“Voters need to hear what we’re for, not what we’re against.”

By on July 16, 2021 in Featured News, News

Goeas Discusses GOP’s Future & Offers Up a Bit of Advice for Republicans on the Ballot Next Year

WASHINGTON, DC — With Democrats controlling all levers of government in Washington and Republicans looking ahead to the next midterm election, The Ripon Society held a luncheon discussion on Tuesday focusing on the current mindset of voters across the country, the performance of the Biden Administration thus far, and the future of the Republican Party.

The discussion was led by veteran pollster Ed Goeas, President & CEO of The Tarrance Group. He began his remarks by talking about the internal struggles of the Democratic Party and the current Republican base of support.

“The progressive wing is behaving for the Democrats just like the Tea Party did for us in 2010 and 2012,” Goeas stated. “They have discovered in the last two elections that it’s better to beat an old time Democrat in a Democratic district and keep it than win in a Republican district that will be taken away in the next election. They are going to be doing more and more of that inside of the Democratic Party and I think you’re going to see it in this next cycle.

“And when you look at rural voters, older men, white men, those with less than a college education, and those that claim to be conservative Christians, we are holding our strength with all those groups. I see some softening among the women that are married to the men that are conservative Christians, for example. They are beginning to slightly soften their hardcore of positions against us that formed during the Trump years. Their demographic cohorts will be fruitful for us, I believe.”

According to Goeas, expanding the tent of the GOP should not only be a top priority today, but it is critical to maintain a competitive Republican Party going forward.

“We have to go back to trying to regain support from suburban women, older women, and college graduates…. The real advantage for us will be going back and getting some of those voters back.”

“Having a hardcore 60% of Republicans with very few independents and no Democrats is not something to build a party back on,” Goeas explained. “We have to start reaching out to these various groups. Unfortunately, that’s where Trump keeps sticking his nose in. He is not doing what a president usually does, which is go away for a period of time, let things quiet down, and not seem critical of his replacement in the White House. It’s making it very difficult for us to rebuild. But, one of the things I think Republicans need to understand that I wish Trump, or at least the people around him, understood is if Trump ran again in two years, he would win the Republican nomination. He would win the Republican nomination, but it would be almost impossible to win the general election.”

The veteran strategist also had some advice for Republicans who are running to be on the ballot next year.

“Don’t get caught in the trap of going after what the Democrats are doing,” he counseled. “Voters need to hear what we’re for, not what we’re against, and that we are focused on fixing the problems they face every day and making their lives better.”

Goeas then took a number of questions from the crowd in attendance, including if he thought President Biden’s proposed tax plan will erode some of his support among more centrist and independent voters.

“I think we have two major problems coming out of the Trump Administration,” he observed. “One is that because of the way he handled the pandemic, we lost something that we, as a party, had been living on ever since Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan wasn’t about having no government. He was about having a leaner, more efficient, more effective government. It was about how we can make government do a better job.

“The other problem is that Trump spent money like a drunken sailor – something we used to say about the Democrats. So he took away not only the image that we manage government better, but he also took away our ability to bring the money part of it into the equation – in terms of spending it on the right things and spending it effectively. That is going to make our tax argument that much tougher.”

Finally, Goeas was asked about Trump’s “America First” primary candidates for Congress and their likelihood of success at the ballot box next spring and summer given that their strategy seems to neglect civil political discourse and instead prioritizes aggressive and inflammatory rhetoric.

“I worked with Michelle Bachmann and her presidential campaign,” he stated. “I had no relationship with her before then and I was just astounded with the conversations I had with her early on, by how smart she was. But what I later found out was that she had learned all the wrong lessons in her congressional years of how to act out there and she didn’t check facts. She said whatever she felt in her gut was the right thing to be saying to get attention. She had built her whole Washington presence on Fox News where she was never contested. You always have to look at these guys and say ‘In a different arena, how are they going to do?’

“I think if they end up being a bunch of candidates that feed on each other, trying to come out on top the way that Trump did, I think they’re just going to cannibalize each other and be in deep trouble. The only one that seems to be moving more in the right direction is the Governor of Florida. He seems to have softened his rhetoric and softened his anger that he showed in the early days. Maybe he’s got it, but I would say he seems to be the only one showing any signs of kind of tracking in the right direction.”

To view Goeas’ remarks before The Ripon Society luncheon discussion Tuesday afternoon, please click on the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people. 

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