The Jury Talks Back


Wayback Machine: 1980

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin M @ 8:41 pm

“In the wake of today’s liberal meme: “She can’t be elected“. I bring you Time Magazine, March 31, 1980:  But Can Reagan Be Elected? (emphasis mine)

For several decades, it has been an article of faith among politicians and political analysts that no candidate can win a U.S. presidential election unless he can dominate the broad center of the spectrum, that all candidates on the edges of the left or right are doomed. Barry Goldwater’s “extremism . . . is no vice” campaign of 1964 provides the classic evidence, reinforced by George McGovern’s 1972 defeat in 49 out of 50 states. And since G.O.P. Front Runner Ronald Reagan relies upon a base of support that is on the far right wing of the Republican Party, some experts have long declared that if he wins the nomination, the G.O.P. would simply be repeating the suicidal Goldwater campaign. Ex-President Gerald Ford left no doubt about his views when he warned last month: “A very conservative Republican cannot win in a national election.” But last week, after Ford gave up his own ambitions and Reagan’s nomination took on a look of inevitability, a reassessment was under way across the country. The consensus was that although many hazards lie ahead, Ronald Reagan indeed has a chance to be elected as the 40th President of the U.S. National opinion polls continue to show Carter leading Reagan by an apparently comfortable margin of about 25%. They also show that more moderate Republicans like Ford would run better against the President. This suggests that Reagan is not the strongest G.O.P. choice for the November election and that he clearly faces an uphill battle. Nonetheless, few political observers now write off Reagan’s chances, and certainly not Jimmy Carter’s chief election strategists.

But read the whole thing.  As Time noted:

Reagan confronts a Democratic President who, after a temporary surge in the national polls because of the crises in Iran and Afghanistan, is now plagued by declining job ratings. The odds are that by fall, Carter will be trying to defend his management of an economy with double-digit inflation and rising unemployment, gasoline prices of upwards of $2 per gal. and a reduced budget that offends many of the traditional Democratic-constituencies. New York Opinion Researcher Daniel Yankelovich sums it up: “The biggest thing Reagan has going for him is Carter.”

The way things are drifting, with every other day some contest going from Leans Dem to Tossup, or from Leans Rep to Solid Red, nearly anyone can be elected if they clearly reject the financial madness of the Washington elite.  According to Real Clear Politics, if the Republicans only split the current tossups, they’ll have 224 seats and a 46 vote pickup.  If they sweep the tossups, they”ll gain 64 seats for a 242 – 193 advantage.

Not bad for a party that 16 short months ago Time called an ….


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