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February 24, 2015

PPP Poll: Walker Leads GOP Pack with 25%; Jeb at 17%, Huckabee at 10%

Ben Carson is actually in second place with 18%.

Jay Cost looks back to the Republican convention of 1880 to find a case of a "frontrunner" whose support is as anemic as Jeb Bush's in this interesting piece. He compares today's vampiric Republican establishment class (most of whom make a living off being professional Republicans) to the "Immortal 306," the 306 delegates who never gave up on trying to give U.S. Grant a then-unprecedented third term as president -- just to get their federal patronage phony-baloney jobs back.

Jeb certainly looks to be cornering the market on the modern variety of professional Republicans, but he too will have to do more. What is the case for a Bush restoration, beyond the fact that it would make the professional GOP comfortable once again? Why should average Republican primary voters -- the insurance salesmen and truck drivers, not pollsters and policy advisors -- choose Jeb over Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, or the dozen other potential nominees? Jeb will have to make a very persuasive argument on this front. He will face tougher competition than his brother did in 2000. Indeed, 2016 could see the most competitive GOP primary since 1980.

As Grant’s experience in 1880 demonstrates, winning over the insiders and professionals is simply not enough. The Immortal 306 may stay with you the whole way, but they are never a majority of the party. Can Jeb expand beyond them? It remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, Robert Tracyzinski pens this good piece on Scott Walker's challenge to the current establishment class, and I mean "class" more emphatically than usual.

There are no real class divisions in America except one: the college-educated versus the non-college educated...

That brings us to the heart of the matter. I have observed before that left-leaning politics has become "part of the cultural class identity of college-educated people," a prejudice that lingers long after they have graduated. You can see how this goes the other way, too. If to be college-educated is to have left-leaning views--then to have the "correct" political values, one must be college-educated.

You can see now what is fueling the reaction on the left. If Scott Walker can run for president, he is challenging the basic cultural class identity of the mainstream left. He is more than a threat to the Democrats' hold on political power. He is a threat to the existing social order.

I'm not sure if I agree with his formulation -- that leftist politics are now part of the cultural identity of college educated people. Let's always remember there are more college-educated Republicans than Democrats.

I think it works better in reverse -- that college is one of the most important class markers for those with left-leaning politics. *

But interesting stuff.

And more on Scott Walker from The Meatball, who says Scott Walker is all the left's fault.

The ferocity of the anti-Walker attacks during the recall attempt cannot be understated: no stone was left unturned, no "scandal" or slip of the tongue left unmentioned, and this may only help candidate Walker going into 2016. The Democrats spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours digging, scooping, ad-cutting, and hammering. They threw the kitchen sink at the guy in 2012, threw their neighbor’s sink at him in 2014, and now nobody on the block will let them inside to pee. Out of useful topsoil, what do they do now?

Had the Democrats not targeted Walker with a recall, that massive fundraiser network, the national profile, the party unity, and his highly developed get-out-the-vote team almost certainly wouldn’t exist. He may have still won re-election, but he would be just another Midwestern Republican governor who enacted reforms and faced push-back, not the conservative folk hero of a party longing for a win...

They shot the king and missed, making a balding, sleepy-eyed executive into a god among a growing horde of followers. That’s bad enough for the Progressive set. In the unlikely event he wins the Republican nomination and the presidency? They struck the match that ignited their own national hell.

Whoa, let's not get ahead of ourselves! He's not the National Death Dealer quite yet.

* Actually, thinking about it, he may be right: Leftist poses as a sort of "scientific materialist" cosmopolitan sophistication, which is attractive to those who wish to be considered educated but aren't so much.

One thing this particular class likes to do to demonstrate its class affiliation is to offer up leftist dogmas -- and even Republicans will do this.

Right now, we're seeing many educated Republicans swear on a pack of Bibles that Obama loves his country and must assuredly be a Christian (it's not like he's ever lied to us before for purposes of political viability, God knows).

Traczynski may be right-- maybe even Republicans feel the need to declare their fidelity to leftist dogmas in order to establish their class separation from The Lower Orders.

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posted by Ace at 12:17 PM

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