This is interesting and good to know considering the myriad of narratives on the left that say otherwise.
An article in the New York Times attempts to beef up Mark Begich’s chances of winning relection. Written by Nate Cohn, the headline reads “Alaska Might Be More Friendly to Democrats Than it Appears.”
Cohn explains (emphasis mine):
There’s a serious case that the state would have been competitive in the 2008 presidential election if Sarah Palin, then the governor of Alaska, hadn’t been selected as the Republican nominee for vice president. The state was part of Mr. Obama’s preconvention advertising, and polls showed a single-digit race throughout the summer.
We’ll never know how Mr. Obama would have fared if Ms. Palin hadn’t been on the ballot, but Mr. Obama’s 14-point margin of defeat in 2012 was close to his 13.6-point defeat in Montana, a state where Mr. Obama lost by only 2 points in 2008, and where Mr. Obama didn’t gain as much ground over Mr. Kerry’s performance as he did in Alaska. It seems reasonable to imagine that Mr. Obama would have performed about as well in Alaska as he did in Montana — and therefore that Alaska would have been one of the closest states in the country in 2008.
It’s an interesting argument to make and I respect Cohn’s analytical gifts. Of course it confirms that Governor Palin helped McCain in 2008 just as many of us knew anyway including even being admitted by Steve Schmidt.
After eight years of George W. Bush, Democrats were energized by Obama. He excited the base like no other had done in years which is why their energy was transmitted to the independents. Now, imagine if the Republilcan establishment, with its money, would get behind a similar charasmatic candidate selected by the people who truly represents our values?
He makes another interesting statement, however:
President Obama lost Alaska by only 14 points in 2012.
Well, with the energy generated by the Tea Party and grassroots activists just last year, Steve Lonegan only lost the New Jersey Senate election by 11 points.
If “Alaska Might Be More Friendly to Democrats Than it Appears” on the basis of 14 points in 2012, New Jersey can very well be friendly to conservatives when noting Lonegan’s 11-point trail.
The difference is that national Democrats and their money will back ideologically-exciting candidates that appeal to their base, they’ll have confidence in them, and it takes a lot for them to eat their own. That’s why Obama had a fighting chance in such states.
Unfortunately, the national Republicans and their money haven’t yet figured out this strategy — as Lonegan did it all on his own with good people like Governor Palin and Mark Levin.
Turning the country and its mood around to classic Republican Party ideals and constitional conservatism is possible when media tries to portray it as a lost cause. Thatcher did it, Reagan did it, and it can be done again.