Rudy Takala
FreedomWorks polling suggests path for uniting Republicans
FacebookTwitterGoogle+
By Rudy Takala
January 22, 2014

"If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them," suggested Sun Tzu in the Art of War. Speaker John Boehner gets half of that concept right. He excels at creating division on his own side. He just has a hard time when it comes to dividing the other side.

Polling data released by FreedomWorks on Wednesday offers some guidance as to how Republicans ought to govern if they want to be on voters' side before the next election. According to the numbers, 58 percent of voters believe jobs and the economy should be the number one priority in Congress this year, followed by 46 percent who believe it should be healthcare.

Delving deeper into the healthcare issue, voters said a "start over and reform health care" message made them 34 percent more likely to vote for a hypothetical candidate, while a "give it a chance to work" message made them 16 percent less likely to do so.

That's great news for candidates willing to reform Obamacare. There are an ample number of reforms that Republicans could pick to pursue that include delay of the individual mandate; the creation of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) that allow consumers to put their money into a tax free account to cover healthcare costs; and eliminating Obamacare subsidies for members of Congress and their staff.

These proposals would unify Republicans and voters at large who want a healthcare system that works. They would create division between Democrats who want a more expansive role for government in healthcare – regardless of the consequences – and those who just want to win re-election.

The data further shows that voters did not even mind the October shutdown over ObamaCare. Only 7 percent of voters weighed it as one of their top two issues. When Sen. Ted Cruz led the shutdown fight, various Republicans on Boehner's team attacked Cruz for it, saying the fight could never be won. It ended with Boehner and 86 House Republicans voting with 198 Democrats to support ObamaCare, against 144 Republicans who voted to stop Boehner and his (mostly Democratic) team.

Granted, it seems unlikely that Boehner will take a cue from voters or the data. Who can forget last year, when secret e-mails from Boehner Chief of Staff Mike Sommers emerged that showed him begging Sen. Harry Reid's office to help Republicans keep ObamaCare subsidies in place for congressional employees? When Boehner's team is hell-bent on keeping Obama's policies in place, there's not much hope of pushing any sort of reform-oriented agenda.

Instead of focusing on issues that voters prioritize, Boehner is trying to focus on an agenda that they are not as interested in and that will divide his party. For instance, the data found that only 8 percent of voters prioritized immigration as their number one issue at this time.

That should be a helpful thing for Republicans as immigration is something that often divides the party's voters. Unfortunately, Boehner does not look inclined to act on the data. Republicans have already begun moving five pieces of immigration legislation through the House, and Boehner is set to unveil what he believes the party's "principles" on the issue should be by the end of the month.

This comes in spite of the fact that up to 70 of the 233 Republicans in the House began leading a revolt against Boehner on the immigration issue just last summer.

FreedomWorks' polling suggests that voters want candidates to focus more on economic freedom and freedom in healthcare. Those are messages that will unite Republicans under a banner that is going to win elections. It's unfortunate that House Republican leaders like Boehner are more focused on working with Democrats than on promoting freedom or winning elections, but it should turn out to be good news for the conservatives seeking to depose them this year.

© Rudy Takala

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

 

Stephen Stone
The most egregious lies Evan McMullin and the media have told about Sen. Mike Lee

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
Flashback: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Cliff Kincaid
Saving America by saving Ukraine

Jerry Newcombe
Cancelling the “most wonderful time of the year?”

Judi Caler
Bluffing their way to an Article V Convention

Paul Cameron
The Marriage Equality Act in light of gay sex rings and molestations in group homes

Michael Bresciani
Why Libs, Dems, LGBT and Trans activists can’t identify the source of their own deep confusion

Rev. Mark H. Creech
Rev. Mark Creech issues statement on Senate passage of ‘Respect for Marriage Act’

Tom DeWeese
What we can learn from a red tide

Selwyn Duke
The new voting system that gave Dems a GOP House seat is dangerous. Here’s why.

Pete Riehm
Wiping out an entire generation of American youth

Peter Lemiska
How can woke warriors command an unsurpassed fighting force?

Tom DeWeese
Where have all the flowers gone? Long time passing.

Cliff Kincaid
How Trump saved the world
  More columns

Cartoons


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons

RSS feeds

News:
Columns:

Columnists

Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites