Gallup: 74% of Republicans want national popular referendums on key issues

posted at 5:21 pm on July 10, 2013 by Allahpundit

This seems rash.

rn

Put aside the civics debate on the virtues of representative government versus direct democracy. Purely from a standpoint of self-interest, I figured Republicans would be cool to this idea. We … haven’t done so well in national elections lately, particularly in the popular vote. Democrats reliably outnumber Republicans in measures of registered voters, and the Democratic turnout machine is bound to get better as they leverage Team Obama’s big-data advances from last year. As a group, House Democrats actually got more votes in 2012 than House Republicans did. Why any GOPer under those circumstances would prefer to boot big issues towards the public and away from the Republican House and filibuster-empowered Senate Republican minority is … not obvious. Populism unto death?

My hunch is that support for national popular referendums tends to rise if you’re the out party and wane if you control the White House. Low-information Republicans probably figure that a referendum is their only way around an Obama veto for the stuff they want, not realizing that it’s also the Democrats’ only way around Boehner and McConnell. Given the expected surge in Latino turnout, how do you think a national up-or-down vote on the Gang of Eight bill would go? (And before you say “but Republican turnout would surge too!”, remember that comprehensive reform tends to poll well generally. If you’re expecting some massive united Republican vote in opposition, you’re kidding yourself.) Also, some of the righty love for referendums might be a byproduct of the Prop 8 saga. The vote in California was social conservatives’ biggest win on gay marriage in the past five years. With the feds and courts tilting heavily towards the liberal view, some GOPers may think that the only way back to traditional values is putting it to a vote nationally. And I think they’re right — that would be their best shot in the near term, with polls showing the country still roughly equally divided, to stop gay marriage cold. What happens in 10 years when Democrats ask for a re-vote, with millions of millennials having replaced millions of elderly voters in the interim?

Two obvious meta-points here, too. One: National popular referendums are not so federalist-y. You can counter that by insisting they’ll only be used for truly federal matters, but c’mon — who thinks that principle will last over time? If one side or the other of the gay marriage debate thought they had 51 percent to legalize or illegalize gay marriage coast to coast, how strongly would they resist to urge to do it in the name of states’ rights? National referendums are an invitation to centralization. Two: If you want to see how disastrous referendum-mania can be in practice, look at the history of California over the past 35 years. Give the public a chance to vote for big spending and low taxes, whatever that means for deficits, and they’ll happily do so every time. (Of course, so will Congress, so maybe this point is moot.) And referendums are like potato chips — you can’t stop at just one. Although the logistics of holding national votes would limit them somewhat compared to state referendums, each side would start making out its referendum wishlist, dictated largely by its special interests. (Er, again, just like Congress.) Before long, you’d have big chunks of policy being set by direct votes. America has enough problems from bad decisions made by low-information voters. Do you want them directly setting budgets too?

Anyway, rant over. Do note, though, that Gallup also found majorities across the board in favor of a national primary and limiting the presidential campaign to just five weeks before election day. Second look at a 50-day presidential blog frenzy?


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Why any GOPer under those circumstances would prefer to boot big issues towards the public and away from the Republican House and filibuster-empowered Senate Republican minority is … not obvious. Populism unto death?

Because many of the things that our elected representatives and the nation’s elites want to give us (Obamacare, amnesty) we don’t want.

Stoic Patriot on July 10, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Why bother with referendums when some Godless socialist judge will just negate the results?

Don L on July 10, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Who would have standing..?

d1carter on July 10, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Two: If you want to see how disastrous referendum-mania can be in practice, look at the history of California over the past 35 years. Give the public a chance to vote for big spending and low taxes, whatever that means for deficits, and they’ll happily do so every time.

Out-of-curiosity: has there been any referendum in California to eliminate voter referendums?

Stoic Patriot on July 10, 2013 at 5:27 PM

How ’bout putting secession to a vote. That’ll also get us around McConnell and Boehner and Reid and Pelosi.

ignatzk on July 10, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Because many of the things that our elected representatives and the nation’s elites want to give us (Obamacare, amnesty) we don’t want.

Stoic Patriot on July 10, 2013 at 5:25 PM

This. Most of the big moves the government has made recently have been expressly against the will of the people. Nearly all of Obama’s policies poll poorly. Obama was re-elected specifically because voters seem unable to tie him to his policies and because the GOP ran a godawful campaign with a weak candidate.

This interest in popular referendums doesn’t surprise me in the least.

Doomberg on July 10, 2013 at 5:29 PM

So much for not being the mob-rule party.

abobo on July 10, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Six of one and half a dozen of the other.

Win some, lose some meh…

Scrumpy on July 10, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Madison is rolling in his grave.

Mark1971 on July 10, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Does anyone understand what a republic government means anymore?
We certainly don’t have one because the pols are all voting lock step for party over people.

Skywise on July 10, 2013 at 5:37 PM

This is freaking lunacy.

ConservativeLA on July 10, 2013 at 5:38 PM

America has enough problems from bad decisions made by low-information voters. Do you want them directly setting budgets too?

Wait until Obowma’s fifth term…

… then we can ask the question again.

Seven Percent Solution on July 10, 2013 at 5:38 PM

How ’bout putting secession to a vote. That’ll also get us around McConnell and Boehner and Reid and Pelosi.

ignatzk on July 10, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Lots of Texans would be OK with that one…we got our own grid…We just don’t want to be Californicated by the federales…

workingclass artist on July 10, 2013 at 5:40 PM

It’s quite obvious, really.

The reason Republicans want national referenda is because they have no faith in their elected representation to do the right thing.

Given the recent maneuvers by the GOP in the Senate, can you blame them???

Chris of Rights on July 10, 2013 at 5:42 PM

ignatzk on July 10, 2013 at 5:28 PM

: )

Respectfully…Texas

workingclass artist on July 10, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Because many of the things that our elected representatives and the nation’s elites want to give us (Obamacare, amnesty) we don’t want.

Stoic Patriot on July 10, 2013 at 5:25 PM

This. Most of the big moves the government has made recently have been expressly against the will of the people. Nearly all of Obama’s policies poll poorly. Obama was re-elected specifically because voters seem unable to tie him to his policies and because the GOP ran a godawful campaign with a weak candidate.

This interest in popular referendums doesn’t surprise me in the least.

Doomberg on July 10, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Populism…all the conditions are pointing to it.

Couple those conditions with the combo of LIV’s and generational crisis…

workingclass artist on July 10, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Yeah, but look at the other choices, they think it’s a good idea also. So for Republicans it just stupid because they would lose? I think it’s just a case of everyone thinking they option is the correct one.

Cindy Munford on July 10, 2013 at 5:45 PM

We … haven’t done so well in national elections lately, particularly in the popular vote. [...] Why any GOPer under those circumstances would prefer to boot big issues towards the public and away from the Republican House and filibuster-empowered Senate Republican minority is … not obvious. Populism unto death?

Maybe because the “we” that you refer to above that are losing national elections are represented by the corrupt GOP establishment and their crony candidates that, together with the Democrats and their cronies, have sold out my future and left me and my generation with the bill for their profligacy and corruption. I’m not one of the “we”—I despise the GOP establishment and hope they and the Democrats meet their demise very, very soon—the tea party was the only reason I voted in ’10 and the tea party was a popular movement before they were systematically smeared and destroyed by the ruling class, including the IRS and probably the NSA and other fascist agencies as well.

FloatingRock on July 10, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Out-of-curiosity: has there been any referendum in California to eliminate voter referendums?

Stoic Patriot on July 10, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Well SCOTUS certainly put a damper on it a few weeks ago.

workingclass artist on July 10, 2013 at 5:48 PM

If I’m not mistaken, it would take a Constitutional amendment to make this happen, and I’m not big on amendments unless there is an overriding need not previously addressed. We have survived this long without doing things this way, and I’m certain the Founders kicked around the idea only to discard it.

I have to oppose the notion.

Liam on July 10, 2013 at 5:49 PM

The Federalists called. They want their papers back if we’re done with them…

trubble on July 10, 2013 at 5:53 PM

With the feds and courts tilting heavily towards the liberal view, some GOPers may think that the only way back to traditional values is putting it to a vote nationally.

With a liberal federal judge standing by, just in case the vote doesn’t go the way the libs want it.

Whatevs.

Midas on July 10, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Well SCOTUS certainly put a damper on it a few weeks ago.

workingclass artist on July 10, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Hah! Good point!

Stoic Patriot on July 10, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Do you want them directly setting budgets too?

Could it be worse than the status quo? lol

Midas on July 10, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Meanwhile in the state of Californication…

On Monday, the Californian State Senate passed legislation AB817 that would allow non-citizens to help voters when they cast their ballots. Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda sponsored the bill, which would permit as many as five permanent residents who entered the U.S. legally to help voters at polling places.

Sen. Norma Torres, D-Pomona, who placed Bonta’s bill before the Senate, said that the non-citizens could help the 2.6 million Californians whose English skills are limited: “These individuals have the absolute right to make fully informed voting decisions on Election Day,” she said.

Almost 40 organizations have thrown their support behind AB817, including the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials. The measure was passed 22-10. All 22 ayes were Democrats; all 10 nays were Republicans. During the first Assembly vote in May, some Republicans said they were against the legislation because poll workers should be citizens. Now the bill goes back to the Assembly with the Senate’s changes…”

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/07/09/CA-Senate-Passes-Bill-Permitting-Non-Citizen-Poll-Workers

Why in Hell does a non-citizen need to assist a US citizen at any voting booth in this country?

workingclass artist on July 10, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Why in Hell does a non-citizen need to assist a US citizen at any voting booth in this country?

workingclass artist on July 10, 2013 at 6:03 PM

To vote for the ‘correct’ candidate.

Liam on July 10, 2013 at 6:06 PM

If we are going “off the wall” how about I get a 10% vote in races that affect me? e.g. Dingy Harry, I do not live in his district, but he has a lot of power over how I live. I would love to vote for his opponent with only a tenth of a vote. Enough people around the country could send his sorry behind into retirement.

FOWG1 on July 10, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Populism…all the conditions are pointing to it.

Couple those conditions with the combo of LIV’s and generational crisis…

workingclass artist on July 10, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Got it. All we really need is a leader to set the country on fire. It’s happening in the UK already with UKIP/Farage and in France with LePen. Arguably also in Greece with SYRIZA/Tsipras.

Let’s hope we get a Farage and not a Tsipras.

Doomberg on July 10, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Why in Hell does a non-citizen need to assist a US citizen at any voting booth in this country?

workingclass artist on July 10, 2013 at 6:03 PM

To vote for the ‘correct’ candidate.

Liam on July 10, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Get this…

Dem Rep: GOP ‘White Party Of Old Men’ Doomed In Texas

“Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-District of Columbia)

,br. Interviewer: “Meaning what?”

“Meaning that the growth of the Hispanic population is going to mean the end of this section of this – this southern section white party of old men and they know it,”

video at link
http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2013/07/09/Dem-Rep-GOP-White-Party-Of-Old-Men-Doomed-When-Texas-Goes-Full-Blown-Hispanic

workingclass artist on July 10, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Do you want them directly setting budgets too?

Umm, Allah?
Lol. Did our “representatives” pass a budget recently? I totally missed it!

happytobehere on July 10, 2013 at 6:20 PM

workingclass artist on July 10, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Liberals have been saying that for thirty years.

Percentage-wise, the MSNBC line-up is more white than the Republican Party. And, Democrats like Reid aren’t exactly spring chickens, last I saw.

She’s just another liberal having a delusional fit. It’s happens to them all every now and again, when they need some press exposure. The Republican Party may well be destroying itself with RINOs like McCain and Rubio. But what the base might create in a new party is something liberals are really going to hate.

Liam on July 10, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas was right…GOP strategy should be to Unite Americans on Border Security.

Senor Rubio and the Shamnesty twins are Wrong!

Headline Poll: Hispanics Want Border Security, Interior Enforcement Before Amnesty

A new poll shows that a majority of registered Hispanic voters believe any immigration legislation that becomes law should deal with border security and interior immigration law enforcement before legalization of America’s at least 11 million illegal aliens begins.

“Among all Hispanics, six in ten, 60%, support granting legal status to those already here only when the 90% goal is reached; 32% oppose,” GOP pollster John McLaughlin’s group said in a release. “Among Hispanic voters, 60% support, 34% oppose.”

The “90% goal” McLaughlin’s group is referencing is the target of ending 90 percent of current illegal immigration through border security and interior enforcement.

The McLaughlin poll also found that Hispanics oppose giving illegal aliens access to federal benefits, including Obamacare, “while they are going through the legalization process and before the 90% goal is reached” at a 56 to 40 percent margin. The registered Hispanic voters polled also considered “immigration reform” the lowest priority of four issues when asked whether immigration, the economy, education, or health care is most important to them…”

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/07/09/Poll-Hispanics-Enforce-the-law-first-then-deal-with-legalization-in-any-immigration-package

workingclass artist on July 10, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Wait, they’re supposed to set budgets? What the deuce?!

happytobehere on July 10, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Alternate headline: 74% of Republicans no longer trust their Congressional delegation to be anything other than Democrats-light.

MTF on July 10, 2013 at 6:24 PM

“The National Review’s Andrew Stiles noted too that the McLaughlin poll found, “Generally speaking, registered Hispanic voters were far more likely to support tougher security and enforcement measures than non-registered voters. For example, 64 percent of registered voters said they supported employment verification to determine if job applicants are lawful residents, compared with just 46 percent of non-registered voters.”

“Additionally, 55 percent of registered voters backed increased border-security measures (fencing, drones, police, etc.), compared with 45 percent of non-registered voters,” Stiles wrote…”

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/07/09/Poll-Hispanics-Enforce-the-law-first-then-deal-with-legalization-in-any-immigration-package

workingclass artist on July 10, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Alternate headline: 74% of Republicans no longer trust their Congressional delegation to be anything other than Democrats-light.

MTF on July 10, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Yep.

workingclass artist on July 10, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Why bother with referendums when some Godless socialist judge will just negate the results?

Don L on July 10, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Yep.

cynccook on July 10, 2013 at 6:44 PM

So that the entire nation can be held hostage to the desires of the urban high population areas?

Why don’t we just follow the Constitution we have and limit the feds to their enumerated powers?

obladioblada on July 10, 2013 at 6:52 PM

Well, there is a referendum on House members every two years… so the House mostly closely mirrors the will of the people.

That said, it is easier to accept defeat when it is clear you are in the minority.

In November it was very discouraging to find out the world is as crazy as it seems, but it was thought to be a fair election at the time. Now of course we know it was through bullying and a political police who silenced the opposition that they won.

There is no way to make our voices heard with a corrupt media covering for the fascists. So either way there isn’t much hope for a free government in the future.

petunia on July 10, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Think this through folks. Just because the conservative position might appear to poll well in a professionally done and honest public opinion poll, doesn’t mean that we can win it in a national referendum. That’s because the referendum will be run under the rules of state/federal elections, which are anything but honest.

The result of this would be that the democratics could use their ‘vote spigots’ in the big corrupt inner cities to steal these referendums just as they steal Senate seats and presidential elections. It’s also an attempt to do an end run around the House, which they can’t steal.

The House is all we have to block a tyrannical and criminal federal regime. Let’s not do anything to dilute what little power we have in the House.

slickwillie2001 on July 10, 2013 at 7:03 PM

National referendums are the GOP form of grassroots activity, because most of the GOP are too lazy to leave their homes in the evening to do something actually effective.

beatcanvas on July 10, 2013 at 7:07 PM

It doesn’t say 74% of House Republicans, or “Republicans in Power Somewhere.” it says 74% of Republicans.

Axe on July 10, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Fastest way to giving all political power to the Northeast and the Left Coast.

The ignorance within the GOP rank and file is frightening. The only hold to power that conservatives have is hanging by a thread in the House.

National referendums are called Constitutional Amendments in this country, by the way. A precedent of public referendums at the national level would put the final nail in the coffin for Red State relevance and the 9th & 10th amendments.

Saltysam on July 10, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Put aside the civics debate on the virtues of representative government versus direct democracy

Forget any argument about “the virtues”. National referenda are un-American and totally un-Constitutional. We do nothing of the sort in this nation … well, we do in the American Socialist Superstate, which has an idiotic set of “national petitions” to the 84 IQ dictator over issues that the Executive branch has no business even discussing … but America knows nothing of the idiocy of national referenda. That was the point of the Constitution, to begin with.

Whoever these alleged Republicans are who are in favor of such un-American, un-Constitutional mechanisms … well, that’s another reason why my days of voting GOP are long over. What a bunch of idiots who seem to have no clue what America was about.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 10, 2013 at 10:40 PM

Put aside the civics debate on the virtues of representative government versus direct democracy.

Let’s not put the civics debate aside. This is exactly what happens when your political Party fails to represent you and instead marches to another agenda altogether.

RJL on July 10, 2013 at 11:13 PM

Does anyone understand what a republic government means anymore?
We certainly don’t have one because the pols are all voting lock step for party over people.

Skywise on July 10, 2013 at 5:37 PM

We are (supposed to be, at least) a Republic (e.g., “… and the Republic for which it stands, …) We are not a democracy. Popular vote (mob rule) is the next step before anarchy, then dictatorship, as I recall.

IrishEyes on July 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM

The ‘designers’ of our representative government knew that a direct democracy was nothing more than ‘mob rule’. (The ‘designers’ blew it when they didn’t institute term limits for the Congress and the President.)

This demonstrates the lack of EDUCATION amongst the electorate today, including so-called Republicans that were polled.

That, and the stupidity of the 17th Amendment. If not for that, the Senate would be a deep red color instead of the bluish-purple that it is today.

In fact, it is the Senate example that illustrates the dominating impact that urban-centers would have over popular referendum results. Overall, not good for conservatives; not good at all.

Carnac on July 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM

To make the “citizen representative” truly so, we need Congressional term limits. Not holding my breath

IrishEyes on July 11, 2013 at 10:50 AM