Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Viewer Calls: Where Are the Republicans?

A Republican viewer called and left this voicemail while I was away. He said he wanted his views shared, so here they are:

"I was just wondering why the Republican party seems to have written us off in Southwest Missouri. We see plenty of adds for the Democratic candidates. We see no ads for the Republican candidates. We should see some ads for them. Even if they don't have the money, they should at least make their presence known."

It all begs the question: WHERE ARE THE REPUBLICANS?

Sure, they are out of money. And yes, Missouri is sharing the spotlight with 21 other states on Tuesday. But Southwest Missouri is the heart of the conservative base, and it's striking that the Democrats seem to want to play here -- while the Republicans don't seem to be playing at all.

Yes, (weather permitting) Mike Huckabee will be here Friday. But the new Republican frontrunner John McCain is just touching down in St. Louis.

This all begs another question: WHAT'S AN OZARK VOTER TO DO?

Lots of Democrats loved John Edwards. He fit well for Democrats in this area. Where do they go now? Lots of conservatives loathe John McCain. And he looks like he is on his way to the Republican nomination. Where do they turn? And is a vote for Mike Huckabee really a vote for John McCain?

We've got questions, have you got answers?


Green_Team said...

The closest candidate to Edwards would probably be Sen. Obama. Obama will attract lots of the democrats in this area looking for change and unity. I can see the conservatives who aren't fond of McCain will go for Romney. Really the only purpose Huckabee has served is to siphon votes away from Gov. Romney.

Matt said...

On the larger question- where are the Republican candidates? Up until 2000, Missouri was a caucus state, coming around or shortly after Super Tuesday. In 2000, SW MO got visits from Bush and Keyes in the run-up to the primary. I recall McCain visiting Kansas City before the primary, but he wasn't contesting the state.

Now, when the race should be wide open, you'd expect as the caller did that candidates would be flooding the area. Here again MO is a victim of timing, going on the same day as CA, NY, and NJ (to name a few big prizes). Yet, MO is a coveted prize, as it is a winner-take-all state for the GOP. As to SW MO, you'd think Huckabee would be here, given his geographical proximity and the base of evangelical voters in the area. You'd also think that Romney would be here, given his ties with Gov. Blunt. McCain's absence is understandable, given more conservative angst toward him.

Yet, like it or not, he is becoming the establishment candidate: a trip to SW MO might go a long way toward healing a rift. At least send a surrogate like Sam Brownback...