The GOP Structural Advantage (sigh)

I had missed this piece by Thomas Schaller in the October American Prospect.

55-45 Politics in a 50-50 Country

If you read this blog then I imagine you must be interested in the theories of how the GOP has done so well in recent years despite being out of step with most American’s views of government. They have in fact, gone nutsy cuckoo, but have not really suffered for it politically!  There are reasons besides the fecklessness of the media, Citizen’s United and gerrymandering (although those are some pretty good reasons). Definitely worth a read.

Conservatism and the Republican Party over-perform not necessarily because of the quality or popularity of their ideas, but because the “price points” for winning and retaining Republican political victories are lower. In effect, a supermajoritarian threshold applies to the enactment of most planks of the Democratic—and certainly the liberal Democratic—agenda. Republican extremism isn’t free. But it requires only a minority of voters to sustain, so in a sense, it is cheaper to buy.

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