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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 27, 2012/ 4 Adar, 5772

The turnout threat: when voters vamoose

By David Shribman




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | DENVER -- Where did all the voters go?

Maybe to the ski slopes. Maybe to the mall. Maybe for a wintry walk along one of the spectacular mountain byways. But not to the caucus venues where, earlier this month, Colorado Republicans were invited to indicate their presidential preferences. Turnout here was down about 6 percent from 2008.

But Colorado isn't alone. Turnout in Florida, where a torrid race filled the newspapers and the airwaves, was down about 14 percent. In Nevada, it was down more than a quarter. Even in New Hampshire, where turnout was up 6 percent, the increase almost certainly came from Independent voters who veered into a GOP race simply because there wasn't a Democratic race to join.

Maybe the question isn't Where are the voters? Maybe the question is Where is the love?

This has been a persistent problem in the Republican race thus far. Among the political elite, the issue has taken the form of yearning for candidates who aren't, or wouldn't, run for president. Among the voters, the issue has taken the form of near apathy.

The race to be the nominee who challenges Barack Obama simply isn't exciting members of a party that is determined, with a ferocity perhaps unequaled since Democratic resentment of Richard M. Nixon, to topple the sitting president.

"The public doesn't feel it has good choices and so people are staying at home," says Curtis Gans, who, as the director of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, is the nation's leading expert on voter participation. "I'm expecting it to continue. On the right you have intense voters. On the center right you have lukewarm voters. And every place beyond that not much interest at all."

That frustration is pervasive. The latest New York Times/CBS News Poll showed that nearly two out of three Republican primary voters wish there were more choices for the Republican nomination -- a group that has grown significantly since the fall.

This is yet another piece of bad news for former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, who won Colorado and Minnesota in 2008 only to lose them this month. He's the fellow who appeals to the center right and whom most political professionals expect to be the eventual Republican nominee -- a theory that gets its most rigorous test on Tuesday when Arizona and Michigan hold their primaries.

But Mr. Romney's challenge is not only the one that seems obvious: his inability to win the trust, or the votes, of people who consider themselves conservatives and who worry that he is a stealth candidate from the center or, worse, from the left-leaning precincts of Massachusetts. The slice of self-identified GOP conservatives in the Times/CBS Poll who wish there were more choices for the Republican nominee: 61 percent.

Mr. Romney's conundrum may also be how to win the allegiance if not the enthusiasm of the people who are positioned precisely where he is, along the center right. A CNN Poll released this month showed that only 38 percent of Romney supporters say they back him "strongly" -- far less than the 55 percent of supporters of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum who say they back him "strongly."

Many of these voters are simply not showing up at the polls, and there is reason for Camp Romney to worry that they may not be motivated in the fall, when the opponent isn't Mr. Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich or Rep. Ron Paul. In November the opponent will have $1 billion to spend, a historic narrative and all the tools of presidential incumbency, many of which he is using with a newfound deftness this winter.

Mr. Santorum may have efficiently summarized the Romney challenge with this phrase, from his appearance before the Conservative Political Action Committee earlier this month: "Why would an undecided voter vote for a moderate candidate who the party isn't excited about?"

This week's contests are but an appetizer to the Super Tuesday contests next week, where turnout again is expected to be low and where, given the distinct Southern tint to the event, Mr. Romney faces another important challenge. Each of the other candidates has pockets of strength, or of potential, in the 10 races, with Mr. Paul having a natural advantage in Oklahoma, Mr. Gingrich holding a natural base in Georgia and Mr. Santorum aiming for Tennessee, perhaps also for Ohio, and hoping to surprise the former speaker in Georgia.

This is not to say that there aren't opportunities aplenty for Mr. Romney. All those young people who flocked to Mr. Obama four years ago don't have one of their principal motivations (their disdain for President George W. Bush) this time around and many of them, especially those who have been unable to find jobs, are suffering a severe case of buyers' remorse. This is a natural Romney constituency. But turnout among the young is a very big unknown, and a very big factor.

Then there are all those elements of the usual Democratic coalition that don't seem part of the Obama vision, especially blue-collar Americans, many of whom also are worried about jobs. The opportunity here for Mr. Romney is small, to be sure, but there are many ways to define opportunity. One is in the small turnout that has dogged Mr. Romney himself. If that pattern carries over to traditional Democratic voters, Mr. Romney is the beneficiary of the absence of those ballots in the Obama pile in November.

Ordinarily the relationship between primary turnout and general-election turnout is tenuous at best. But special factors in 2012 are at work.

For the Democrats, the risks are in small turnouts among young and blue-collar voters. For the Republicans, the risks are in small turnouts among conservatives and party regulars who may find they can't fall in love with Mr. Romney.

This time, the election may be won by the party that can turn around the turnout threat.

Comment by clicking here.

David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Previously:



02/20/11 The Winter's Tale: Republicans are engaged in a 'problem play,' full of psychological, and real, drama
02/13/11 Which Ike to like?
02/08/11 A tale of two elections: Voters today are making their most profound choice since 1912
01/30/11 Whither the GOP establishment?
01/23/11 The Democratic coalition is breaking up
01/09/11 The verdict that wasn't
01/02/11 These are the keys to who will persist
12/19/11 Another Gingrich rebellion
12/12/11 A defining fight for the GOP
12/05/11 A distinct lack of enthusiasm
11/28/11 For GOPers, the winds are beginning to pick up, the horizon is darkening
11/21/11 Today's polarized politics . . . blame FDR and the political scientists
11/11/11The sporting life
11/07/11 Ron Paul, true believer
10/31/11 Why Cain isn't able
10/10/11 GOP starting over
10/03/11 The Forgotten War of 1812
09/26/11 The way we live now
09/19/11 The crisis this time
09/11/11 But what will it mean?
09/05/11 A horse race column: Who might win the GOP nomination and how it might unfold
08/29/11 The vacuum calls
08/22/11 Passion and politics: How Barack Obama and Mitt Romney got crowded into the same dangerous corner
08/15/11 Eleanor's little village
08/08/11 The agony of August
08/01/11 The politics of the impossible: What a country this might be if the political class served the broad interests of the majority
07/25/11 Pennant fever grips 'Burgh
07/18/11 Exemplar of an era
07/11/11 On summer
07/04/11 The soul of the party
06/27/11 What the Secretary said
06/20/11 Romney has big advantages over his rivals, but they will be coming after him
06/06/11 One question each
05/30/11 The 14-week challenge
05/23/11 Delay tactics
05/16/11 Republicans are waiting
05/09/11 Bin Laden is dead. What does it mean?
05/02/11 From nobodies to nominees
04/25/11 The founders left slavery for future generations to settle, and we still haven't fully come to terms with it
04/18/11 From audacious to cautious
04/11/11 Dreaming of space
12/12/10 The GOP takes control
12/06/10 DECEMBER 7
11/29/10 GOP presidential hopefuls already are lining up local supporters in what is now a red state
11/22/10 Burning down the House
11/15/10 Institutions of higher learning are finally beginning to teach important lifeskills
11/04/10 The war has just begun
11/01/10 Echoes of a speech 40 years ago this week still resonate today
10/25/10 50 years ago America chose between two men who were dramatically different --- and eerily similar





© 2011, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Distributed by Universal Uclick, as agent for UFS.

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