The crumbling GOP base

Boston Globe
by Jeff Jacoby

05/31/06

Like a lot of conservatives, I won't be voting Republican in the congressional elections this fall. Admittedly, I won't have a choice -- in Massachusetts, Republican candidates for Congress generally spare voters the trouble of defeating them by not bothering to run in the first place. But millions of conservatives will have a choice. And the closer Election Day draws, the clearer it becomes that plenty of them will choose not to vote Republican. Unless something changes dramatically -- and soon -- the GOP is poised to lose its most reliable voters, and with them any hope of keeping its congressional majority. How disgruntled is the party's base? In recent polls, fewer than 70 percent of registered Republicans said they approve of the way President Bush is handling his job, a sharp drop from the 90 percent support on which he once could count. Among self-identified conservatives, Bush's standing is even lower...

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