And I’ll bet that Obamunism just accelerates this trend:
My friend Eric Ostermeier at the University of Minnesota has been parsing 160 polls taken recently in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, and found a surprising result. Despite having elected Barack Obama by wide margins in most of the states, voters in the region have become more conservative over the past two years. Self-identifying conservatives have reached their highest levels in at least four years:
In 2006, the percentage of Minnesotans identifying as conservatives plunged 5.3 points (15.9 percent) to just 28.1 percent of Gopher State residents. Self-identified conservatives in Iowa also declined by 5.1 points (13.9 percent) to 31.5 percent that year, with the largest drop occurring in Wisconsin, with a 6.1-point decline (16.9 percent) to 29.9 percent. In that November’s election cycle, Republicans lost control of the Minnesota House, the Iowa House, the Wisconsin Senate, as well as three U.S. House seats (MN-01, IA-01, WI-08).
The percentage of residents identifying as conservatives declined again in 2007, by 1.6 points in Minnesota (to 26.5 percent), by 3.0 points in Iowa (to 28.5 percent), and by 2.2 points in Wisconsin (to 27.7 percent).
However, during the last two years, conservatism seems to be mounting a comeback in the Upper Midwest, even though the 2008 election cycle saw Republicans lose control of the Wisconsin Assembly, and lose additional seats in the Minnesota House, Minnesota Senate, Iowa House, and Iowa Senate.
In Minnesota, those Gopher State residents identifying as conservative increased by 1.3 points in 2008 (to 27.8 percent) and by another 1.2 points to 29.0 percent in an aggregation of polling data through the first five months of 2009. This marks the largest percentage of Minnesotans viewing themselves as conservative since 2005.
In Iowa and Wisconsin, the conservative resurgence has been even more pronounced.
Obviously, that didn’t help much in 2008, but part of the answer for that may be in the candidates fielded by the Republicans.
We’re being fed a siren song by the left and by weak kneed GOPers that we have to mute our conservatism…to be less confrontational, to be more nicey-nice and, of course, be more willing to “accept” moderates (which means, of course, “pour out your sweat and treasure for nominal GOPers who will cut you off at the knees when it really matters”). This bit of advice from liberals is what liberals want very much for us to do – because anything which tends to allow them to appear moderate by blending in with the GOP helps them get elected by a center/right electorate. This bit of advice from weak kneed GOPers is what the weak kneed want because they prefer to be invited to the cool parties and have soft-ball interviews on MSM talk shows…makes ’em look smart and important, ya know? Combined, this advice will allow the left to have a kept GOP minority and allow the left to rule the roost. This advice thus doesn’t commend itself to me.
We need to be more stark in our differentiation with the left – with Obama and his Democrats we must be clearly and absolutely different from them. When the wheels finish coming off the Obama Express, we have to be in a position where we warned it would happen, and have a clear alternate plan already in the public mind. Its like this – we screwed up and we lost; the liberals won…allow the liberals to run things and thus allow them to take full responsibility for how bad it gets. Enunciate a clear, conservative message and the people will swing back to us.