As with the defeat of the first Troubled Asset Relief Program bailout attempt in 2008, the grass roots are uniting behind lawmakers willing to take a principled stand against their tone-deaf colleagues. On all issues, from Syria to the national debt, Republican incumbents will have to stake out and stick to a liberty-minded position if they hope to win primaries in 2014.
Today, 67 percent of Republican voters want their elected officials to keep their promises and stick to principles rather than “compromise in a bipartisan way to get things done.” And voters aren’t buying electability arguments from a GOP establishment that insists on running unprincipled moderates on the Republican ticket. Fifty-five percent of Republican voters favored a hypothetical candidate with stronger principles, compared with 34 percent who opted for a candidate deemed more likely to win.
Republican primary voters seem to have grown weary of party leaders and consultants who declare who can win before a single vote is cast, and it’s stoking a libertarian revival in the Republican ranks. We are drawing a red line of our own. As primaries play out in 2014 and beyond, it’s only a matter of time before the Republican caucus catches up to the electoral reality.
David Kirby is vice president of opinion research and data analysis at FreedomWorks.