The death of the moderate Republican

  • Article by: Doyle McManus , Los Angeles Times
  • Updated: November 19, 2012 - 10:56 AM

Which Republicans lost their seats in the election? Moderates and moderate conservatives, disproportionately.

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LakeliverNov. 19, 1211:24 AM

The loss of moderates in either party is a very serious handicap to anything getting done. Moderates are often those people who see value in differences, instead of just as sources for squabbles. They are people who can act as go-betweens and help their more extreme members to see there is frequently more than just one answer or solution. As a moderate democrat, I know the most liberal members of Congress become frustrated by blue dogs like Collin Peterson and to some extent Tim Walz, but these people along with the likes of Amy K. are almost always instrumental in moving an otherwise entirely intransigent group toward at least some solutions.

mjcmspNov. 19, 1211:32 AM

Overall Democrats received far more votes nationwide in house races. The reason the Republicans did so well is because in 2010 many state legislatures and governorships were taken over by Republicans - 2010 was a census/redistricting year. The election map was heavily gerrymandered which gave the Republicans a big advantage in 2012. If the electoral maps were the same as pre-2010 the Republicans would very likely have lost the US house majority.

kleindropperNov. 19, 1211:51 AM

I don't remember all this soul searching when Democrats got pasted in '80, '84, '88, '94, '02, '04, or '10. They just came back stronger and more leftist than ever. Republicans need to do the same and be ready to pick up the pieces from the Obama debacle.

lostwolf95Nov. 19, 1212:10 PM

it's just a sad reflection of our winner take all democracy. It sure would be refreshing to have 4 or 5 different reasonable choices on the ballet that have a good chance of making the minimum percentage necessary to take part in government. Unfortunately, the big parties would block any move in this direction. It's also unbelievable to see that some people revel in having a governmental standstill with 23 million people out of work. ...and then in the end, they blame it on Obama...

my4centsNov. 19, 1212:11 PM

mjcmsp - Latest numbers I've seen show Democrats receiving 49% of the national vote for House members versus 48.2% for Republicans, with 1.2% going Libertarian. That is by no means "far more votes nationwide" for Democrats. Plus, of the two parties, only the Republicans offer any hope for Libertarian ideals.

That is actually the best hope path for Republicans. Promote more freedom both economically and socially, and bring in that added 1-2% that currently votes Libertarian. That would also appeal to many moderates of the moderates who are fiscally conservative but not socially conservative.

stevenelNov. 19, 1212:14 PM

It's been my observation that moderate democrats are generally doing pretty well in the party. Klobuchar, Walz etc are not making the far left super happy but they have more than enough support come November. It's my belief that the far right has moved so far right that they can't even recognize moderation. I typically vote center-left and miss the days when I really had to make a choice between two candidates who could both do a respectable job in the office. The GOPers of late are not really a choice for any kind of moderate. Additionally it was pretty laughable in Minnesota that the party who traditionally talks fiscal responsibility couldn't even pay the bills for their state party offices. They deserved to get creamed.

beebee82Nov. 19, 1212:21 PM

It would stand to reason that moderate Republicans in moderate districts would face stiffer competition from their Democratic rivals this election. I don't see voters replacing moderate Republicans with moderate Democrats as a problem. The real problem is how many moderate Republicans have been driven from the tent by their own party — that is far more troublesome.

ranger78Nov. 19, 1212:22 PM

If the Republicans are becoming more dogmatic, than the same can be said for the Democrats. There are no compromisers on the Dems side. When was the last time a pro-life Dem was allowed to speak? It was Obama who famously said, we won, meaning the Reps could go pound sand, there would be no discussing terms.

bear_32Nov. 19, 1212:26 PM

Ultra conservative areas are also areas lacking in education. We need to air-drop aid in the form of books to these areas. Then we can begin to move forward.

ericgus55Nov. 19, 1212:28 PM

kleindropper-- I would disagree with you assessment of Democrats becoming "more leftist than ever." Starting in 1992, with Bill Clinton, the party became more moderate, and has stayed that way. I know that the right wing loves to call President Obama an extreme liberal (or even a socialist), but he has governed very much from the center, just like President Clinton did. The GOP, however, has moved so far to the right (mostly on social issues) that real limited-government conservatives like Barry Goldwater (or even Ronald Reagan) wouldn't stand a chance in today's primaries.


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