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!