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A glimmer of hope for conservatives? November 10, 2008

Posted by neoavatara in Politics.
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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122628429302812557.html

Ever since the election, I have been pouring over the results, looking for positives.  There are not many to be had.

But Scott Rasmussen (whose poll was among the closest to pick the election accurately) has an interesting analysis today as well.  He argues that Obama’s co-opting of Reagan like principles actually were what made the difference.  Arguable, but interesting none the less.

For example, 31% of the public believed that Obama would provide them with tax relief, while only 11% thought McCain would give them tax cuts.  Rasmussen then makes the obvious point: the last Democrat to win on the tax issue?  William Jefferson Clinton.  Additionally, every candidate that has won the tax issue has won the last 10 presidential elections!

“A Rasmussen survey conducted Oct. 2 found that 59% agreed with the sentiment expressed by Reagan in his first inaugural address: “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Just 28% disagreed with this sentiment. That survey also found that 44% of Obama voters agreed with Reagan’s assessment (40% did not). And McCain voters overwhelmingly supported the Gipper.”

So of course, the argument will be, will Obama be more Reaganesque, or Carteresque?  This is the grand question for the next four years.  The voters did give President-elect Obama a mandate; a mandate for moderation.  Clearly, when the bulk of voters believe that Mr. Obama is going to give them tax cuts, this is not a big mandate for liberal, massive big government programs.

So the mandate is clear; the question is, how will Mr. Obama and his allies see the mandate?  If they see it as a mandate for old style liberal government, they will have an idealogical battle on their hands.  If Mr. Obama, on the other hand, rules as the moderate that he ran as, the sky is limitless.s-obama-reagan-large

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