Why a GOP Landslide is Not a Given


One does not have to look far to find a poll that says the GOP will do well this year, keeping the House, maybe picking up seats, with an even or better shot of taking the Senate.

The pundits and prognosticators have decreed it so, because the GOP has a slight (4 point) advantage when voters are asked how they will vote in November.

Democrats lack enthusiasm. It’s the sixth year of Obama’s tenure, a year when the party of the White House generally loses seats. And oh, let’s not forget that voters are unhappy with Obamacare, the economy, the debt, foreign policy, Benghazi, the IRS scandal, and a Middle East that is imploding.

My question. Why isn’t the GOP 10 points ahead instead of four?

The answer is the GOP doesn’t stand for much, other than being the anti-Obama Party. A good place to be this year, but not enough to procure a landslide.

Last summer I attended a meeting at the NRCC and dared to ask a high-ranking member of the House leadership when the Congress was going to pass its alternative to Obamacare. “We won’t,” was the answer. “We don’t want to give them something to shoot it. Just better to say we’re against Obamacare.”

Therein lies the problem. And the problem with the thinking. If you want to be the party in power, or secure a mandate to stay in power, you must be willing to offer some ideas, a policy, a platform. And willing to defend them and it.

Instead of offering a reason for a mandate, the House leadership has opted instead to be little more than the party of no. Had the GOP Congress stepped up to the plate and passed its own version of health care reform, tax reform, immigration reform, budget reform, and a new prescription for economic growth, we would see a far greater number of Americans willing to embrace the GOP, rather than regarding it as the lesser of two evils.

To those on a GOP ballot this year, fear not offering a positive alternative to the status quo. Life rewards the bold, not the timid.

I’ll even go one step further. If GOP candidates are not willing to offer and defend a few of their own ideas, voters will conclude they have none. That is not the route to a mandate.

Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

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