In a way, these figures should make small-government conservatives a lot more nervous than they make partisan Republicans. After all, you can win an awful lot of elections just by mobilizing the over-65 constituency they’re well-informed, they turn out to vote, and there are more of them every day. But...the concerns of [the GOPs] central constituency could end up pulling them inexorably leftward on entitlements. (There’s a reason that even South Carolina’s Jim DeMint, in the midst of a CPAC stemwinder, paused to allow that one of the things government “has” to do is “keep our promises to our seniors.”)
Drum chimes in:
[The GOP's] earlier embrace of social fundamentalism was largely responsible for driving away young voters in the first place, and now, left only with a core of middle-aged and elderly voters that they need to keep loyal, they're likely to pursue policies that push the young even further away. This might produce occasional victories, but no political party can survive this kind of vicious cycle in the long run. Having long since alienated blacks, Hispanics, and virtually the entire Northeast, Republicans can hardly afford to permanently lose young voters as well. The white South and the elderly just aren't enough to sustain a national party.
But they are enough to sustain a cable news channel. Keep riding that Ailes tiger, guys. He's already told us what his core principle is: ratings, not conservatism.