Monday, February 2, 2009

Utah Republican Platform Exposed

I thought it might be fun to go through the Utah Republican platform and size it up and see how it is applied in the real world. If you don't find this sort of thing fun then I feel badly for you.

I will likely do this in several parts. The first plank is that government "properly exists by the consent of the governed and must be restrained from intruding into the freedoms of its citizens." I am interested to see how Republicans fare as the minority and opposition party. This is the first time in my adult life that Democrats have been in control of the complete federal government. Not only in control, but with an overwhelming mandate and repudiation of Bush-era conservatism. Will Republicans become somewhat conciliatory in defeat or more defiant? If the House Republicans are any indication, more defiant.

This is in juxtaposition to a new study by Gallup that mapped each state by percentage of population that identifies itself or leans to a certain political party. The map is somewhat shocking, in an awesome way:

That's right, only five states have a significant majority (more than 5% majority) of its population that identifies itself or leans Republican, compared to 35 states and the District of Columbia for Democrats. Utah is the reddest state at +23% Republican. The rest of the states are within that +/- 5% and are considered competitive.

What does this mean for the Utah Republican Party? Not much, I imagine, in the short term. They still hold a 3:1 advantage in both the state Senate and House. But the country is shifting away from Utah's brand of conservatism and if Utah wants to keep up and remain relevant, it better start shifting as well. With an increasing number of residents moving in to the state from other states and a young population, Utah is going to get bluer and bluer. For the first time in decades, three Utah counties (Salt Lake, Grand, and Summit) voted a majority Democratic.

If I was the Utah Democratic Party, I would start making a serious push in Utah. As in, working year round on voter registration and re-branding as a moderate alternative to the Buttars-Chaffetz brand of Utah ultra-conservatism. If that sends a jolt to Utah conservatives it will be interesting to see how they adapt to a majority of moderates that form the "consent of the governed" that makes the first plank of the Utah Republican platform. Because so far they are thumbing their noses at Utahns on popular issues like vouchers, conservation, and public transportation because they feel invincible.

More platform goodness on the way . . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Three years later and I'm the first to comment. I guess the elections of 2010 made this blog from Mormon Left sound a little silly and prematurely celebratory