Sunday, November 06, 2016

Did the NCGOP Shoot Themselves in the Foot?

Come on, Dear! Time for the
Among the other noxious things the Republican overlords in the NC General Assembly did to voting and ballot access in 2013, they eliminated straight-ticket voting. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned most of that election law rewrite, but the judges didn't touch the provision eliminating straight-ticket voting, mainly because that particular part of the law was never challenged in the initial lawsuits.

Did Democratic plaintiffs have magical foresight?

The ballot this year is long and perhaps exhausting for a voter unfamiliar with the down-ballot races. (I relished every little bubble I filled in and took my sweet time doing it!) As we've seen, Trump is mainly interested in his ego, and the adulation of thousands at his rallies. He's relatively uninterested in anything outside that egotistic sphere, like educating the voters on races down-ballot. He's left all that field work to local Republican parties.

How have they done, those local Republican parties, at educating their base about the down-ballot races? Dunno, really, except what I could witness at the early voting site on the Appalachian State University campus. Watauga GOP Chair Anne Marie Yates and her small team of volunteers sporadically showed up among the students, didn't stay long usually, and handed out a long paper slip, printed both sides, headlined "CONSERVATIVE CHOICES."

Yeah, there's a winning pitch for the under-25 crowd!

The first four names on that Republican handout: Donald J. Trump, Richard Burr, Virginia Foxx, and Pat McCrory. From talking to students intensively over several days, I can tell you that even members of the Young Republicans on the ASU campus can't stand Donald J. Trump. Everybody else hates Virginia Foxx, and there is zero respect for Pat McCrory. (Nobody has an opinion about Richard Burr, which might work in his favor, another irony in a year full of them.)

That's not a list nor an electioneering ploy likely to persuade young people this year. "Conservative" means, first, anti-gay to young voters, and with good reason, and they're not trying to board that particular boat. "Conservative" also means hateful and stingy and uncharitable to young people, again for abundant reasons offered up daily by "conservative" talking heads and elected officials like Virginia Anne Foxx, who sneers at students with big loans to pay off. Charity? It ain't the first synonym that leaps to mind for conservative.

So I doubt that the Watauga GOP won many down-ballot votes on campus with that piece of educational material, even if they got a few Trump voters. The problem may be even greater if indeed there are a lot of non-traditional voters who show up next Tuesday to vote for Trump. They'll be showing up because they want to stuff a Molotov cocktail up the tailpipe of American politics. Will they also know much about the down-ballot races? Perhaps Anne Marie will greet all of them at the local polls and hand them each a "CONSERVATIVE CHOICES."

Straight-ticket voting would have helped the Republicans this year, but they maybe shot themselves in the foot getting rid of it.


Henery said...

You're so right! About what conservative has come to mean. Look at what Franklin Graham posted on his Facebook page:

Franklin Graham
November 4 at 1:19pm ·
Our state has early voting, and I voted this week. As I got out of my car, a lady approached me and asked if I wanted a list of the Progressive candidates. I told her no thank you. You know, the word Progressive is just a way to try to make secular and godlessness sound better and more up-to-date. I told this lady that Progressives are for the most part atheists—and they’re not going to stand for God’s laws and for His direction in our country. Beware, and be sure to know what you are voting for and who you are voting for.
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20:7)

Opinionated said...

Funny - I saw a LOT of Progressives at church this morning.

Anonymous said...

Well, that shows you the condition of the modern churches.

Mooser said...

I think you might be right about this. I have a very good friend who is a Republican who actually told me he was only voting for Trump and he didn't "care" about the rest of the ballot. I was shocked, but tried to stay calm and not lose my shit. He didn't even care about the Governor's race, but I think I convinced him to vote for Cooper! The cognitive dissonance is unbelievable. He literally thinks that the Presidential race is the only one that matters. I didn't get into a fight with him but tried to gently plant a seed to maybe make him think about what he was doing. On a positive note, he absolutely HATES Madam Foxx and will not be voting for her!