- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 26, 2014

The news media often portray American voters as estranged from politics, confused and possibly neurotic. This is not always the case. Certain groups rule.

A triumvirate of distinct demographics have emerged who hold sway in elections, this according to yet another exhaustive Pew Research Center study of the political marketplace. Curious? The three categories that currently dominate politics are Steadfast Conservatives, described as socially conservative populists; Business Conservatives, which is the pro-Wall Street, pro-immigration crowd; and finally “Solid Liberals, which are simply liberal “across-the-board,” the research says.

“These three groups form the electoral base of the Democratic and Republican Parties, and their influence on American politics is strong. While Solid Liberals, Steadfast Conservatives and Business Conservatives collectively make up only 36 percent of the American public, they represent 43 percent of registered voters and fully 57 percent of the more politically engaged segment of the American public: those who regularly vote and routinely follow government and public affairs,” the study states.

Well, OK. There are five lesser groups, however. Curious? According to the Pew crew, they are: Young Outsiders (conservative on government, not social issues); Hard Pressed Skeptics (financially stressed and pessimistic); Next Generation Left (young, liberal on social issues); Faith and Family Left (racially diverse and religious), and finally, the Bystanders, who are young, diverse and remain on the sidelines.

There are no partisan designations yet for, say, bikers, pastry chefs, former B-52 pilots, dog lovers and maybe dogs themselves. But that’s likely in the works.

THE GOLDEN RULE


SEE ALSO: Inside the Beltway: Seeking the big prize — a Republican majority


“Clintons taking turns explaining family fortune only worsens their PR problem,” says Mediaite columnist Joe Concha, who has followed the trajectory of the Clinton wealth matter since it first surfaced some two weeks ago, at the start of Hillary Clinton’s much-ballyhooed book tour.

“First it was Hillary. Then Hillary again. Then Chelsea. Back to Hillary. And now Bill,” he notes, framing the wealth dance as a “bizarre start to their reintroduction tour.” Mr. Concha also cites a glaring, basic factor.

“The Clintons should be so much better than this. Seasoned pros. Meticulous prep. No unforced errors. No amateur hours. Diane Sawyer got the first crack at Hillary on her book/media tour. She asked a question around wealth Mrs. Clinton never saw coming. And ever since then, each Clinton has broken the golden rule of politics: If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

Mrs. Clinton’s book, “Hard Choices,” meanwhile, has been eclipsed by Ed Klein’s “Blood Feud” — which chronicles the Clinton-Obama family rivalry — on the Amazon best-seller list. His book is No. 3; hers is No. 18.

TITLE FIGHT

“The political memoir has become a standard way that political candidates make their pitch for office, and train their supporters in how to tell their story. But by picking a title, what are the authors trying to say about themselves? And who are they trying to appeal to?” asks YouGov analyst William Jordan.

The polling group tested the titles of 17 political memoirs from potential 2016 candidates, both Republican and Democrat, asking which book people would be interested to read without revealing the author.

“It turns out that the overall favorite book among Republicans is by Dennis J. Kucinich (‘A Prayer for America’), a liberal, and the overall favorite among Democrats is by Ben S. Carson (‘One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future’), a conservative,” Mr. Jordan notes.

FIX AMERICA, EAT LUNCH

The Republican National Committee is in full marketing mode. And why shouldn’t it be? Elections are now behemoth branding moments, and every moment will count as the 2014 midterms approach, followed by the presidential election 27 months from now. Meanwhile, the RNC is rattling the social-media chain and selling limited-edition George H.W. Bush socks and sending out bumper stickers that read “2016: End of an Error.” But wait. The committee is also offering lunch for some thoughtful Republican at the appealing Capitol Hill Club with Sen. Rand Paul, Rep. Paul Ryan and chairman Reince Priebus.

“Discuss your ideas with Reince, Paul and Rand,” the committee exclaims. ” Take the Fix America Challenge: submit your solution to fix America’s spending and debt crisis.” They’re looking for no more than 750 words, though something like “save more, spend less” may work. The contest ends July 16 and includes an all-expenses paid trip to the nation’s capital for the winner and a guest. See more here: GOP.com

MARILYN MAIL

Hey, it might just cheer the patrons. Why not name a post office after Marilyn Monroe? That’s what Democratic Rep. Tony Cardenas wants to do in Van Nuys, California — and he’s already introduced legislation to make it so.

“The Marilyn Monroe Post Office will become a source of pride to our community,” says Mr. Cardenas, who notes that the late, beautiful star attended nearby Van Nuys High School in the 1940s, when she went by her real name of Norma Jeane Mortenson. Her real life story is an inspiration, he says, to local students.

This news comes to The Beltway from Washington Times political writer and friend-of-Beltway S.A. Miller.

The proposal for the Monroe postal site has plenty of Democratic co-sponsors, including Reps. Adam B. Schiff, Mike C. Thompson and Maxine Waters. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, California Republican, was among the original co-sponsors.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Castle La Paloma in Hollywood, California — the former home of actor Bela Lugosi. Tudor-style brick mansion on a quarter-acre overlooking Palos Verdes, Beachwood Canyon and the Hollywood sign. Fully restored, retains all original architectural details; 5,000 square feet of living space, five bedrooms plus master suite, six baths, ballroom-sized living room, family room, formal dining room with iron windows, chef’s kitchen, service wing, infinity pool and spa. Original tile, inlaid floors, handmade ironwork, carved beam ceilings, Italian slate floor and roof, mahogany doors, gated entry. Price: $4.2 million, through Sothebyshomes.com, Los Angeles branch.

POLL DU JOUR

71 percent of U.S. voters say the Iraqi government can’t defeat terrorist insurgents without help from the U.S.; 80 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of independents and 65 percent of Democrats agree.

64 percent disapprove of sending U.S. ground troops to Iraq; 56 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of independents and 70 percent of Democrats agree.

55 percent of U.S. voters say President Obama did the “right thing” withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq; 29 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 79 percent of Democrats agree.

52 percent say the Obama administration is not as “serious” about fighting terrorism as the George W. Bush administration; 85 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of independents and 22 percent of Democrats agree.

49 percent say the U.S. is safer today because of U.S. military action in Iraq; 54 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of independents and 50 percent of Democrats agree.

46 percent say the Iraqi people are “better off” because of the U.S. military; 50 percent of Republicans, 29 percent of independents and 48 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Fox News poll of 1,018 registered U.S. voters conducted June 21-23.

• Big ideas, small talk to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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