The GOP needs Rudy NOW! (more than ever)
Last Tuesday's election results paint a dire national picture for Republicans. The broad American north, which once voted for Republicans like Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and that just a decade ago sported scores of mainstream Republican governors and senators, has completed its Bush era transformation from red to blue. The land that gave birth to the party of Lincoln is now the land of Schumer and Emanuel. The industrial north and upper midwest have joined with the northeast to create a massive Blue Bloc that will rival the sunbelt in electoral power for years to come and that Republicans simply must break wide open to have any shot at taking back Congress or holding the White House in '08.
The composition of the Blue Bloc
The Bloc consists of 18 states in the northeast, industrial north, mid-Atlantic region, and Great Lakes area. As a bloc, these states moved disproportionately toward the Democrats in 2006, giving the Dems large majorities at every level of government and singlehandedly ending 12 years of GOP rule in the House.
These states include: MN, IA, WI, IL, IN, OH, MI, PA, NJ, MD, DE, NY, CT, RI, VT, MA, NH, and ME.
Number of Blue Bloc states: 18
Number of electoral votes: 210
House breakdown: 52% Democrat pre-2006; 63% Democrat post-2006
Senate breakdown: 67% Democrat pre-2006; 75% Democrat post-2006
Gubernatorial breakdown: 50% Democrat pre-2006; 72% Democrat post-2006
In 2006, the Blue Bloc went from being the nation's largest swing region to, well, blue. The GOP must pierce the bloc to regain power.
Rudy could break the Blue Bloc
Enter Rudy Giuliani, the GOP's best shot at breaking the Blue Bloc in 2008.
1. Rudy’s a New Yorker. Before Tuesday, this was a liability in a country where all the electoral clout appeared to be in Red America. Now, this is a tremendous benefit. Rudy already speaks the language of northern and northeastern voters; he doesn’t have to take a crash course on the subject the way most other 2008 GOP contenders would. Advantage: Rudy.
2. Rudy’s a fiscal conservative. This is important in the north and northeast. We know this because we know what types of Republican governors win in this region. GOP executives like John Engler, Tommy Thompson, and the recently re-elected Tim Pawlenty are nothing if not fiscally prudent. And New Hampshire, long the “West Berlin” of New England, just threw out 2 of 2 Republican congressmen for being complicit in the fiscal insanity that is the Washington GOP establishment. Rudy has a long history of balancing the books by streamlining government and not raising taxes. In other words, he’s the kind of Republican who can win the Blue Bloc.
3. Rudy’s a party builder. While John McCain was flying from state to state building his ’08 organization this year, Rudy was stumping for GOP candidates. Both Rudy and McCain have the crossover appeal to compete for those Americans who pulled the Democratic lever this fall, but only Rudy can do it as a quarterback, leading his team to victory, not just himself.
4. Rudy’s the true Goldwater/Reagan Republican in the race. Ronald Reagan won 49 states in 1984, including every Blue Bloc state save Minnesota. While John McCain is garnering this label from many pundits, there’s only one Republican who really deserves the mantle of Reagan, and that’s Rudy. How soon we forget that McCain favored keeping taxes at Clinton levels while Rudy cut taxes in NYC. Or that Rudy actually led the effort to reform entitlements in New York while McCain, as a senator, has only bloviated. Or that only Rudy has touted Scalia as his ideal Chief Justice; Scalia, of course, a Reagan appointee. And while McCain attempts to ensure that terrorists have ACLU attorneys at their side, Rudy is focusing on winning the war on terror, whatever it takes. There was only one Goldwater. And one Reagan. But if they have an heir in this race, it’s Rudy.
Ultimately, Rudy Giuliani is the GOP’s best bet at preventing the Blue Bloc from becoming Blue America.