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January 26, 2007 12:34 AM UTC

Schaffer Starts His Homework

  • by: Colorado Pols

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Republican Bob Schaffer is doing his homework and gauging the potential level of support should he decide to run for the U.S. Senate and challenge former Rep. Scott McInnis for the GOP nomination.

It’s no secret that Schaffer’s name has been repeatedly mentioned as a possible candidate, but the former congressman and 2004 Senate candidate has taken the next step in a potential run by actively testing the waters. Several Schaffer confidants are making the rounds among GOP leaders to see where they would stand on a Schaffer candidacy. If the response they receive in the next few weeks is generally positive, Schaffer could enter the race for U.S. Senate shortly thereafter.


88 thoughts on “Schaffer Starts His Homework

  1. as an avowed moderate repub…neither of these candidates merits much joy. It is simply retreading the old and not presenting a fresh new face that can inspire and energize us moderates.

    1. I’d love to see a fight between two experienced politicians. It would force the radicalism out of Schaffer and who knows what out of the vague McInnis.

      Colorado is unlikely to elect Jim Dobson’s shadow.

  2. The Republican revolt starring Bob Schaffer comes to a polling place near you in November, 2008.

    Bob, of course you have support.  You have national support and you have lots of local, grassroots support.  You have the perfect temperment for Colorado.  You have Colorado values.  And yes, Bigtime Bob, you will win!

    the Doc

  3. Schaffer Putting Senate Plans on Hold

    January 25, 2007
    By David M. Drucker, Roll Call Staff

    As former Rep. Scott McInnis (R-Colo.) aggressively prepares to launch a
    2008 Senate bid, another potential candidate, ex-Rep. Bob Schaffer (R-Colo.) is doing nothing to ramp up for the contest and indicated that he is inclined to sit it out absent being drafted as his party’s consensus nominee.
    Schaffer said in a telephone interview this week that McInnis would make a “good Senator,” but declined to offer an endorsement, adding that he would make a formal decision on his own plans by October. Schaffer suggested that he wanted to avoid a divisive GOP primary, which he said would put Republicans at a disadvantage against Rep. Mark Udall (Colo.), the announced Democratic candidate who appears to have the unanimous backing of his party.
    “I’m not averse to primaries. But I think Colorado Republicans will improve their odds through a consensus candidate,” Schaffer said.
    Schaffer, an executive with Aspect Energy in Denver, served in Congress from
    1997 to 2003. He lost the 2004 GOP Senate primary to beer magnate Pete Coors, and is thought to eye a return to the political stage, though not necessarily in 2008.
    McInnis, who still has about $1 million in his old Congressional campaign account, has been out of the country and was unavailable for comment.
    But one Colorado Republican with knowledge of McInnis’ actions since Sen.
    Wayne Allard (R) announced recently that he would not seek re-election in 2008, said the former Congressman has been working the phones while on vacation, assembling a campaign team and attempting to line up the support of Colorado’s key GOP players.
    Two of them, former Gov. Bill Owens (R) and Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), have signaled their willingness to back McInnis. Owens has ruled out a Senate run, as has Tancredo, who is considering a presidential bid.
    For McInnis, adding former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), as well as Colorado’s top Republican donors to his cadre of supporters is seen as key to getting Allard on board and solidifying himself as the consensus candidate for the Republican Senate nomination. In the Republican donor community, the names to watch, in particular, are billionaire developer Philip Anschutz; oil and gas company executive Bruce Benson; and artist Ralph Nagel.
    Mcinnis already had publicly expressed his desire to run for Senate if Allard retired, and Colorado Republicans say no potential candidate has been anywhere near as active as McInnis in preparing for the race since the two-term Senator announced earlier this month that he would in fact call it quits next year.
    No one questions McInnis’ ability to raise money, nor that he is a relentless campaigner. But his chances of scaring off potential primary challengers and running with a united Republican Party behind him in the general election could be determined by whether he can endear himself to Colorado’s socially conservative voters.
    Carrie Gordon Earll, senior policy analyst for bioethics at Focus on the Family, the national social conservative group based in Colorado Springs, described McInnis’ Congressional record during his six terms representing southwestern Colorado’s vast, rural 3rd district as a “mixed bag.”
    McInnis voted in line with the Family Research Council at a clip of 95 percent to 100 percent on legislation deemed a priority by the anti-abortion rights group, leaving him well positioned on the abortion issue, Earll said.
    But the former Congressman voted against Rep. Marilyn Musgrave’s (R-Colo.) proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, which could cause him problems.
    “He’s in a position where he’d have to prove himself in explaining questions about his Congressional voting record, making clear what his intentions would be if he won office,” Earll said.
    Meanwhile, Schaffer indicated that he believes Republicans will have their best chance of holding Allard’s seat if they nominate a “conservative centrist” who is not positioned too far to the right. Schaffer described himself as “pro-life,” but nonetheless said that his party would be better off in 2008 focusing on bread and butter issues such as the economy.
    Schaffer also emphasized that he believes a candidate who is too far to the left, on the Democratic side, also is likely to fail next year. Most of the Democrats who have won statewide elections in recent years have been moderates; some Republicans believe Udall can be tarred as a liberal next year.
    “I think Colorado is ready for a centrist approach,” Schaffer said.
    Some Centennial State GOP insiders suggest internal differences on policy will be surmounted by Republicans’ desire to win a big race after losing the
    2004 Senate race, the 2006 gubernatorial contest, not to mention losing control of both houses of the state Legislature in 2004.
    Udall’s presence as a consensus candidate on the Democratic side is also thought to be a factor that could help engender Republican unity. Some Republicans blame intraparty skirmishes for the electoral losses the party has experienced over the past few cycles.
    “I think you’ll see a very unified Republican Party once we have a nominee in 2008,” Colorado GOP spokesman Bryant Adams said.
    The filing deadline to run for Senate in 2008 is May 25, with the primary scheduled for Aug. 8.

    Copyright 2007 (c) Roll Call Inc. All rights reserved.

    1.   I figured it would take at least one more election cycle before the bulb finally lit up, but it looks like they’re starting to catch on.  Schaffer’s comment indicate that he very well won’t be running, and may even endorse Scooter (McInnis, not Liddy).

      1. …it should come as no surprise that McInnis has been positioning for this run since his departure from the House.  Clearly, he’s been squirreling away his support and probably has been successful scaring off any potential GOP competition.  Plus, with the whoopings we’ve been getting lately, it’s clear we need to stand united behind a good candidate…not sure he’s it, though.

              1. that Republican Senate hopeful Scott McInnis deliberately crafted a false impression that he was retiring politics to do good work such as funding a breast cancer research foundation.

                As best we can tell, he didn’t do so, and has kept his campaign warchest instead for the upcoming campaign.  As eddys suggested.

              2. …a sweeping generalization that takes one point in time and infers something more sinister and long-term…the dems have plenty of skeletons in their closets dating back to FDR.

      2. The sooner they will be sending men and women back to congress.  Just like the Dems had to slide to the right to some degree, now it’s the right’s turn to slide to the left.

        I hope “Doc” doesn’t implode when Schaffer says, “You won’t have me to kick around again.”  A good Republican quote, admittedly approximate.

        1. …but even I, someone who will never vote for B.S., would not put Schaffer in the same category with Richard Nixon.
            Nixon had far greater intelligence than B.S., and Schaffer has far greater integrity than R.M.N. to compare the two of them to one another.

    2. and I am willing to bet bucks they took Bob’s quotes out of context.  I’d even bet they had a specific angle: prop up the tool in the race (read: McInnis).  Bob didn’t endorse Scott and won’t. And until he announces he’s NOT running, I’m not doing squat for McInnis. Pols is right on this one. All of Bob’s former staff are quietly staying away from other races in expectation of an exploratory, and so am I.

    3. But as somebody who is very active in the Republican Party I say McInnis would be a mistake.  I’m sure McInnis can still win without real grassroots support, but it ain’t gonna be easy.  I simply won’t work as hard for Scooter as I would for Schaffer.  I appreciate Scooter’s 95% FRC rating.  I appreciate him on the war and taxes.  But he comes across as a little slimey.  In many ways, I see a John McCain in McInnis and while that may go over well with Independents and Democrats–he may not get enough conservative support to win.  In Colorado the bare bones of it is that you need conservative support to win elections.  Conservatives gave considerable support to Ritter and Salazar and that’s why they’re in office.  I’m afraid that the grassroots won’t fully get behind McInnis and the election will go to a man–Macchiato Mark–who is so profoundly out of touch with the people of Colorado.

      1. I think you’re wrong about Mark being out of touch. Actually, I can say with confidence you are WRONG.

        All-Americano Mark Udall is going to take this state and continue to work hard for Coloradans in the Senate.

        Senator Mark Udall…that has a nice ring to it.

        1. The “recent gains” of which you speak were by more moderate Democrats–pro-life, pro-war, or pro-gun or or other such obviously conservative quirks.  Macchiato Mark is a flamin’ liberal.  Don’t for a minute mistake Colorado’s fetish with the Democrats as a shift to the left.  Our recent gains were a disenchantment with loser Republicans and an affinity for affable moderate Dems.  Udall is neither affable nor moderate.  He is a liberal in what is absolutely NOT a liberal state.  If you really want to Go Blue I’d recommend you Go Oregon. 

          1. Im going to keep laughing because that argument is not going to hold up. In 22 months, you are going to be eating those words.

            Pro-war Democrats? Huh, I haven’t met one of those yet. Im pretty sure our party is united around ending the occupation in Iraq…I mean the debacle of a civil war the Republican President created and can’t figure out how to end.

            Pro-choice Democrats. Truly, the only kind.

            Pro-gun, absolutely. Ive got my permit.

            It’s not a shift to the left, but a shift to reason. Republicans are running on emotions (fear and hatred) rather than principle.

            Im going to stay the course, and keep Colorado Blue.

            1. You might want to keep your options open.  If things go as they should in red Colorado you may be blue enough to consider a move. 

              But by all means, good luck.

              1. But Im not moving. I love this state. If things go as they should, we may pick up another Senate seat, another House seat, and keep the General Assembly.

                Even if we did lose, anything or everything, I wouldn’t move. Like I said, I love this state.

                1. I share your love for Colorado and I don’t blame you for wanting to stay.  I think Colorado is a red state you think it’s a blue state.  I’ve never really found the whole red/blue business all that fetching because it doesn’t tell us anything.  Not all Democrats or Republicans are the same–and in Colorado our Democrats look a lot like Republicans in other states.  I think we can agree that Colorado is more conservative than not–how much is something we’ll probably never agree upon no matter how the ’08 elections go.  I will guarantee you, though, that our Congressional delegation is gonna be the same for some time.  You won’t pick up Musgrave’s seat.  Last year was a perfect storm and still Musgrave won–albeit barely.  You have the 3rd and 7th and you should feel grateful about that.  You won’t get the 4th.

      2. Do you think people go to the voting booth and think, gee, that guy Udall is profoundly out of touch with the people of Colorado, i’m voting for him. If he were out of touch they would throw him out. 

      1. Proper credit was given. 
        By the way, Bob S isn’t going to endorse anyone until there is a clear field.  He is still the State Republican Committeeman.

        1. It’s “national committeeman”.  And yes, he endorsed his friend Bob Beauprez very early in that primary election.  Like: a year before the primary.  So you’re wrong twice.

  4. With no exceptionally strong front runner for president (even Mitt seems to be tanking) we need at least one strong fiscal conservative to prop up the ticket.  With the base rallying behind Bob we just might have a chance of taking back the House.  In Balmer’s district, Beauprez was carrying something like 38% percent of the vote and David had to work his ass off to make sure BB didn’t tank the guy. In the end, he got something like 52%. (Forgive me, these number are off the top of my head.) How in the world are we supposed to win back the House with guys like Rudy and Scott? Those two are both big spenders and big government moderates. No – we need someone who walks the walk.


    1. The base is finding him like paper to glue.  He’s so solid and serious Republicans know it.  Rudy is fine too and either Mitt or Rudy would win Colorado’s nine votes.  That should give the Colorado GOP some confidence after our November thumpin’.

      You’re right about Bob, though.  He would get help from upticket (and would probably help the presidential candidate, too).  And he’d dramatically help downticket folks.  Beauprez hurt, not help, downticket candidates.  Even if Schaffer doesn’t beat Macchiato Mark (which I just don’t see happening) he would still preserve downticket chances.  Many Republicans lost in the Fall because of Beauprez’s silliness.  They’ll win back those seats with guys like Mitt and Bob ahead of them on the ticket.

        1. I didn’t see a comment there.  If you’re just going to troll through the threads looking specifically for my posts to denigrate, by all means, just save me the time and join the boycott.  I’m here to talk with serious people about serious things.  If you’d like to join the discussion with something substantive to say or you have a counter-point to something I’ve said, I’d be happy to talk.  But if you’re just going to aim low I’m not interested.

          1. Do you really think Mitt has a chance of arousing the Evangelicals?

            Guiliani may have high name recognition right now, but wait till his ex-wives come out of the wood work, and the social base figure out his stance on abortion, guns, taxation, and the war.

            Good luck with those guys.

            If anyone has a chance, I would go for Chuck Hagel.

    1. He’s a very bright guy.  Still bugs me what he did to Ramey Johnson though.  We didn’t have to lose that seat and there are more important issues than vouchers.

      1. One of the weirdest things this election season was seeing the vast ensemble of Ramey’s yardsigns on nearly every yard and street corner in Lakewood and Golden.  I was working for Matt Knoedler and the two of us were in jealous amazement, just driving along, seeing her signage.  The weird part was that in a great many of these Ramey yards there was a Perlemutter and Ritter sign right next to a Johnson sign.  At first I thought it was some frigtarded Democrat who was never told of Ramey’s affiliation.  Then I saw another and another and another and anot…you get the point…it seemed like Democrats were more smitten with the woman than were Republicans.

        She lost anyway, of course.  She was so squishy when in the legislature you kind of wonder if she wouldn’t be more comfortable with a (D) next to her name.  It isn’t just vouchers, either.  She’s squishy on a great number of important issues to most Republicans.  While I agree that Schaffer’s voucher squabble was ill-advised, I’m not sure it wasn’t ultimately for the better.

        I agree that Schaffer is a bright guy.  I’d argue he is a VERY smart man who isn’t so wonkish that he’s impersonable– a la Rick O’Donell.  You have to be able to leave your heavenly throne once in a while to come down to the kitchen tables of your everyday voter–your hard-working dad and stay at home mom.  You have to be able to communicate trust as much as good policy.  Schaffer’s talent–I’d call it a charm–is that he comes across as just another guy with good ideas for Colorado.  That’s what made Allard so electable despite his boringness.  In Colorado–as in most of the Great American Heartland and beyond–we like normal folks to run things.  We like to elect people about whom we can say, “You know, that guy seems like me.  He wants the same thing for his kids as I want for me.” 

        Unfortunately in the flakey world of politics that personna is so rare.  Bob Schaffer is a rarity and I think he’s elected in 2008 because of it.

        1. The Dems will do a good job demonizing him as a wingnut, the media will jump on the bandwagon, and he’d still have to win over the squishy Republicans he burned with the Ramey Johnson thing.  I like him personally and I think he’s very bright, engaging, and capable, but he’d have a lot of negatives to overcome. 

  5. I think “guesswho’s” citation from Roll Call is all that needs to be said.  Shaffer, while an upstanding individual and Republican, knows better than to enter a gun fight with a putty knife.
    With Bob out and the field cleard for McInnis I think this state will go back to being R where it belongs….Practically and Pragmatically Republican.
    I’m a betting man and I’m putting up large money that Maggie, I mean Mark, Udall will drop out of this race.  If anyone has ever been to a town meeting with the two of them (McInnis and Udall) it is hilarious.  It’s a one way conversation with Udall shaking his head in agreement and hoping McInnis doesn’t drop the hammer on him.
    Triple A is very commendable Bob and Mark, but this is a Major League race.
    When the Hick v. Udall conversation begins I’ll address that retarded pillow fight.

    1. But I’m afraid McInnis won’t be the hammer you think he’ll be.  If you’ve read any of my posts it should be clear that I’m with you–“this state will go back to being R where it belongs….Practically and Pragmatically Republican.”  Indeed that is right where we belong and right where most people in Colorado want us to be.  The problem is that our candidates have come across as anything but practical and pragmatic.  I’m not sure McInnis is all you think he is.  If he gets the nod I’ll be listening closely for his ideas on how to win the War on Terror and how to rebuild traditional American culture where life and family are valued.  While I’d like Schaffer to be our guy, I’m cautiously hopeful that McInnis can deliver a conservative candidacy–not McCain-lite.

      1. What does that actually mean – like the Waltons?  Sitting around a big fire, singing songs, Mom’s baking cookies with her apron on (pregnant), Dad has his feet up after a long day, smiling kids doing their homework, everyone’s listening to the radio, bibles sprinkled about the house…

        1. An ex girl friend told me, upon my asking about family members, about her sister and husband. They’ve been married maybe 20 years. I’ll call him Stan. Stan is your picture perfect small town citizen. Friendly salesman, a church elder, and he sometimes preaches. Salt of the earth.

          Not so long ago sis and Stan went to bed.  Stan goes into the bathroom for a little while.  The door opened, and there he was in stockings and a teddy.

          And then he raped her.

          I do believe that most Christians are good and decent people, subject to the usual imperfections.  But I also believe that “the church” covers a huge slime pit of the scum of society.  It attracts people afraid to admit or accept who they are. From pederastic priests to the Stans to Rev Ted to Jimmy Swaggart to maybe my neighbor.  With so many incidences of these types of perversions becoming public, I can’t begin to fathom how much more iceberg there is under the tip.

            1. I said I beleive most Christians are good and decent people.  Pretty broad, any disagreement?  As to the church being a source of much sexual shenanigans, I’m using a narrow brush, only some Christians. 

              We don’t see these religious pervs coming out of the synagogues, Buddhist temples, Quaker meetinghouses, or Wiccan whatevers, do we?  I realize that some of the statistical difference is due to more people in America professing Christianity, real or otherwise, but it is still so lopsided.

              One of the major differences of my short list above and orthodox, especially fundamentalist, Christianity (and Islam) is that there is a persistent and repetive strain of us-them.  I’ve never heard Jews, Quakers, Buddhists, or Wiccans say, “I’m right, you are wrong” in matters of theology other than as polite discourse. 

              Nor am I saying that I care if a man wants to cross dress.  Yes, I think it weird, but it’s part of the human experience.

              In case you missed it, check out my posting about my research into sexual perversion with an eye to Repubs or Dems.  http://coloradopols….

              And I’m not Oscar, so why do you rant on me about his statement?  Oh yeah, you’re a rightie and you conflate things.

              1. …I concur…there is certainly a virulent strain of radical fundamentalist on the Christian Right, but I would also caution that they are the most maligned religious group in America today, so it stands to reason they are frequently the focus of so much attention (for example – see Alexandra Pelosi’s documentary on fundamentalists that mocks and derides people of ardent faith).  It seems that fundamentalist Christians are ridiculed and disparaged for their faith by Secularists.  Yet, so many of the Evangelicals live normal unassuming lives and do not warrant the bashing they so frequently receive.

                Oh, to rejoin the “a rightie and you conflate things” comment…yeah, your rejoinder holds a lot of credence given the aggrandizing of your original post! 

                1. “Evangical” is not necessarily a loaded word.  The world is full of progressive evangelicals, but the fundie evangelicals co-opted the word.

                  I don’t care if it is Christianity, Islam, or Judaism, if it’s Fundie, it it inherently against democracy.  They all want whatever nation they are residing in to be officially Christian, Muslim, or Jewish.  The light of democracy is their worst enemy. 

                  ….but you did take Oscar’s comment and dressed me in it!

                2. The whole oppression line is overused and under deserved. The underlying basis of fundamental christianity is in direct conflict with the freedoms this country is supposed to espouse. Many “secularists,” as you so eloquently put it, lead unassuming lives as well, yet they are considered demons to those “oppressed.”

                  1. I’m unclear how you can make such an unequivocal statement as “The underlying basis of fundamental christianity is in direct conflict with the freedoms this country is supposed to espouse”?  It belies logic, if not fact.  Our democracy is predicated largely on Judo-Christian beliefs in which there is a long and rich tradition of Christian beleifs that corresponds to the notion of democracy.

                    1. “predicated largely on Judeo-Christian beliefs” and despite the fact that people like Thomas Jefferson were arguably atheists this beligerant rumor still stands. The follow up, though, is a new one, or maybe I just glossed over it. This long  tradition that corresponds with democracy, which countries established this tradition? Because, where I am sitting, democracy has not had an extensive history, at least not what we consider democracy today.

                    2. …first, as is so often misstated,  TJ was not an atheist.  He, in fact, expressed a belief in a “Supreme Being” and acknowledged his religious beliefs were novel in that, as he stated,  “I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.” (Written to Ezra Stiles on June 25, 1819). He lacked of faith in organized religion…a very different notion than simply being absent of faith.  He can arguably be regarded as the forefather of the “separation of church and state” clause in the constitution.  Second, what is your concept of “extensive history?” Democracy is surpassed as a form of government only by totalitarianism and fascism.  I don’t think I’d consider 200+ years of existence as lacking history? Name one other form of government that has consistently endured the same span of time in the same nation?

                    3. A little over 200 years isnt much when you look at the varying types of government and countries that have existed. The first two that pop in my mind are the czars of Russia and the Monarchy of England. Of course, the easy comeback is that they were overthrown, in the case of the czars, or they are no longer more than ceremonial figureheads, in the case of the monarchy in England.

                      More to the point, Thomas Jefferson, and others like him, did not want this to be a theocracy. As you say, he is widely considered to be the forefather of the seperation of church and state. I would argue that there has been a departure from that ideal in favor of overt christian theology, or at least theology based on a fundamentalist view of the bible.

                    4. …you buy into Micklethwait and Wooldridge’s (The Right Nation) assertion that this country is largely a theocracy? I argue the contradictory …the nation has actually become progressively more liberal. If you think there has been an increasing propensity toward religiosity I would suggest you look closer at the facts. What do you base this contention on?? 

                    5. And what I base this on is purely anecdotal, but I view the catering to religious right, the language designed to create appeal among religious conservatives in the so-called war on terror, and a revisit a drive to increase fundamentalist christian teachings in public schools, to name a few.

                      I am not sure what you base your opinion on, but what you may see as a progressive move towards liberalism, I would argue is a the natural progression of a society. In all seriousness though, what do you base your assertion on

                    6. …this forum doesn’t lend itself well to this type of in-dept debate. I will state that my master’s thesis was predicated on my assertion (or counter assertion). I based it on various measures that include shifting cultural norms (supported by polls), court cases and legislation that all suggest the nation as a whole increasingly embraces a more progressive orthodoxy. Your anecdotal evidence, I’m sorry to say, is unpersuasive. And, I will add, it is a safe bet, like all of us, you are colored by your perspectives and political bent.  This is not, by any means, meant as a slam on you…I will be the first to acknowledge I have my biases and they can cloud my perception of reality. That’s why I tend to be fervent in advocating that people refrain from using platitudes and easy assumptions that are not rooted in fact or data.

                    7. Anecdotal evidence is rarely persuasive and I wanted to couch it in that language as I dont have at my fingerprints data to refute you. As a fellow grad student I do a lot of reading and research, currently for personal enjoyment as my thesis is a ways away, but also for perspective. If your thesis is online I would be curious to read it.

                    8. I still have to go through the final review process from my review committee…

                      also, good luck in your master’s…it’s long and arduous journey.

                    9. Micklewaithe(sp) was right when he said that America is Right.  Just look around a bit, consider past elections, and talk to your neighbors.  Honest to goodness I’m just not that sympathetic to conservative chicken little-ism.  It’s unfounded and pessimistic.  I’ll buy the argument that America is 50/50–though with some reservations–but the fundamental ethos of America is conservative.  We are becoming more religious and our generation–the young folks–is acutally even MORE conservative than past generations.

                      Read this and take heart…


                      I think young conservatives are especially adept to this cynicism.  It’s unwarranted.

                    10. This may be where you and I depart…the main flaw with their conjecture is in their basis for comparison…While it’s accurate to say our nation is far more conservative and rooted in religious beliefs relative to Europe, it is erroneous to suggest the nation is becoming more traditional. Quite to the contrary…the quantitative data, if one is so incline to analyze it, suggests otherwise.  By every measure acceptable in the academic community implies our nation is progressively getting more secular and more tolerant of a host of progressive ideologies.  Take a look at Dr. Smith’s work conducted in 1989 (http://webapp.icpsr….) that makes a very persuasive argument, based on reams of quantitative data that support this assumption.

                    11. I looked at the Smith paper and I think one big problem is that it was done in 1989.  Surveys show a dramatic turn to the right on abortion and religious faith.  If about 53 or 54% of the public supported minimal limits on abortion in 1989, 15 years later polls almost uniformly show that 51-53% (that’s a Rasmussen poll) of Americans believe that abortion should be illegal except for rape, incest, and mother’s life.  That’s a marked shift. 

                      You can also look at religion in America.  Here there has been a realignment as dramatic as the 1980 Reagan Democrats. The liberalism of the Mainline is purging conservatives from its ranks and now Evangelicalism is becoming the public face of American Christianity.  Young Life and Campus Crusade for Christ are winning young people over to Christ in marked numbers.  At the Unversity of Colorado the biggest student group on campus is College Republicans.

                      In nearly all measures except for gay rights, young people are simply more conservative than their parents and sometimes grandparents.  I saw a Pew poll recently that showed that a slight plurality of Americans favor Creationism over Evolution.  If I’m a secular liberal I’m crapping my pants over these numbers.

                      I was in London a few months back and I happened to see Anderson Cooper on CNN.  He was doing an interview with Jim Wallis and Southern Baptist President Richard Land.  You probably know that these two agree on little theologically and nothing politically.  But they were both in steadfast agreement that there is a groundswell of religious fervor–perhaps a nascent revival–going on now across America’s college campuses.

                      How about fertility rates?  Republicans are twice as likely to go weekly to church and have a fertility rate averaging about 3.3 kids per woman.  Democrats only have about 1.7 kids per woman.  Read Phil Longmann’s book about demography and you’ll find one freaked out liberal whose seeing the conservative takeover beginning in his own country.  Read Brian Anderson’s “South Park Conservative” and you’ll discover how conservatism is growing among youth ranks because of its vibrancy and diversity.  This isn’t Goldwater’s kids anymore and neither it is even Reagan’s regiment–it’s something more diverse and more ferociously conservative.  I’m quite sure that by the time my kids get the vote we’ll be voting on making abortion illegal in Colorado–Roe will be overturned. Fertility rates will be on the increase and conservatism will be doing just dandy. 

                    12. First, I’m dubious of the Rasmussen poll, and, that’s not meant to impugn your contention. Other polls indicate Americans are actually pro-choice but favor much stronger restrictions on the practice including parental notification and abolishment of late term abortions.  Second, even if the poll were correct, I might dispute the basis for the majority supporting repealing abortive rights – evidence suggests that American’s are far more loathsome of the process by which legalizing abortions came about – through activist courts and not the legislative progression.  Something that in the last qtr. century Americans, at least on the right, have been increasingly more critical of and detest with increasing fervor
                      Second, if this statement is true, “The liberalism of the Mainline is purging conservatives from its ranks and now Evangelicalism is becoming the public face of American Christianity…” then the Republican Party is in even more peril than I thought initially.  I am not disputing the tenacity or vitality of the Christian Right. They proved they are a highly impactful group that mobilize large swathes of the electorate. But, let’s not be overly exuberant. Historically, Evangelicals represent a relatively marginal segment of the voters (I also recognize they are very influential in the nomination process). Furthermore, early indications may suggest they splitting on the war and even global warming. This may cause significant issues for the republicans come ’08. 
                      When you state, “At the University of Colorado the biggest student group on campus is College Republicans,” I believe this is a bit of a misstatement. It doesn’t take into account the multiplicity of liberal/progressive clubs that make up the remainder of the student run activist groups and far outstrip the membership of the Republican club in aggregate.

                      Finally, fertility rates – again, not a very persuasive argument.  Using that line of logic it would have been impossible for the baby boom generation to have broken free of their conservative bonds.  They may be a growing (or more accurately, a more vocal group) but data also points to more liberal youth as well. In other words, both are growing at a relatively similar rate…therefore, I am not as convinced that the growing conservative youth movement will translate into a more conservative electorate.

                    13. Man, you really don’t have much optimism, do you? 

                      Well, justifiably or not, I’m much more of an optimist.  You may be right about the abortion surveys–but there’s still a great deal of room for hope there.  Studies indicate that about 45% of Americans call themselves “born again” Christians and about 35% consider themselves “evangelical.”  The Barna group has shown that while this hefty group calls themselves “evangelical,” their theology is not fundamentally in line with traditional Christian beliefs. 

                      Nevertheless, with those numbers, evangelicals are not simply “on the margins” like you suggest.  About the College Republicans, I accept your thoughts on that.  Liberals student groups probably do outnumber conservative groups.  But the conservative temperment is, for better or worse, simply not as excitable or active as that of liberals.  We’re not the sort to go out and protest and collect signatures as readily as our liberal counterparts.

                      Finally, about the fertility rates.  Kids are about 80% likely to end up voting the same as mom and dad. If 10 conservative moms have 30 kids, you bet that around 24 of them will end up voting for the GOP.  If 10 liberal moms have about 17 kids, about 14 of them will end up voting for the Democrats.  You do the math–conservative growth is exponential and the ranks of Republican voters will only grow.  It’s true that some Republicans will become gay or liberal or both.  But it’s just as true that some liberal kids will become straight or conservative or both.

                      I trust our religious leaders–Left and Right–who say they are seeing a veritable revival going on among America’s youth.  I believe the liberals who are crapping their pants when they look at the reality of the situation–that America is becoming MORE–not less–conservative.  I’m reading a book right now by Anne Hendershott, “The Politics of Abortion,” that notes that the zest of the pro-life movement is coming from college campuses.  Have you seen the UCLA survey?  Doesn’t that give you hope?  All I can say is that conservative churches are starting to dwarf mainline ones and that we’re having more kids.  It’s a tight line this country is walking and a push to either side and we could be going irrevocably Left or Right–for now, the Republic still stands.

                      I encourage you to read the history of the 18th and early 19th centuries.  This country was far more libertine than it was today.  Estimates were that only about 3-5% of the American public attended church weekly.  It really gives you some much-needed perspective.  America IS exceptional–we have not and nor will we become like Europe.  Americans are still church-going, family-loving folks who live in the suburbs and work hard to give their kids a good life.  All if not perfect here–but the center still holds–especially after the disasterous 60s and 70s.

                    14. What studies? Who commissioned them? What was their methodology? Any links to these studies available?

                      Until you can tell us more about them then they won’t be taken seriously.

                    15. This is an annual Gallup Poll done with Princeton University…


                      Again, this is SELF-DESCRIBED, born agains and evangelicals.  Some of these probably don’t fit the theological standards for orthodoxy.  This, to my knowledge, also includes black evangelicals.

                    16. I told a fellow named FFF, who said the same things you did regarding Christian conservative birth rates, that that didn’t mean anything. Some of the most liberal people I know came from fundamentalist republican households. Some very kinky people and some gay people I know came from fundamentalist republican households too. Growing up in such a house guarantees nothing about how someone turns out. So I say, breed away.

                    17. This would severely limit the number of postings.  Let’s start with reducing platitudes and see how things go.

                    18. good point…I can still dream of world that is tolerant and loving….bleak…I think I just got infected by platituditus!

                    19. Love your posts.  You are obviously a scholar and a gentleman.  Keep dreaming; tolerance and loving are worthwhile goals:)

                    20. …a scholar?  I feel honored by the bestowed title!  As for my post…obviously I’m extremely shy and lack the ability to express myself! :}

                    21. …add that this shift left is also one of the Republican Party’s more problematic issues it faces.  In order to not lose more ground than it has it will have to appeal to the broader moderate voter.  Undoubtedly, they have more progressive values than the Traditionalists that constitute a significant segment of the Reb. core. It is this environment the Republican Party faces as it ponders how to regain traction lost in the last two election cycles.

                    22. But the most fervent voters, at least in a primary, are also those that are the most vocal. In the repubs case, that would be their base, religious voters, and a smaller contingent of true conservatives. I would argue that the people that would last a primary are the more conservative, religiously, of the bunch. A person like Sam Brownback stands a greater chance than does a person like McCain, Guiliani or even Romney. On the contrary, in the general election Brownback would not stand a chance.

                    23. Brownback is generaly viewed as an opportunistic waif.  The top issue for conservatives is the war.  Social liberalism may disqualify Rudy but Romney’s checkered past is probably forgiveable given how he governed Mass. and how strong he’s been on the war.

  6. These two lightweights Schaffer and McInnis don’t have a chance.
    Jim Nicholson will leave the cabinet in the summer and run unopposed for the nomination.

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