Poll shows Majority of Democrats could vote for a liberal Republican

I ran a non scientific twitter Poll asking about a generic (mythical?) “liberal Republican” State House candidate:

Could you vote for a liberal Republican (socially liberal, fiscally moderate) For State Rep. if you lived in a Democratic dominated District

  • This Poll ran for 24 hours starting at noon on May 15, 2017.
  •  It was viewed organically 3,618 times and was promoted on twitter and received 11,582 views.
  • The Twitter promotional views was geographically limited to The Portland Oregon metro area where most safe Democratic districts are located.
  • A total of 533 people participated in the poll. 197 identified as Republicans and 336 as Democrats. That is a ratio of 63% Democratic and 37% Republican responses.
  • For context: The actual ratio between Democratic and Republican registered voters in the Tri County metro area is 68% Democratic and 32% Republican and the ratio of Democrats to Republicans statewide is 42% Republican and 58% Democratic. So the poll trended a bit more Republican than the Metro area, but more Democratic than the State as a whole.

Analysis:

  • Republican voters: While 30% of Republican say they would not vote for a liberal Republican, 70% would. And it is unlikely that the 30% who would not vote for the Liberal Republican would instead opt to vote for a Democrat. They would be more likely to not vote for in that race, or vote for a minor party candidate. In safe Democratic districts, where Republicans are greatly outnumbered, losing up to 30% of the Republican vote is acceptable, as long as the candidate can attract support from Independents, non affiliated voters, and most importantly, from Democratic voters.
  • Democratic Voters: 57% of Democratic voters could vote for a liberal Republican while only 43% could not. This supports the proposition that at least in safe Democratic districts, that some Democratic Party candidates simply don’t match the Democratic voters. It could be that the establishment Democratic candidates are too liberal, or too compromised by special interests, or seen as too establishment.  It also supports the theory that when you remove social issues from the equation, Republican candidates would perform well among many Democratic voters. And we’re not talking avoiding social issues. The question specifically said liberal on social issues, not moderate, which is just Republican key-wording for, I don’t want to talk about it.
  • Losing up to 30% of the Republican voters is acceptable in a deep blue district when you can attract up to 57% of the Democratic voters. Here’s the math in a district with a ratio of 68% Democratic and 32% Republican
    30% (10% of total voters) of the Republican voters sit out the race making the actual District voting ratio 24.4% Republican and 75.6% Democratic. If those remaining Republicans vote for the liberal Republican candidate and 43% of Democratic voters sure to vote Democratic, That gives the Democratic candidate a 32.5% to 24.4% lead. The Democratic voters who could vote for a liberal Republican account for the remaining 43% of voters. The liberal Republican would need to win over 60% of those voters in order to win.
  • All of this is ignoring minor parties, which are stronger in deep blue districts but rarely account for more than 3% of the vote, and it’s also assuming non affiliated and independent voters lean Democratic and Republican in a ratio that matches the Democratic / Republican ratio . The fact is, NAV’s and independents tend to lean a bit more conservative than the Democratic/Republican ratio. So the minor party factor is a negative for a liberal Republican, but the NAV/Independent voter factor is a net positive.

Bottom line: Today, there is great opportunity for A LIBERAL Republican – one who is  fiscally responsible and willing to clearly disavow the social planks of the ORGOP  and embrace social modernism, of competing with an establishment Democrat in a blue urban or suburban district.

In the State that elected Mark Hatfield, Dave Frohnmayer, Norma Paulus, and Tom McCall, that shouldn’t be too surprising. What should be surprising is that the GOP has such a dearth of liberal Republican officials and candidates.

Comments

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