A GOP Comeback Strategy In 2008

GOP pollster Frank Luntz wrote a column talking about how the GOP can win in 2008. Luntz admits that the odds are against the GOP candidate, and then gives some very basic suggestions.

Without suggesting who the candidate will be, let me do the same thing,

* Take heart in the fact that the Democratic candidates are all simply awful. John Edwards is a weenie, Barrack Obama, who hasn’t even finished a term in the Senate and is therefore unqualified to be President, and Hillary Clinton probably would be a middle-of-the-road lawyer who couldn’t get elected to the Little Rock, Arkansas town council if she hadn’t married Bill and ridden his coat tails this far. Their weakness gives us a shot.

* The Democratic Congress, which Hillary and Barrack are a part of, is incredibly, earth shakingly unpopular and because this is turning into more of a horse race than people expected, the candidates are being forced to the left. They will have trouble in the general election because of that.

* It seems likely that by election time in 2008, either we’ll have succeeded in Iraq enough to pull out a lot of troops or we’ll have been considered to have failed and will have pulled out a lot of troops. What this means is that although Iraq will likely be a negative for the GOP candidate, it probably won’t be as strong a negative as it is today or was in the 2006 elections. Either way, the candidate can feel free to criticize Bush’s handling of the war and should be able to chart a course forward without the extreme pressure that’s there today, when people seem to think, unreasonably, that we’re never going to pull back. Still, this will be a tough issue for the GOP candidate to handle in any case.

* Illegal immigration would give the GOP candidate a splendid issue to latch onto. Despite what the inside the beltway crowd seems to think, taking an enforcement first position on illegal immigration would be very popular with the majority of the American people, would do very little damage with Hispanics, and the Democratic candidate would not be able to match it.

* Coming out and saying that the GOP and Democrats have done a lousy job of controlling spending, but promising to cut spending and even support a balanced budget amendment would go a long way with the American people who love getting pork themselves, but hate the idea of excess spending.

* The American people will be genuinely worried — with good reason — that the Democratic Party will slash needed security programs that have kept us safe from terrorist attacks. So, the GOP nominee should promise to continue to wiretap terrorists calling the US, support the Patriot Act, and aggressively confront terrorists who target Americans.

* The candidate needs to connect with the conservative base. He should do conservative talk shows, talk to bloggers and conservative mags, and get the conservative media on his side. If Rush, Hannity, Malkin, National Review, etc., aren’t excited about the idea of his getting into office — and they’re certainly not excited about Bush being in office right now — he’s not going to win. The conservative media can help the candidate with the base if they’re given the opportunity.

I consult for the Duncan Hunter campaign.

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