Saturday, November 23, 2013

The GOP's "New Coke" Strategy Isn't Working


I've been looking for the perfect analogy to help illustrate why moderate Republicans continue to lose elections - especially presidential elections. I believe this is it. Many younger voters won't recall the historic blunder Coca-Cola made in the 80s, but it easy easy enough for even the most casual political observers to understand.
.....The best explanation I have ever heard for this phenomenon was given by conservative commentator Bill Whittle: RINO Republicans will always lose because they are the New Coke. 
 New Coke was introduced back in the days of the Great Soft Drink Wars, when Coke vs. Pepsi was all the rage. Coke decided that in order to win over Pepsi drinkers, they needed to change their formula so that Coke would taste more like Pepsi…but there was a problem. Pepsi drinkers liked Pepsi, so they had no reason to switch from their favored brand to a competing brand that was just a Pepsi wannabe. Coke drinkers liked Coke better than Pepsi, so they had no reason to buy a soft drink that was trying to match the taste of something they didn’t like to begin with. 
 In the end, no one bought New Coke, and Coca-Cola was forced to scrap their new offering and introduce Classic Coke, a return to their original formula. 
 It’s the same way with politics. The Republican Party keeps trying to run the New GOP – the “moderate” Progressive Republicans who try their darndest to be as similar to Democrats as they possibly can, with just enough differences to maintain the GOP label. The goal is to try and win over enough moderate Democrats to swing the vote to the GOP’s favor. But Democrats have no reason to vote for a Republican, when they can get all of the left-wing progressivism they want, and then some, from the Democrat candidate. And real Republicans will only turn out for the New GOP in an effort to keep the Democrat from winning – and that will never be sufficient motivation to get enough Republican voters out to defeat someone like Hillary Clinton......
After consecutive defeats to a man who had the most liberal voting record in the U.S. Senate, we are now being told by the "smart" people  that the GOP needs to run another Moderate (New Coke). Specifically, Chris Christie. I truly believe the only way for the GOP to win in the current environment is with massive base turnout. While Christie may have sold blue New Jersey on the new formula in an off-year election, the same voters who drank the New Coke indicated in the exit poll that given a choice between Chris Christie and Hillary Clinton, they still prefer Pepsi.

H/T Cruz Country

Cross posted at Red State

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50 comments:

John Arnold said...

The reason why moderate Republicans are not getting elected is because more conservative Republicans are not voting for them. It might feel good to pick a conservative Republican to be the presidential candidate, but there is no way he/she would win the general election.

Anonymous said...

The idea that the party is controlled by moderates and RINO's is a false meme. The Republican party make-up is more conservative now than it has ever been. By and large, most Republicans want conservative policy.

Second, Christie is not really a moderate. Reagan was a much more moderate governor--and president, and only seemed more conservative because he was able to articulate conservative ideals very very well. But in actions, Reagan would no doubt today be considered a RINO.

I don't think it's going to matter all that much who we nominate (of those who are qualified) because we are going to win or lose based on how bad things get for Democrats. The reason Romney lost has exactly zilch to do with whether or not he was perceived as moderate or conservative. This conservative/moderate/RINO fight is basically a fantasy.

I just really don't need to hair-of-fire crowd blowing it for us--putting their own self-interest ahead of getting a Republican elected.

-Martha

CRUZ COUNTRY said...

In politics, perception is reality.

Reagan was perceived as very conservative, and won two landslide presidential elections as a result.

Bush43 was perceived as slightly more conservative than moderate, and narrowly won twice as a result.

Romney, McCain & Dole were all perceived as moderates, and were all soundly defeated as a result.

Bush 41 was perceived as conservative in 1988 due to his close association to Reagan, and won by a landslide as a result. But in 1992, when he had to run on his own record - a very moderate record - he was soundly defeated as a result.

Whether we like it or not, perception is reality in politics. If the GOP nominates another perceived moderate in 2016, it will lose again, as sure as day turns into night.

Anonymous said...

CRuz Country, sorry, that's bunk.

In 2008 and 2012 everything going against us. No one would have won. Obama cheated, besides. The results have nothing to do with moderate or conservative. Absolutely nothing. Romney was only perceived as a moderate by far right pundits with an agenda. Romney was the most qualified person to run in decades. He was also conservative. There is nothing you can point to with validity to prove otherwise.

-Martha.

Anonymous said...

Cruz Country must be Newark Hawk. Good heavens I hope not.

-Martha

CRUZ COUNTRY said...

Martha -

Romney was perceived as moderate by the vast majority of the electorate. Poll after poll after poll proved that. His strongest political demographic in the primaries was moderate voters. You can deny it all you all want, but as John Adams famously said, "facts are stubborn things."

Newark Hawk? Whatever. And you must be Pablo, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Cruz Country, vast majority? whatever. I somehow missed that. lol

-Martha

CRUZ COUNTRY said...

Martha - It's not the only thing you missed. LOL

Right Wingnut said...

It's common knowledge that Romney is a moderate. Only his most dedicated supporters will claim otherwise.

Right Wingnut said...

Given the importance of base turnout in a national election, it also needs to be pointed out that the Christie-Buono race drew a record low voter turnout.

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/11/christie-buono_race_draws_record_low_turnout_for_nj_governors_election.html

CRUZ COUNTRY said...

RW - Great post. Thanks for the hat tip, BTW. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Coke/New Coke analogy starts getting a lot more play in the media, without attribution, of course.

Right Wingnut said...

@John Arnold, it appears as though you got it in your first sentence, but judging by your second sentence, you must not have read the entire article. It really is simple, if you just take the time to read it all and let it soak in.

Right Wingnut said...

CC, I wish i would have thought of it. It's brilliant. Hopefully Cruz uses it in about 2 years.

Anonymous said...

'Common knowledge that Romney is a moderate.' lol.

It's common knowledge that Sarah Palin and Mark Levin are idiots.

It's common knowledge that Ted Cruz was dead wrong on delaying the mandate. If he had won, (which was never possible and he knew it), we would not now know just how utterly horrible ObamaCare really is.

Thank heaven you people don't have any influence. You would run us over a cliff.

-Martha

Anonymous said...

RW, lets face it, you're a supporter of the hair on fire crowd. I'm not. It doesn't have anything to do with moderate or conservative, but style.

I am a conservative who supported a conservative. Mitt Romney. He was a conservative governor, had 100% conservative policy prescriptions, and ran as a 100% conservative. He is not a hair of fire conservative, so you simplistically call him a moderate, but it does not make it so.

Plus, getting bogged down in name-calling, labeling and attacking other Republicans feeds right into Obama's goal to divide and conquer. Congratulations. You guys might want to stop fighting a battle that isn't even real.

-Martha

Right Wingnut said...

Cruz was not pushing to delay the mandate. Defund.

Right Wingnut said...

Martha, I'm not sure if you've noticed, but our collective hair is on fire right now. Mitt's way didn't work. Let's try something else.

RomneyMan said...

Cruz Country is a beginning amateur at this stuff. Words take, pinch, and salt apply.
He changes his (dismal) opinions as much as he changes his name.
Don't worry.

CRUZ COUNTRY said...

Martha -

Cruz would have won if not for Rinos like Kelly Ayotte - you know, Mitt's girl - stabbing him in the back.

And had he won, ObamaCare would be history, and the whole country would be a lot better off.

Hair on fire? You sound like you have your brain on fire.

Anonymous said...

RW, yeah, I meant defund.

"Mitt's way didn't work. Let's try something else."

What way? Hair-on fire? There isn't a Republican alive who could have beat Obama in either 08 or 12. You guys push your false narrative with no evidence, logic or common sense.

What you really mean is 'let's try HAIR-ON-FIRE', not conservatism, because guess what? Conservatism lost in 2012.

-Martha

Anonymous said...

Crus Country, you sound like Newark Hawk. Come on, own it.

-Martha

Right Wingnut said...

I'm actually Newark Hawk. Had you fooled all along.

RomneyMan said...

Maybe '16 will see a Mormon nom

Anonymous said...

"Cruz would have won if not for Rinos like Kelly Ayotte - you know, Mitt's girl - stabbing him in the back."

THERE WAS NEVER A PATH TO DEFUND, only those who believe that are living in fantasy.

"And had he won, ObamaCare would be history, and the whole country would be a lot better off."

NO. Had he won, the whole country would hate Republicans, and be completely in the dark about how rotten ObamaCare is. Everyone needed to see it for themselves. That was the ONLY way to kill it.

Having said that, I don't blame Cruz for not being able to predict that it would fail so spectacularly so fast.

I do blame him for being a camera-loving self-interested, grandstanding politico who uses every situation for his own personal benefit.

-Martha

Right Wingnut said...

RM, who do you have in mind? Leavitt?

RomneyMan said...

Romney

CRUZ COUNTRY said...

Martha/Pablo/whatever your name is -

The path to defund ObamaCare is in the Constitution.

It's called the power of the purse.

Had ObamaCare been defunded, 60% of the country would be thanking those who defunded it, and Obama's signature achievement would be in the dustbin of history.

Again, facts are stubborn things.

CRUZ COUNTRY said...

Not only is Martha totally ignorant, she's certified crazy as well.

Right Wingnut said...

Martha, it's playing out exactly as Cruz said it would. I know you watched at least some of his 21 hour speech. And I know you've watched many of his interviews. He was spot on, even before the rollout. The only thing he couldn't have known is how bad the website is. But that's not the most serious problem by a long shot. Still can't believe he gets criticized for going to the mat to prevent the serious harm ObamaCare is causing to millions of people. It's literally a matter of life and death. You should be ashamed.

RomneyMan said...

The likes of martha.btp,joel etc STILL think ROMNEY'S Campaign was great. lol

Anonymous said...

Newark, for you, fantasy is a stubborn thing.

-Martha

Anonymous said...

RW, Actually, I haven't watched many of his interviews. I can't because I find him obnoxious as heck. But I did watch parts of his defund speech and I thought it was impressive that he could be so articulate for that long.

Of course he is right about ObamaCare. Almost everyone is. It's playing out just as Republicans said it would, and worse. And yes, the website is the least of the problems.

He is criticized for 'going to the mat' with a lousy, failing strategy. It hurt all Republicans, but thankfully not permanently. The rollout took care of that.

And I agree, Obamacare is literally a matter of life and death. Like Romney said, though, we have to not only fight, but win. Cruz couldn't have won that fight no matter how long he talked or how right he was in the things he said. He fights to fight, not necessarily to win.

-Martha

RomneyMan said...

If the candidate is Mormon, then he can do no wrong

Anonymous said...

Let me clarify. If I believed Cruz was really fighting to accomplish something, I wouldn't be so hard on him. But let's just say I question his motivation a lot of the time. And I question his methods. I also question the fact that he's highly critical of other Republicans and doesn't seem to see the necessity of working with them, and not against them.

-Martha

CRUZ COUNTRY said...

Clueless RINO's who ignore the Constitution by saying there "was never a path to defund ObamaCare" are the number one reason why the GOP has become a national laughingstock instead of an effective political party that successfully represents the interests of its constituents. RINO's are good at one thing and one thing only - LOSING!

Anonymous said...

I'm looking for a leader to get everyone on board. Cruz is quite divisive.

-Martha

Anonymous said...

Newark Hawk, I'm sorry to see you back here, and I'm sorry to see your obsession with me. Kindly do not address me, your opinions about women/rape/judges are dangerous and I prefer that you leave me alone.

-Martha

CRUZ COUNTRY said...

Martha, you continue to flaunt your delusional craziness for all to see. Carry on, please. It's great entertainment.

RomneyMan said...

I, Nephi, was born of goodly parents who saw that I was educated in the way of my father.
Although I have had many afflictions in my life, I have always been highly favored by the Lord.

RomneyMan said...

“Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.”

—2 Nephi 26:28

Anonymous said...

Cruz Country. I know that you are Newark Hawk. You need to own it. Tell us the truth about who you are. If you're not ashamed, then why not say?

The thing is that I have disagreed with RW a lot and he's been pretty nasty in the past. So have I. But I know that he and I are normal people who simply disagree on how to proceed.

You, on the other hand, creep me out. You don't appear normal to me. You appear quite off. You can hardly contain an under the surface anger, and an obsession with me. You already proved that you're of questionable character by your defense of the rape of a child by her 40 year-old teacher, and you even called it a May-December romance. That's pretty much all one needs to know about you. You're sick.

So just leave me alone. In fact, if you're going to be here, I'm not because again you creep me out. I'm glad you live on the opposite coast.

-Martha

CRUZ COUNTRY said...

Pass the popcorn. This is getting good. They should charge admission for this. Carry on wacko bird - uh, I mean Martha - carry on.

Joel2013 said...

The myth continues. Maybe die-hard conservatives can place classified ads nationwide stating:

Wanted. True conservative candidate who can save the world. Must be willing to ignore the vast majority of those in his/her own party in order to appease the minority. Must be arrogant, boisterous, combative, and lack common sense. A good understanding of basic math is helpful, but not required. Only true conservatives willing to stand for what they believe in, even if it means not voting during a general election in protest if you are not the candidate of choice need apply. Probability of winning a general election is not required.

In short, save your rhetoric for others who are naive enough to think you've suddenly discovered the secret to winning. You haven't. Here's reality. Rather than continuing down the path of feasting on our own, The solution is to unify our party, not tear our party apart, And all the nonsense about starting a third party is just that, nonsense. A losing proposition.

As for those who lack the intelligence to state their opinions without bringing in ignorant references to the core beliefs of others, shame on you. It is a reflection of your inability to articulate your thoughts in a poised and professional manner.

cimbri said...

The Country has moved away from social conservatism, and every poll taken shows this. Cruz is 15% down and Christie is beating Hillary. I'm sorry but that's the reality. Cruz has unfortunately already branded himself (the nightmare tea parties, if only they would disappear). He should have presented himself as a standard, sensible, business type conservative and he would be much higher in the polls now. A social con will get creamed in the general, and will spend his/her entire campaign backpeddling.

Regarding the defunding, delaying, etc. of the ACA, it was always a non-starter. It's not a question of what we would want in a theoretical world, it's what is obtainable in the real world. Republicans were not going to deep six all of their constituents who get federal resources in order to stop the ACA in its launch.

CRUZ COUNTRY said...

Cimbri, what are you talking about. Christie is losing to Hillary in his own state of New Jersey. The last president to be elected despite losing his birth & resident states was James Polk in 1844.

You're dreaming if you think it's going to happen again with Christie.

Whatever support Christie does have is paper thin, just like his pal Rudy Giuliani's was in 2008.

Far left Republicans from blue states don't fare well in GOP presidential primaries, especially when they have a ton of baggage like Christie does. The attack ads literally write themselves.

But hey, you can dream if you want to, Cimbri. Just don't get carried away by mistaking your dreams for reality.

CRUZ COUNTRY said...

And please don't tell me about Romney winning the nomination despite coming from a blue state. Romney was an arch conservative COMPARED to Christie, and he was squeaky clean without a trace of scandal. Christie has more skeletons to hide than Arlington National Cemetery.

cimbri said...

Christie seems like a regular guy when he is being interviewed. Comes across well. I like Cruz, but he isn't a natural like Christie. You guys should just swallow hard and get behind Christie. I simply cannot see Cruz winning FL, OH, VA and that's the bottom line. He wasn't even able to campaign for Cucc in VA even though they were soulmates. If the social cons are still grumbling and complaining then perhaps Christie could put Cruz on the ticket as a peace offering.

CRUZ COUNTRY said...

Big mistake by Cuccinelli not to campaign with Cruz in Virginia. It cost him dearly on election day when Sarvis, the libertarian candidate, picked up 7% of the vote, handing the victory to McAuliffe. No way that happens if Cuccinelli campaigns with Cruz instead of giving him the cold shoulder. More proof that trying to be the New Coke is a losing strategy for the GOP.

RomneyMan said...

All your 'regular guy' 'easy going' 'natural' remarks concerning Christie would also apply to Rubio. Rubio is also very likable. I'm I don't think there is a Christie 'fan' on a conservative board who wouldn’t prefer Rubio to him,,immigration or not.

cimbri said...

Problem for Rubio is that he is now damaged goods, and will spend the next few years veering right, and begging them to accept him again. It's like a mate who cheats and now wants to come back. It will never be the same.