We have no problem supporting a fiscal conservative agenda, and fiscal conservatives or moderates can’t win without social conservatives. It’s the political reality.

      Let me clarify my comment about Joy Corning – she’s a flaming social liberal. Ok? She’s on (or was on) the board for Planned Parenthood and supports gay marriage so how much farther to the left can you go socially?

      Regarding Branstand – He botched it by saying he wasn’t going to support an amendment publicly, he’s done a 180 on that. I was in the meeting where he said he wouldn’t, I heard it directly from his mouth. I’m glad he’s reversed himself. When he signed DOMA, and I’ve given him props on that, how involved was he seeing that through? He’s signed a lot of bills. He’s also signed bills that raised taxes. Under his administration DHS started allowing gay adoptions (which as a professional youth worker who works with system kids I think is harmful).

      I’m just saying, it seems like you and others are looking at his record with rose colored glasses. Unfortunately with 16 years there is a lot that can be criticized.

      That said, if he wins the nomination, I’ll support him as well. Because he’ll certainly be better than Culver.

  3. There should be room to disagree on candidates in the primary season. It’s when we get down to two – especially two with such stark differences as Culver and whoever wins the Republican nomination – that the decision will get easier for many.

    I also respect people’s right to support a third party candidate, although I can’t imagine a circumstance in this governor’s race where I would personally. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see one this year, though. There’s a lot of energy out there. Good energy. Hopefully the Republican, whoever it is, doesn’t underestimate it or, equally worse, become a one-social-issue candidate in a state where the polls don’t seem to indicate that will fly. We need a candidate with depth. We’ll see. I’m interested to see how it shakes out in June.

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