Too Much Love For “The Base?”

A new PPP survey of Texas has a couple of interesting findings, with the big question being whether they are inter-related.

(1) Hillary Clinton currently leads the three named Republicans (Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, and by eight points, Texas Gov. Rick Perry) in a 2016 presidential test heat.

(2) 35% of Texas Republicans favor secession from the United States of America, while less than half (46%) are opposed.

The CW on partisan polarization, which has a lot of evidence to support it, is that partisan lines are so hard at the moment that no nominee of either party could fall below 45% in a presidential election nationally, which also means no nominee could fail to win states solidly favoring his or her party (like Texas favors Republicans). But are there limits? Can The Crazy actually begin to affect Republican support levels even in Texas?

I wouldn’t read too much into this one poll. Rubio and Christie have lower name ID than Hillary, and Perry is going through one of his periodic bouts of unpopularity back home.

Still, if I were a Republican I’d be genuinely worried, and might even look for a party makeover a lot deeper than the cosmetic stuff we’ve been mostly hearing so far. The Republican Party’s love affair with its own ideological “base” is getting more than a little creepy.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.