The War Party

Ross takes a look at what really matters to the GOP base:

When asked to name the issue they care most about, 31 percent of Republican voters picked the War in Iraq, another 17 percent picked terrorism, and another 8 percent picked "foreign policy." More potential GOP primary voters picked Iraq, in particular, than picked the economy, health care, education, abortion, and immigration combined.

As a result, Republicans have no choice but to actually compete with one another to adhere ever-more-tightly to GOP orthodoxy on the party's single weakest issue. It seems to me that a lot of folks in Democratic circles are thinking of this dynamic primarily as an opportunity to run a campaign focused on domestic issues -- seizing advantage of Republican weakness to shift the conversation to friendlier terrain -- but I see it as more of an opportunity (if the party chooses to seize it) to directly challenge the Republicans on security.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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