State Republicans think they lost seats in the General Assembly because they were perceived as—try not to laugh—too conservative on social issues:

“Does the GOP in Connecticut have a problem? You bet it does,” Cafero said. “I think part of that problem is, we have failed to define ourselves as Connecticut Republicans and frankly have allowed the national Republican party to define us.”

Many Connecticut Republicans see themselves as more moderate than their national counterparts. Rell, for example, supports abortion rights and funding for stem cell research. She also signed the same-sex civil unions bill into law when Republicans elsewhere strongly oppose such measures.

Rep. Cafero and the AP are half-right, but it’s the half they’re missing that is killing the GOP’s political chances in Connecticut. Identification with the national party does hurt the state GOP—on Iraq, not social issues. And even if the state GOP’s more pro-abortion/pro-embryo destruction/pro same-sex “marriage” positions really do reflect the politics of CT’s registered Republicans, so what? Republicans in Connecticut are vastly outnumbered by voters who register as Democrats and unaffiliated.

The CT GOP can get out of the hole it dug for itself by appealing to the demographic groups that make up the largest parts of the state’s pro-family movement: inner-city Hispanic and African American Pentecostals, white Evangelicals and Mass-attending Catholics. Most of these voters tend to be pro-life/pro-family Democrats—which means Connecticut’s socially liberal GOP has, thus far, had nothing to offer them. By not giving them a choice in the one area where their disagreement with the modern Democratic Party runs deep, the CT GOP continually passes up the opportunity to peel these voters off the party that still holds their historic and familial loyalty.

The CT GOP cannot build a winning coalition by just appealing to the well-heeled pro-abortion country club set. There are too few of them and those who are most in favor of abortion and same-sex “marriage” will likely stick with the Democrats. If the party ever hopes to regain majority status in CT it must speak for that forgotten middle that has not had a voice in state politics since the 80’s: pro-family Democrats, Republicans and Independents. 


  1. on 01 Dec 2006 at 11:53 amDan

    The GOP is in trouble because it’s leadership have moved awya from the Ronald Regan revolution. Unitl they find themselves again there is no hope for the Republicans in CT.

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