Monday, September 27, 2021
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George Will’s Southern Man Worry

George Will has been on a kick recently – worrying about the GOP nominee for President being “too southern.”

There’s also the problem that the Republican Party has been in recent years too southern. In the last five presidential cycles, they’ve got 79 percent of their electoral votes from the South. It’s too much.

The Republican strategy for years has been carry the 11 states of the Confederacy, and Oklahoma and Kentucky, carry the eight states of Mountain West — Arizona and New Mexico to the Canadian border — then spend a sum equal to the gross national product of the Brazil to carry Ohio, and then you get to be president. That won’t work anymore, partly because Barack Obama did extend the battlefield. And that’s another question about Gov. Perry.

First, I do not dislike George Will. In my opinion he is a conservative opinion columnist. I disagree with him and reject his statement that the Republican Party is too southern.  The picture of the Great Lake States above is the reason why I reject his premise. Other regions of the country have been more consistent in voting patterns than the Great Lake States, but I do not see a cultural prejudice against a “southern man” manifested in any region. I also don’t see a political prejudice against conservatism per se in the Great Lake States. If a candidate can articulate the conservative message effectively, then he can win votes in states in every region. Ronald Reagan is proof of this, and the good will he generated was enough for George H.W.Bush to win in 1988. Every time (except once), in my lifetime, a conservative GOP nominee won the general election votes for President. In 1964 conservative Barry Goldwater lost. There have been four moderate GOP nominees losers, and one big government GOP nominee had two close wins.

I do believe that the Great Lakes states need to have the GOP nominee visit, talk to them, and work to get their votes. The 2010 midterm elections are a great sign that voters in the Great Lake States can and do cast a majority of votes to elect conservatives. I think if the GOP nominee is Herman Cain or Rick Perry, then either one of them are savvy enough to work for votes in the Great Lake States.   Below is listed potential VP selections for them to consider from each of the Great Lake States. The obvious top VPs are Governor Mitch Daniels and NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani as they both have a high profile. The other six are US Senators and US House members, and I included a video since they are less well-known. When the conservative message is delivered honestly and forthrightly, we win easily. When the message is muted and delivered without passion, then we lose. It’s just that simple, Mr. Will.

Great Lakes States = 134 electoral votes

1952 GOP won all 8 and won

1956 GOP won all 8 and won

1960 GOP won 3 of 8 and lost

1968 GOP won 4 of 8 and won

1976 GOP won 3 of 8 and lost

1980 GOP won 7 of 8 and won

1988 GOP won 5 of 8 and won

1992 GOP won 1 of 8 and lost

1996 GOP won 1 of 8 and lost

2000 GOP won 2 of 8 and barely won

2004 GOP won 2 of 8 and barely won

2008 GOP lost all 8 and lost

2010 GOP won 4 US Senate seats, 30 US House seats, and hold 5 of 8 Governor seats in Great Lakes States

New York – Rudy Giuliani New York City Mayor
Indiana – Mitch Daniels Indiana Governor
Pennsylvania – U.S. Senator Pat Toomey

Wisconsin – U.S. Senator Ron Johnson

Ohio – U.S. Senator Rob Portman

Michigan – U.S. House Rep. Thaddeus McCotter

Minnesota – U.S. House Rep. John Kline

Illinois – U.S. House Rep. John Shimkus

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pilgrim
I am retired after 36 years of being a state of Indiana employee. I enjoy writing and reading conservative blogs.

10 COMMENTS

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10 COMMENTS

  1. George Will should sleep better after this pilgrimmage. And I suspect the 2012 landslide will be so great that even if the Democrats annex and win the electotal votes of the new states of Ontario and Quebec it will make no differnce in preventing the defeat of Obama and the GOP takeover of the Senate! Comments later…enjoying Falcons lead over Packers just now.

  2. Under ordinary circumstances, nothing short of selecting Mayor Rahm (don’t let a crisis go to waste) of the Windy as VP would allow a Republican to carry Illinois. However, these are not ordinary circumstances. O’s popularity has plummeted in this state also, so perhaps the incredibly top heavy voting patterns of Cook County won’t be enough to tip the rest of the state next year. Additionally, Gov Quinn and the dead-duck tax increases of last year are universally despised. One can always hope that lightening will strike and my presidential vote will not go for naught once again.

  3. Having heard George Will praise Perry’s tenure as governor on many occasions including as recently as 2-3 weeks ago in this same context, I must conclude that his underlying problem is more with non-Southern voters rather than any inherent problem with Southern-ness. Pilgrim’s numbers on the upper Midwest back this up.

    One need stray no further than the state of Michigan, which let Democrats run that state into the ground before Obama had the other 49 follow (save for ND, TX and maybe MD and VA?) them into the ground.

    We know that Will favors MORE conservative policies on most all issues than what Bush41, Dubya, and McCain advocated. So, I suspect that Will has misspoke, in the sense that if more states got more Southern, i.e. wise in their voting habits, he would be happier.

    I suspect that factors on the ground are more responsible for our past success in the upper Midwest and elsewhere outside the South than non-Southern-ness. I refer to the state of the economy and recent contrasts with failed liberal Dem policies that preceded the 1980, 1984 and 1988 elections.

    The 90s got voters confused with divided government. 2010 was quite clear for voters since ObamaDems held ALL power for 2 years preceding and so there was accountability.

    I expect the same in 2012, so that George Will will be happy to look at a map with more non-contiguous red states across the Fruited Plain.

    • I think the one candidate George Will was hoping for above all was Mitch Daniels. The person I listed from each of the 8 states has got experience working in Washington, DC. If GOP nominee Herman Cain selects Mitch Daniels for his VP, then George Will will be the happiest guy around. The “too southern” concern will vanish into thin air.

      • Yes, I think that’s right. But i think his “too Southern” concern is over winning states and not who the candidate is and as relates to Perry is more about if Perry can win states in the Midwest rather than that he is a Southerner, based on Will’s body of work and previous comments for weeks and months praising Perry’s work in Texas. Will has seen Perry’s star fall for wholly non-Southern reasons, ie debate performances etc. And I think Will is probably with Perry on immigration policy in Texas for sure. Will’s “too Southern” comment is quite too vague for me to conclude so quickly what would lessen his concerns except that after we win in 2012 I KNOW his concerns will be erased by the landslide.

        A good comparison re concerns on electoral coalitions is found in Barone’s column today that shows the difficulties Democrats have in getting 50-53% of the vote with their disparate interest groups. That problem is much less stark than any concern with non-contiguous states….smile

        Glad you got up before Noon PDT!

  4. As an Aside: Gamecock is also thrilled that Pil’ doesn’t dislike George Will and thinks he is a conservative columnist. Especially since Will is THE pre-eminent conservative columnist of the past 30 years, and as a baseball fan is quite likable! smile…but I’ve never met him…smile

  5. Will should be glad he lives in more diverse times. In the 32 year stretch from 1789 to 1825, every president came from Virginia, except for the four years of John Adams. Ohio enjoyed a period of ascendancy in the post Civil War period. The sunbelt (TX, CA) has enjoyed the same thing in post WWII period- Nixon, Reagan, both Bushes. Even Clinton was a New South kind of pol.

  1. George Will should sleep better after this pilgrimmage. And I suspect the 2012 landslide will be so great that even if the Democrats annex and win the electotal votes of the new states of Ontario and Quebec it will make no differnce in preventing the defeat of Obama and the GOP takeover of the Senate! Comments later…enjoying Falcons lead over Packers just now.

  2. Under ordinary circumstances, nothing short of selecting Mayor Rahm (don’t let a crisis go to waste) of the Windy as VP would allow a Republican to carry Illinois. However, these are not ordinary circumstances. O’s popularity has plummeted in this state also, so perhaps the incredibly top heavy voting patterns of Cook County won’t be enough to tip the rest of the state next year. Additionally, Gov Quinn and the dead-duck tax increases of last year are universally despised. One can always hope that lightening will strike and my presidential vote will not go for naught once again.

  3. Having heard George Will praise Perry’s tenure as governor on many occasions including as recently as 2-3 weeks ago in this same context, I must conclude that his underlying problem is more with non-Southern voters rather than any inherent problem with Southern-ness. Pilgrim’s numbers on the upper Midwest back this up.

    One need stray no further than the state of Michigan, which let Democrats run that state into the ground before Obama had the other 49 follow (save for ND, TX and maybe MD and VA?) them into the ground.

    We know that Will favors MORE conservative policies on most all issues than what Bush41, Dubya, and McCain advocated. So, I suspect that Will has misspoke, in the sense that if more states got more Southern, i.e. wise in their voting habits, he would be happier.

    I suspect that factors on the ground are more responsible for our past success in the upper Midwest and elsewhere outside the South than non-Southern-ness. I refer to the state of the economy and recent contrasts with failed liberal Dem policies that preceded the 1980, 1984 and 1988 elections.

    The 90s got voters confused with divided government. 2010 was quite clear for voters since ObamaDems held ALL power for 2 years preceding and so there was accountability.

    I expect the same in 2012, so that George Will will be happy to look at a map with more non-contiguous red states across the Fruited Plain.

    • I think the one candidate George Will was hoping for above all was Mitch Daniels. The person I listed from each of the 8 states has got experience working in Washington, DC. If GOP nominee Herman Cain selects Mitch Daniels for his VP, then George Will will be the happiest guy around. The “too southern” concern will vanish into thin air.

      • Yes, I think that’s right. But i think his “too Southern” concern is over winning states and not who the candidate is and as relates to Perry is more about if Perry can win states in the Midwest rather than that he is a Southerner, based on Will’s body of work and previous comments for weeks and months praising Perry’s work in Texas. Will has seen Perry’s star fall for wholly non-Southern reasons, ie debate performances etc. And I think Will is probably with Perry on immigration policy in Texas for sure. Will’s “too Southern” comment is quite too vague for me to conclude so quickly what would lessen his concerns except that after we win in 2012 I KNOW his concerns will be erased by the landslide.

        A good comparison re concerns on electoral coalitions is found in Barone’s column today that shows the difficulties Democrats have in getting 50-53% of the vote with their disparate interest groups. That problem is much less stark than any concern with non-contiguous states….smile

        Glad you got up before Noon PDT!

  4. As an Aside: Gamecock is also thrilled that Pil’ doesn’t dislike George Will and thinks he is a conservative columnist. Especially since Will is THE pre-eminent conservative columnist of the past 30 years, and as a baseball fan is quite likable! smile…but I’ve never met him…smile

  5. Will should be glad he lives in more diverse times. In the 32 year stretch from 1789 to 1825, every president came from Virginia, except for the four years of John Adams. Ohio enjoyed a period of ascendancy in the post Civil War period. The sunbelt (TX, CA) has enjoyed the same thing in post WWII period- Nixon, Reagan, both Bushes. Even Clinton was a New South kind of pol.

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