Ordinary Average Republican

Nickgb noted this morning that Michele Bachmann is massively popular among Iowa Republicans. It’s worth noting that she’s not all that unpopular among the general electorate.

Now as we’ve noted before, polls about the general election don’t tell us too much right now; and polls alone don’t necessarily tell us the most important information about how the primaries will be decided.

That said, it’s something that at this point, Michele Bachmann apparently lacks Sarah Palin’s virulent unpopularity:

Here’s a look at their horse race numbers in the seven states we’ve polled since we started including Bachmann in all general election match ups:

State Bachmann Relative to Obama Palin relative to Obama 2008 Results
Florida -9 -12 Obama +3
Montana +6 +4 McCain +2
New Hampshire -7 -15 Obama +10
New Mexico -15 -20 Obama +15
Oregon -18 -22 Obama +16
Pennsylvania -7 -14 Obama +10
Texas +3 -2 McCain +12
Average Bachmann -7 Palin -12 Obama +6

-Bachmann does better than Palin against Obama in all seven states. Obama won the states by an average of 6 points in 2008 and Bachmann basically matches that, trailing by an average of 7 points.

At the link, you can read about how Bachmann also avoids Palin’s massive unpopularity levels.

Bachmann and Cain have, it seems to me, captured Palinite enthusiasm among Republicans, without having Palin’s baggage. I’ve always been of the view that Palin wouldn’t run because she doesn’t like to do stuff. Even she might be able to recognize that she has no chance in the primaries, much less in the general. Her moment as a politician has passed. Palin will surely keep her eyes on the prize– maintaining her brand as a reality TV show personality and Ann Coulter-style writer of right-wing pulp fantasy.

As for Bachmann, despite the base’s enthusiasm, her ceiling is limited. The GOP deciders who picked Bush in 2000 and vetoed Huckabee in 2008 will not permit Bachmann to win. Nor can she go a few months without committing some truly unspeakable gaffe.

But what she can do is prod Mitt Romney– who will say anything to anyone, no matter how deceitful, nonsensical, or counterproductive for America– into making statements that please the GOP base and repel normal Americans.

This is appropriate, because Republican politicians and– to the extent such a thing exists– Republican policies repel most Americans.

What’s more, Bachmann’s popularity among non-GOP-bubble-dwelling Americans will, of course, diminish.

Below the jump, the sort of thing that will become more widely known if she continues to show strength as a candidate– her involvement in a conference designed to pray the gay away. (EDITED TO ADD: And her profiting from the family business of perhaps unethical of “fixing” gay people).

Back in 2004,

Republican Minnesota State Senator Michele Bachmann opened the conference with a greeting and blessing. The conference was organized with alternating plenary and small breakout sessions for the several hundred attendees. …

The psychology of same-sex attraction was perhaps the key theme of the Love Won Out conference.  Unlike the political arenas of the anti-gay movement that explain homosexuality as a choice, the ex-gay movement is grounded in a model of homosexual development that emphasizes the childhood origins of same-sex desire.  In the course of the conference, speakers offered a number of claims about both the development of same-sex desire and how those close to the person so afflicted should respond. A consistent theme was that while gay is a “social identity,” “homosexual is a psychological condition.”

  • Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D. Psychology,15 claimed that “we are all heterosexual in our true nature,” but that “some of us have a homosexual problem”
  • Homosexual behavior is an attempt to “repair childhood emotional hurts” through same-sex sexuality. As such, homosexuality is a kind of reparative drive.
  • Homosexuality is “compensatory”—compensation for the lack of appropriate or fulfilling relations, especially the relationship with the same-sex parent (i.e. between a daughter and her mother). The idea that homosexuality is a sign of a missing, deficient, or damaged relationship with the same-sex parent is a common theme in the ex-gay literature. Speakers noted that deficiencies in early relations may be real or merely perceived by the affected child. Whether real or perceived, the alleged consequences in gender and sexual identity of the child are immense.
  • When addressing the psychology of homosexuality, speakers deemphasized sexuality itself in favor of conceptualizing same-sex attraction as a sign of the misplaced yearning for love, approval, wholeness, or affection.
  • Melissa Fryrear noted the problem of identifying parental behavior as the principal source of homosexuality in children while trying not to blame parents for this outcome. However, she also described mothers whose characteristics may lead to lesbianism as “doormat[s],” “manipulative,” “domineering,” and “self-consumed.”

Much more on that conference at that link. This is a country that has majority support for legalizing same-sex marriage. Bachmann is far too extreme to maintain her current level of popularity.

ADDED: It’s more than that she participated in a conference once.

The Nation revealed this weekend that the Christian counseling centers owned by the husband and chief advisor of GOP Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann have been practicing the widely discredited and potentially harmful “reparative” therapy intended to change people from gay to straight. Marcus Bachmann had previously denied that his clinics engaged in “ex-gay” therapy.

But The Nation missed the real part of the story that raises serious ethical and legal questions about Mr. Bachmann’s practice. Buried in the details in the source material provided by the gay rights organization Truth Wins Out; one finds that at no time did employees of Mr. Bachmann’s clinics ever educate the client on the dangers of reparative therapy (such as suicidal ideation), its historical lack of success in changing sexual orientation, or that the practice has been denounced by mainstream medical and mental health associations. Additionally, the client should have been informed that reparative therapy is considered “experimental”, he should have been told of the availability of other therapy options, and had the risk and benefits of each option explained.

This “informed consent” is required by the ethics code of the American Psychological Association (Mr. Bachman holds a doctoral degree in psychology) and informed consent is also a requirement of the ethics code of the American Association of Christian Counselors. …

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3 Responses to Ordinary Average Republican

  1. Pingback: Same Old Story | Poison Your Mind

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