Green Room

In Hot Air Tea Party poll, fiscal issues beat out social issues by… quite a lot.

posted at 1:25 am on November 17, 2010 by

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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Comments

If I were a public employee union, I’d be a bit worried about where this is all going…..

cthulhu on November 17, 2010 at 2:06 AM

Bankruptcy clears the mind ….

tarpon on November 17, 2010 at 7:15 AM

Okay, who are the 14 jokers that pulled the lever for Trump???

Identify yourselves, so you may be purged. :-)

Abby Adams on November 17, 2010 at 9:41 AM

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 was the emancipation of slaves something that ought have been left to the States? Is that how almighty the trust in states rights has become?

What we have here is, interestingly, a worldview by ‘fiscal conservatives’ (which one might liken to ‘secular conservatism’) where we see the moral world in shades of black and white. Federal = black, states = white. No middle room? Spare me. No human institution is infallible.

I find it deeply fascinating that even secular thinkers are prone to seeing the world in monochrome.

As an afterthought, the results of the survey comes as no surprise to me, personally – as I mentioned late in the thread where this poll originated, a country disinterested in justice is a country bound to fall. I’m not saying these things for my health, dammit.

I believe it to be a fatal mistake to focus on economic issues only as the GOP regathers some of its strength, and I also believe that the GOP will follow through on that fatal mistake, and that the disaster will keep coming.

One can make arguments ’til the sun falls about whether or not the state’s opinion ought to be relevant at all on marriage, or whether it ought to be only a religious institution, and not a state institution, or about the legalization of certain controlled substances (a bit of a paradox – I know more people destroyed by alcohol than by marijuana, and obviously, Prohibition did not go over well, but legalizing marijuana will be a launching point to the legalization of far more exotic controlled substances, and I’m pretty certain I’ll see that in my lifetime.)

The one topic I want decided at the federal level is a basic human rights issue which all conservatives ought to be behind, but since we have this libertarian infection going around, and the Leftists have done their work well in devaluing human life in the populace at large, we have this foolish little battle going on amidst what is ostensibly the champion of human rights and ‘the little guy’ in the nation, which seems pretty uninterested in either human rights, or the little guy.

“Fiscal conservatives” seem fond of these false arguments. I’ve been hearing and reading them since before I was old enough to really understand what was going on. It is disheartening to see that some things never really change.

KinleyArdal on November 17, 2010 at 9:50 AM

I’m honestly not that surprised. Despite the usual suspects, Hotair is one of the more sensible right-wing sites, so when push comes to shove people are going to admit that fiscal issues trump social ones. It’s just recognizing reality.

Dark-Star on November 17, 2010 at 11:21 AM

So was the emancipation of slaves something that ought have been left to the States? Is that how almighty the trust in states rights has become?

You’re comparing gay marriage to slavery?

Patrick Ishmael on November 17, 2010 at 11:24 AM

This post has been promoted to HotAir.com.

Comments have been closed on this post but the discussion continues here.

Allahpundit on November 17, 2010 at 4:35 PM

So was the emancipation of slaves something that ought have been left to the States? Is that how almighty the trust in states rights has become?

You’re comparing gay marriage to slavery?

Patrick Ishmael on November 17, 2010 at 11:24 AM

*facepalm*

Abortion, dude, abortion.

KinleyArdal on November 17, 2010 at 11:35 AM