Wow. I guess voters aren’t quite as stupid as Karl Rove took them for, after all:
Public allegiance to the Republican Party has plunged since the second year of George W. Bush’s presidency, as attitudes have edged away from some of the conservative values that fueled GOP political dominance for more than a decade, a new survey has found.
The survey, by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center for People and the Press, found a “dramatic shift” in political-party identification since 2002, when Republicans and Democrats were at rough parity. Now, half of those surveyed identified with or leaned toward Democrats, while 35 percent aligned with Republicans.
What’s more, the survey found the public attitudes are drifting toward Democrats’ values: Support for government aid to the disadvantaged has grown since the mid-1990s, skepticism about the use of military force has increased and support for traditional family values has edged down.
Rove is reportedly fond of William McKinley, but when it comes to political realignments, I think the Republican presidency George W. Bush will most closely be compared to is that of Herbert Hoover.
Andrew Sullivan agrees:
It’s a devastating indictment of the Bush-Rove strategy for conservatism and the Republican party. They may have created the most loyally Democratic generation since the New Deal with the under 25s. […] It turns out that Karl Rove has gone a long way toward securing a permanent majority in American politics … for liberals and Democrats. The collapse of a coherent, freedom-loving, reality-based conservatism is surely part of the reason.