Christmas Gift of the Battleground
By Bruce Walker
January 7, 2008
Just in time for Christmas, conservatives have been given another gift: we are the overwhelming majority of America. This is not "news." I have written an article about the Battleground Poll every time a Battleground Poll has come out since June 2002. The results are always the same: people who call themselves either "conservative" or "very conservative" constitute the overwhelming majority of all Americans.
Does this seem odd? Certainly critics of my articles have said so. Do Americans really understand what "conservative" means? Well, in ten straight polls, spaced apart by about six months each, Americans have been asked that question. They have been asked to describe themselves as "very conservative," "somewhat conservative," "moderate," "somewhat liberal," "very liberal," or "don't know / refused to answer." This choice seems to be inclusive. If someone is a moderate, then he can choose to answer "moderate." If someone is confused by ideological labels, he can answer "don't know/refused."
How could anyone in America today be genuinely confused by that? Yet confusion is the only answer to a consistent response over a number of years to the identical question in repeated Battleground Polls. What has been the response to that question since June 2002? In June 2002, fifty-nine percent of Americans called themselves "somewhat conservative" or "very conservative." In September 2003, that percentage was again exactly fifty-nine percent. In April of 2004, sixty percent of Americans called themselves "very conservative" or "somewhat conservative." In June of that year, the percentage dropped one point to fifty-nine percent of Americans, and in September 2004, that percentage rose a point to sixty percent of Americans. In October 2005, that percentage was sixty-one percent. In March 2006, the percentage was fifty-nine percent and in October 2006, just before the Republican Party took a licking, the percentage had actually risen to sixty-one percent of Americans calling themselves "very conservative" or "somewhat conservative." In January 2007, after that November debacle, fifty-nine percent of Americans called themselves "very conservative" or "somewhat conservative." Then in July 2007, sixty-three percent of Americans called themselves "very conservative" or "somewhat conservative." Ten straight Battleground Polls over more than five years, and the between fifty-nine and sixty-three percent of Americans, when given six different choices, four of which did not have "conservative," chose to be identified as conservative.
So what has changed? Nothing has changed. The Battleground Poll released December 19, 2007 shows that fifty-eight percent of Americans called themselves either "very conservative" or "somewhat conservative." Only thirty-six percent of Americans called themselves "very liberal" or "somewhat liberal." If the election involved only conservative and liberal voters, the conservative candidate would win every state and win nationally by a landslide unprecedented in the history of the two party system. Even if all moderate voters and all undecided voter went with the liberal candidate, the conservative candidate would win by a majority equal to Ronald Reagan in 1984.
Is there a message for conservatives? Of course! Think Ronald Reagan; think conservative; think the American people. The Left has sold us a bill of goods that somehow the conservative majority is not a majority. Is that why Hillary is so eagerly embracing the label of "liberal"? (That's right. She's not is she? She is a "progressive" or something else that is consciously confusing.)
Americans know what they want. They have seen the Hurricane Katrina that is liberalism and Leftism in America. They want someone who is unmistakably conservative. That someone may be Mike Huckabee or Fred Thompson or someone else, but as long as the candidate is truly and clearly conservative, that will win the election. Does anyone doubt why every Republican candidate has tried to portray himself as the next Ronald Reagan? Does anyone doubt that Ronald Reagan was the most overtly conservative president our nation has had in the last eighty years? Can any Republican candidate add sums and do the math?
Ignore the mainstream press and ignore the pundits of the Beltway. Embrace genuine conservative principles and let the Left pillory you for being "too conservative." America wants conservative leaders to run our nation. The Battleground Poll is right: it is right the last eleven times over the last five and a half years. This bipartisan and thorough poll inadvertently reveals the most important political fact in America today: the voters are not just generally conservative, but overwhelmingly conservative year in and year out. Find the right man to embrace that truth and we will have our next Reagan.
Bruce Walker is a long-time conservative writer whose work is published regularly at popular conservative sites such as American Thinker.