Hot Air reader poll results: Fiscal issues trump social issues by … quite a lot

posted at 1:22 pm on November 17, 2010 by Patrick Ishmael

These are the results of the survey we took at the end of Allahpundit’s GOProud/Tea Party priority post. The eye-popper? Question 3.

Analysis follows.

Do these results mean social conservatism has no place in the present political environment? Absolutely not. However, what this survey does suggest is that in order to maximize economic and social conservative gains, conservatives and libertarians think it will require two distinct strategies — inter-related, but clearly bifurcated. Republicans and Tea Partiers are choosing two-track governance: a fiscal issue track at the federal level, and a fiscal/social issue track among the states.

This year’s midterm voters by-and-large cast their ballots to shrink government: to roll back the massive expansions of the past two years, and probably much of the expansion of government of the last decade. Economic issues were the foremost concern of voters, and on that question conservatism won nationally.

Republicans win when voters are convinced the GOP will make the federal government smaller and less invasive, and generally speaking lose when voters believe the GOP will enlarge the federal government’s power. Nationally-speaking, that applies as much to social issues as it does to fiscal issues. To me, enshrining social issue firefights at the highest level of government necessarily suggests an encroachment by the federal government on the local and state communities that are most intimately concerned with the resolution of those issues. My own preference, and the impression I take from this survey, is that Republicans/conservatives/libertarians would rather decentralize, than hyper-centralize, its government, especially now.

So, that was the survey.

In other news, I parsed the following Presidential primary map from the data for your enjoyment. Survey responses were very close to proportional by state, so… this is pretty representative of the country (of Hot Air) as a whole. “Winners” were almost uniformly by plurality, not majority. This map includes all the candidates polled, and will very likely change going forward.

Feedback welcome. I’m on Twitter.

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