Almost all of my friends are Democrats; all of them voted for Barack Obama in 2008.
Ask them these days, as I have, if they plan to vote for Obama this November, and they’ll give you an “Oh shucks” sad smile, look down, look back up with guilty eyes and say “I’m disappointed.”
Then they play the party line and say. “But Romney? But Ryan?”
I’m not talking about those African Americans, Latinos and lockstep Democrats who’ll blindly vote for Obama no matter how high unemployment may be or what shape this country may be in.
I’m talking about a good number of intelligent, caring, middle-class Democrats who are a soft nudge away from casting their vote for Romney.
All they need to know is that they’re not alone.
Democrats were disappointed in 1980. They’d had, under President Jimmy Carter, four years of inflation, unemployment and gas rationing. Yet, when asked, they said, “But Reagan?”
At this point in 1980, Carter was nine points ahead of Ronald Reagan in the polls. Reagan had been slimed by the press and pro-Jimmy Carter forces as being dumb and bumbling. Sound familiar?
Carter treated Reagan as a ridiculous figure who, among other things, was ignorant of details of nuclear-weapons policy. Reagan cheerfully promised economic growth and asked Democrats, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”
In the end, Reagan proved that good-natured conservatism could win by huge margins. But a lot of credit for the win must go to “Democrats for Reagan.”