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An Early Look at the 2012 Senate Elections

By Stephen Youtzy

Most of you remember November 22010 vividly. That was the date when conservatism won. This movement was not just on the national level. The conservative movement was witnessed in everything from the 63 seat pickup in the House of Representatives to local elections. Are you ready for round 2?

Mark November 6, 2012 on your calendar right now! This will be the sequel to November 2nd 2010. While Republicans had massive pickups in the lower chamber of Congress in 2010, this upcoming election will yield fantastic results for the upper chamber of congress. Let’s break down the Senate elections.

Democrats have 23 seats up for re-election (technically 21, but 2 Independents caucus with the Democrats) and the GOP has 10 seats up. From a very logical standpoint, Republicans are poised for a big win.

Real Clear Politics has a great article that you can read here that explains in a little more detail about the Senate race. In that article, they discuss PVI, which shows how much a district leans to one political party or another. A PVI score of R+5 would mean a Republican would be expected to win 5% more votes than the national average. D+5 would be the exact opposite.

“Much will depend on the overall environment here. In 2010, the GOP won three of four Senate seats in Republican PVI states, won half of the seats that were D+1 or D+2, and picked off a D+8 seat in Illinois. But for self-inflicted wounds in Delaware, Nevada and Colorado, and a timely Democratic retirement in Connecticut, they might have gone much deeper into blue territory.

This time around, a similar performance would yield even greater GOP gains, because the playing field is tilted more heavily in their favor. Democrats hold eight seats that are Republican-leaning, and another four that are D+2 or better; at a 2010 rate, even including short-sighted primary decisions, that would result in a GOP pickup of nine or 10 seats.”

The GOP only needs to pick up 4 seats to gain majority in the Senate. A pickup of 10 seats would give the Republicans a commanding 57-43 lead in the Senate. I realize that it is a long way out, but Democrats have 20 seats up for re-election in 2014, while the GOP only has 13. In less than 3 years, the Republicans could have control of the House, super-majority in the Senate, and a Republican sitting President.

Without YOU, none of this will be possible. This is going to require a grassroots movement unlike any other. Let Conservatism be heard and echoed from coast to coast as we take back our country!

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Dear Candidates: Make the Economy the Main Issue

By Brandon Helderop
http://youngconservative2012.wordpress.com 

In recent months as I have flipped on the TV, listened to the radio and surfed the Internet, I’ve been disappointed to see frequent reports of Republican Candidate A attacking Candidate B (or C, or D) for not being “Conservative enough”. This strategy is growing tired and ultimately proving to be ineffective. For every day the candidates spend hammering what I call “secondary” issues that take the focus off of President Obama, the more they appear out of touch with the rest of the American people. So what needs to change? It’s imperative they turn their focus to the main issues that voters are most worried about in this election cycle.

Recent Rasmussen polls show that the economy is still by far the number one issue:

“82% of Likely US Voters see the economy as a Very Important issue in terms of how they will vote in the next congressional election.”

Also, recent Gallup polls show that almost 75% of Americans are seriously concerned about our debt and what that will mean for the future. This is a serious problem. In fact, it’s a problem that affects us, our children and even our grandchildren. With a current US National debt that exceeds $15 Trillion and continues to approach $16 Trillion daily, what has the President done to earn Americans’ trust? Well all I have seen is a tendency to play on class warfare. He has yet to provide any genuine solutions. The best the White House can conjure up is raising taxes on those in the upper tax brackets in order to redistribute wealth to those “less fortunate” who pay minimal to zero taxes.

Meanwhile, Obama continues to pander to the same voters who are daily reminded of an economy struggling to gain traction as they head to the gas pumps. According to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, the majority of Americans don’t trust the President in this area:

“Americans by a broad 65-26 percent disapprove of how the president is handling the price of gas, which has gained 49 cents a gallon this year to an average $3.79.”

And while Obama was quoted last week as saying this is simply a “seasonal spike” and there isn’t much he can do about it, that same poll shows that Americans believe he is stretching the truth with “fifty percent of Americans seeing the Obama administration as having the power to do something about the cost of a gallon of gasoline.”

How can Americans trust the President is doing “everything necessary” to help Americans at the pumps when he personally lobbies against a project like the Keystone Pipeline? What about this brilliant energy plan he keeps touting that supposedly will result in the US being a world leader in alternative energy production? How are we supposed to believe that the President’s plan is working when we hear story after story about solar companies funded by taxpayer money going bankrupt?

On the campaign trail, it’s not about who “can be more Conservative.” I don’t want to downplay social issues but those aren’t the most significant issues on the minds of a majority of Americans. Those aren’t the problems that affect Americans on a daily basis. Winning in those areas isn’t what is going to lead to the defeat of Barack Obama. In November, the nominee that is going to win is going to be the one most able to earn the trust of the American people on the economy.

Finally, Investors Business Daily posted an article explaining exactly why the candidates need to drive home the issue of the economy:

“Obama is particularly exposed on: the jobs data, which, as we’ve said before, are worse than the official numbers; his appetite for redistributing other people’s money and stubborn commitment to his concept of “fairness”; rising health care costs caused by ObamaCare; sharp losses of wealth due to falling home values; smothering regulation; and a still-plodding recovery nearly three years after the recession ended.”

The time is now for the candidates to come together and stand as a united front. We need to focus on the failures of Keynesian economics and defend Capitalist policies currently under attack that are tried and true and have made this country so great. Republicans can and will win on the economy. So let’s get back to making that the main issue.

48 Comments

Defining Conservatism

I had a good conversation with a fellow conservative last night.

We were discussing the presidential candidates, and I mentioned my indifference to Mitt Romney. Am I enthusiastic about him? No. But do I dislike him? Absolutely not. I’ll vote for him in a heartbeat in the general election. I think he’s a decent enough candidate.

My friend proceeded to blast Romneycare. I tried to explain Mitt’s federalism argument, which is completely valid from a constitutional standpoint. Alas, it ended with my friend alleging, “See, you’re not a conservative. A conservative would never support Mitt Romney.”

The argument quickly devolved into a “You’re not a conservative, you support X.” / “Well you’re not a conservative, you support Y!” affair… and we all know how that ends up.

After a lot of bickering, I came to a startling realization: we can’t win like this. We won’t win like this. We’re never going to find a perfect candidate made in our own image. It’s just not going to happen.

We can’t hold every candidate to an impossible litmus test, refusing to support otherwise excellent candidates who might agree with us on 99% of the issues. That’s no way to advocate conservatism. Really, it’s the equivalent of waving a metaphorical white flag and handing victory to the socialists.

But at the same time… we can’t just sit back and let the Republican Party become a moderate establishment cesspool. That’s not an option.

I think we need a conservative litmus test, but it has to be based on principles, not issues. You can have different opinions on how to tackle individual issues, but the general principles we all adhere to must be the same.

Conservatism is a guiding philosophy, not a set of talking points. You can’t memorize conservatism, you have to BE conservatism.

So here’s what I propose…

Conservatives Under 30 Presents: The Five Principles of Conservatism

1. An adherence to the Constitution of the United States of America

Conservatives believe in the Constitution. We don’t believe in a cafeteria Constitution where we gloss over some parts while embracing others. Conservatives believe in the whole darn thing. Every belief and every policy we advocate should have a constitutional basis.

2. A general understanding that we can’t tax ourselves into prosperity, and that individuals will do great things that benefit society if we don’t take away the means to do so.

Conservatives understand that government has a role and that taxes are a necessary evil. That being said, conservatives know that tax increases devastate the economy and should be avoided at all costs. Conservatives also trust individuals to make their own decisions. We must support innovation and give entrepreneurs the opportunity to succeed. Government should not be a hindrance to economic growth, and it should not stand in the way of the American dream.

3. A belief in fiscal responsibility, a balanced budget, and as limited of a government as possible.

Conservatives understand that we can’t spend what we don’t have. A conservative must demonstrate the willingness to make tough decisions on behalf of the taxpayer. With a federal government facing trillion dollar deficits and a downgraded credit rating, continuing down the road of deficit spending simply isn’t an option anymore. Conservatives understand the seriousness of the issue, and advocate for balanced budgets, not just lower deficits.

4. A conviction that individuals are best empowered through freedom and personal responsibility, not by keeping them in a welfare comatose state.

Conservatives believe in the individual. We believe that people rise to the occasion. Conservatives believe that government can provide safety nets, but that the goal should always be to get people on their feet, not keep them down forever.

5. A commitment to protecting life and upholding the sanctity of family, knowing this is paramount to a strong society.

Conservatives believe abortion is wrong, and we believe the family unit must be promoted, not denigrated by government. Seems pretty self-explanatory.

What do you guys think? Should we add some principles? Does this cover it? Join the conversation in the comments below!

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Time for a Pep Talk

Look, it’s easy to get down on our prospects in 2012.

Trust me, we’ve all done it. I know I’ve done it. It’s natural to get in the weeds and assume that a second term for Barack Obama is inevitable.

It’s been a frustrating year. The media has been relentless in their persistent misrepresentation of our movement. Our Presidential candidates have been less than extraordinary. Who are we supposed to choose? The wishy-washy moderate? The social conservative who can’t talk about anything else? The guy with three marriages and a penchant for indecipherable rants? RON FREAKING PAUL? It’s not hard to figure out why solid conservatives are being tempted into just giving up and accepting the idea that America is headed towards socialism and there’s nothing we can do about it.

It’s understandable. I get it. Wallow in your self-pity. I won’t judge you. Seriously, do it. I’ll give you thirty seconds… and go.

Okay, are you done? Now stop it. Just stop it. This is exactly what the left wants. They want us discouraged. They want us to sit down and shut up while they take our country off a cliff. And folks, that can’t happen. That won’t happen because we won’t let it happen.

It’s time for a pump-up video.

We can’t afford to be weak right now. There’s far too much on the line. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to tell my grandkids 50 years from now “hey, sorry guys, we forgot to stand up for you.” That’s not going to happen. It’s time for us to stand up and fight.

This site was created with the purpose of exciting young conservatives. We need to take control of this movement. No more wishy-washy platitudes. No more politician talk. If we’re going to grow and have a shot at saving this country, it’s going to have to start at the grassroots level. It’s going to have to start with you.

I don’t know who the nominee will be. It’ll probably be Mitt Romney, and it might be Rick Santorum. Whoever it is, we need to get behind them and push their candidacy. Why? Because the alternative is four more years of Barack Obama. The alternative is Obamacare becoming law permanently. The alternative is more regulation, more government bureaucracy, more unconstitutional mandates, more attacks on religion, and more socialism. It’s time for us to set aside our differences and come together to defeat Barack Obama.

And perhaps even more important than the Presidential race are the state races, the local races, heck even your local school board races. We have a mission: we must advance conservatism and defeat liberalism. When both ideologies do battle in the marketplace of ideas, conservatism wins every time. So let’s promote it. Let’s teach it. The future of this country is in our hands.

Are you upset? Are you frustrated? Do you think our country’s headed down the wrong path? Then do something about it. Make a difference. Get involved in a local congressional race. Volunteer on a Senate campaign. Phone bank. Door knock. Donate if you can. This is our time to rise to the occasion.

Coach Herb Brooks gives a fantastic speech to his players in the movie “Miracle.” Apply this to conservative politics, and there you go.

“You were born to be conservative activists. Every one of you. And you were meant to be here today. This is your time. Their time is done. It’s over. I’m sick and tired of hearing about what a great political team the Democrats have. Screw ’em. This is your time! Now go out there and take it!”