Monday, June 29, 2009

Pew-Based "Patchwork Nation" Poll Shows Obama's Approval At 63 Percent; Strongest Among Secular Elite, Weakest Among Social Conservatives

The 2012 Republican Dream Ticket?

The Times and Seasons blog has posted a reference to a new type of demographically-based political poll I've never seen before. This poll is of some interest and is somewhat reality-based.

Patchwork Nation has taken Obama poll numbers from a Pew Research Center for the People and Press poll conducted in mid-June, transposed them into 12 different county-based demographic groups, and published their findings in the Patchwork Nation blog hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. While Obama's overall approval in Patchwork Nation is 63 percent, Patchwork Nation's demographic breakdown shows his highest approval ratings among the Industrial Metropolis, Campus & Careers, and Monied 'Burbs groups. The latter two are considered representative of America's secular cultural elite, which has a tendency to be anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-White. Representative of their thinking are two recent Anchorage Daily News columns by Kenai Peninsula College Professor Alan Borass and UAA Professor Steve Haycox.

On the other end of the scale, Obama's lowest approval ratings are registered among two faith-based socially conservative groups, Evangelical Epicenters and Mormon Outposts. The dislike for Obama's policies is particularly pronounced among the latter, with Obama earning only a 38.5 percent approval rating from them.

More information about Patchwork Nation is published on their home page. The map shows that they have broken down the USA by county, and determined which of 12 separate demographic groups predominate in each one. These 12 areas are further listed and explained on the About page (demographic areas present in Alaska are preceded with an asterisk:

-- *Boom Towns - growing and diversifying. Most of Interior and Bush Alaska, and a couple of chunks of Southeast Alaska, are so designated.
-- Campus and Careers - young and collegiate
-- Emptying Nests - having retirees and baby boomers
-- Evangelical Epicenters - culturally conservative
-- Immigration Nation - heavily Hispanic
-- Industrial Metropolis - big-city
-- *Military Bastions - bordering or encompassing bases for the armed forces. Anchorage and Southeast Fairbanks are so designated.
-- *Minority Central - heavily African-American. The Aleutians East Borough and Prince of Wales are so designated, which leads me to believe this designation also includes areas which are dominated by American Indians/Alaska Natives.
-- *Monied 'Burbs - wealthy and educated. Juneau is so designated.
-- Mormon Outposts - many LDS adherents
-- *Service Worker Centers - small-town. The North Slope Borough is so designated.
-- *Tractor Country - rural and agricultural. Valdez-Cordova, Haines, and Wrangell-Petersburg are so designated.

The specific methodology is described HERE, and limitations are identified and acknowledged. One major limitation is the definition of "Minority Central". The designated map shows a number of areas with only few blacks as Minority Centrals; most notably, the Four Corners area. This area is dominated by Amerindians, so it's apparent that Patchwork Nation also considers Indian-dominated areas to be Minority Central as well.

Implications for Republicans in 2012: The original article reminds us that it was actually the middle of the electorate, namely, moderates and independents, that put Obama over the top. Consequently, this has triggered a low-intensity civil war within Republican ranks over the future direction of the party. Some Republican operatives want to dump social conservatives and move the party to the left to recapture the moderate and independent vote; they fronted Michael Steele as their Obama lookalike.

However, Republican polling indicates that social conservatives still pack a powerful punch. At the moment, Sarah Palin appears to be their champion. She continues to be among the leaders in Republican polling, along with Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. But on the flip side, Palin has high negative numbers, much higher than the other two. She's one of those rare people that provoke strong universal passion - both positive and negative. There are very few neutrals.

And it's this high negative rating that would hinder a Palin Presidential candidacy. No one can get elected with high negatives, regardless of the strength of their positives. Consequently, even the most partisan Palin supporters might want to consider the possibility that Sarah Palin would a better Number Two on a 2012 Republican ticket than a Number One. And what's so bad about Number Two; as McCain's running mate, Palin damned near carried a comatose John McCain on her back to the White House.

So who's the best Number One? Forget about Mike Huckabee; he's a pedestrian non-entity with the kick of a small frog. Only those who believe you can cure homosexuality by exorcism support Huckabee. Newt Gingrich? Gimme a break; he's nothing more than the artificial Beltway creation of a bunch of stuffy Takifag faileocons whose definition of "conservatism" is churning out one boring book after another. The real Number One is Mitt Romney. Unlike Palin, Romney has better connections with and enjoys the greater confidence of the business community; in Alaska, Dan Fagan tends to be the voice of the business community, ardently promoting the cause of Big Oil. From his previous tenure as Governor of Massachusetts, Romney has better connections with moderates. And while Palin's passion and enthusiasm have become legendary, when you put Palin and Romney side by side, Romney clearly projects a more Presidential persona. Voters want their Presidential candidates to act, talk, and walk like Presidents. Thus we should be laying the groundwork for a Romney-Palin tag team in 2012. Romney and Palin partisans should quit sniping at each other and instead go after greater enemies.

For the Republicans to recapture the White House in 2012, they must be DIFFERENT than the Democrats. They must stand for conditional pro-life and pro-family positions rather than absolute positions, reach out to Americans as a whole rather than to ethnic communities, commit to ending affirmative action in the United States, and end corporate welfare without alienating the business community. Economically, they must restore the balance between Wall Street and Main Street; our economy has been enslaved by Wall Street far too long. They must also take firm stands against the continued erosion of First and Second Amendment rights. Both the similarities and the contrasts between Romney and Palin could produce the necessary dynamic, combining Romney's professionalism with Palin's populism. At this point in time, a Romney-Palin ticket in 2012 appears best positioned to accomplish these goals.


  1. I agree. or a Ron Paul/Sarah Palin ticket.

  2. Ron Paul would certainly be an improvement over much of the field. I supported him last time until after the MLK Day Money Bomb, when his campaign slowly fizzled out.

    But Ron Paul would have to show that he really wants the job this time around to get that type of support again.