In the weeks leading up to the Connecticut primary, Republicans described Democratic challenger Ned Lamont’s anti-war position as “extreme” and “out of touch” with mainstream America. In the days after Lamont soundly beat three-term Democratic incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman, Republicans described Connecticut voters as “extreme” and “out of touch” with mainstream America.
But looking at recent national public opinion polls, it seems that it is the Republicans who may be extreme and out of touch.
Indeed, a new Elway Poll commissioned by the Seattle Times confirms that there is widespread support amongst Washington voters for either an immediate or timed withdrawal of troops from Iraq, with half of all respondents choosing one of those options… though only 21 percent of Republicans.
But the crosstabs are even more revealing. 19 percent of WA voters support immediate withdrawal — 27 percent of Democrats and 22 percent of independents — but only 5 percent of Republicans support this option.
So, um… who’s out of the mainstream here?
In fact, only 66 percent of WA Republicans support President Bush’s stated position of leaving only when Iraqis can keep the peace (which of course, could mean never,) and it is curious to note that in a recent Survey USA poll, that’s exactly the same percentage of Republicans who plan to vote for Republican Mike!™ McGavick in his lightly contested US Senate primary.
Early on, the press glommed on to the state Democrats’ supposedly divisive split over the Iraq war as the big story in the Senate race, yet the same poll shows Sen. Maria Cantwell garnering 90 percent of the vote in her much more high profile primary contest.
I’m sure that some of this disparity can be explained away by Mike!™’s lower name ID, but it begs the question: has the press been focusing on a bitterly divisive split in the wrong party?