Skip to main content.
December 22nd, 2011

Conservative Republicans win and Moderate Republicans lose

Republicans often alternate between nominating conservatives and moderates every contested primary. Seldom have Republicans nominated two moderates or conservatives in a row. Re-nominating a sitting President is usually done without a serious challenge and is a continuation of the previous nomination process.

Conservatives are the majority of the Republican party but have been less likely to be in party leadership positions. The moderates are also called the establishment Republicans as well as liberals. Years back they were also know as Rockefeller Republicans after the moderate (or liberal) Republican Governor of New York. Conservatives are often identified as Reagan conservatives.

Looking over the Republican nominations since 1976, when conservatives win the nomination they win the Presidency. When a moderate wins the nomination they often lose the Presidential election against the Democrat. Back in 1976, Ford was the incumbent President. He was the moderate against Reagan from the conservative side whom challenged him. Ford won the nomination and went on to lose to President Carter. Carter ran as a conservative and some may have seen Carter as the conservative in that Presidential race. In 1980, Reagan as the conservative challenged George H.W. Bush on the moderate side. Reagan won the nomination and later defeated Carter. President Reagan wasn’t challenged in 1984 and won re-election. In 1988 it was moderate George H.W. Bush nominated, however, he was seen as continuing the conservative President Reagan’s policies and won the election against the Democrat. During his Presidency and after agreeing to a Democrat tax increase, President Bush was re-nominated but now thought of as a moderate. He went on to lose to Clinton who campaigned on conservative issues of cutting taxes. The 1996 primary had the moderate Dole winning against conservatives like Buchanan, Gramm, and Forbes. It was the second moderate winning in a row and Dole went on to lose to Clinton for another defeat for a moderate Republican.
The 2000 nomination had the moderate McCain against George W. Bush whom was on the conservative side. After early wins by McCain in the NH primary, Bush won in conservative states and went on to win the nomination and the Presidency in a win for conservatives. President George W. Bush ran on conservative’s issues as tax cuts and a strong military. He won re-nomination and won re-election. His two wins came against liberal Democrats Gore and Kerry.
The moderate McCain won the nomination in 2008 against others seen as more conservative but there were few conservatives in the race. In another lose for moderate Republicans, McCain was defeated by Obama.

For the 2012 Republican primary, a number of candidates on the conservative side are or were running including Newt Gingrich, Bachmann, Perry, Santorum and Cain. The moderate side has Romney and Huntsman. The Republican primary will decide if a more conservative candidate will win the nomination or one that’s more moderate. If recent history is a guide, a conservative Republican points to a win against Obama and a moderate Republican may mean another loss.

Posted by admin in General, politics

No Comments »

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 at 9:29 pm and is filed under General, politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.