The next time someone tells you “we MUST have Romney, he will win the independents!,” refer them to this poll from InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion that was released today.
Now, granted, it is only one poll and it is a snapshot in time, but it does reveal a trend and a truth that conservatives have been espousing for many years: when given a choice between a Democrat and Democrat-lite, voters will choose the real Democrat every time (i.e. GHWB, Dole, McCain).
The poll, released today out of Iowa, shows Romney garnering only 7% support from Democrats, and not even 10% support from independent voters. And guess what? Michele Bachmann, whom Gallup has identified as the ‘most conservative’ candidate in the GOP field, actually does the best among Democrats, garnering nearly 30%.
Gingrich & Paul also do well among the Democrats, grabbing about 23% each. Paul shows by far the most appeal to independents with 33%.
The principle here is clear: Authenticity and principles are of more value than smooth speeches and lots of campaign cash. Real, unapologetic conservatism can and does appeal to Democrats and independents. What doesn’t appeal to them are election year conversions and slick ads.
Yes, you need the independents to win the general election. Yes, we want a candidate who can do that. But it requires authenticity and principled conservatism, not moderation and pandering. That’s why we need someone besides Romney.