Republican Party Affinity Ratings
August 6, 2019
Format - Example
Name (Party - State). Total Points: Conservative Points - Moderate Points - Liberal Points. Explanation
Adam Bishop (R-Iowa). 85: 38-27-19. The Iowa Republican is a smart blend of Missouri Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). I want to review a few things of what he’s done. He’s pushed for more aid to farmers to start up their farms, protect minors while they’re browsing on the internet, require companies to get approval from the Federal government to export certain technologies to China, and touted his vote to protect against fraud in the naturalization process. Not only that, he is pushing for institutional response for shared responsibility in taking on a student’s college debt by requiring them to pay into the default of any loan. This might be a proto-Fitzgerald/populist Republican that is not so far, shared by the rest of the Republican Party. But it’s another bold strokes GOP character that is both tending to Iowa concerns (farmers) and national concerns (China, immigration, and others). It’s a fairly conservative coalition Bishop is tending to, and seeking to rack up votes. But it’s also winning support from swing voters and even some Democrats without being over the top. This might be “galactic brain” Trump. This is not Fitzgerald, with the focus on issues that appeal to the GOP coalition only; this is pretty Ernst - like stuff, where you get some broad appeal to the Democrats and independents.
Adam Davis Benson (R-Utah). 85: 68-17. The Deputy President Pro Tempore (technically; functionally, the President Pro Tempore). Basically, I envision him as the intellectual engineer of the Senate Republican conference. If Fitzgerald is the firebrand who goes his own way, Benson is the more thoughtful careful Republican. And this has not always gone well. First of all - the amendment to cap 9/11 benefits to 2026 ran directly into a firestorm by Senate Democrats who were deliberately using it as a weapon to make the Senate GOP look weak and anti-9/11. Benson had a lot more success in his next endeavor - making the filibuster weaker. (Or different). That received support and overturned the Chair’s decision (Vice President Biden), and thus paved the way to strengthen the GOP’s hand in the Senate. Arcane - but important. He backed concealed-carry in a vote and backed Kate’s Law in a speech - all good. He lost points for missing some votes, however. But as noted, he has cast himself as the Senate GOP’s intellectual power.
Kyle Andrew Fitzgerald (R-Texas). 95: 59-36. The populist proto-Buchananite Republican who is now the possible GOP nominee for President has a lot to say and do. He is first of all, an unconventional Republican. He is a Republican to be clear, on all the issues that matter - abortion, gun control, tax cuts (for the most part), but he is not a Reagan Republican. He is a Republican of the Pat Buchanan tradition; pro-tariffs, hardline on China, especially hard on immigration. I don’t want to cover his stuff - he and everyone knows what they are - but they range from a national e-Verify to tariffs on undervalued currency nations to targeting sanctuary nations to targeting lobbyists (this is part of his anti-elitist crusade). This is a character that is playing in a Republican Party that hasn’t accepted this ideology since George H.W. Bush dispatched Pat Buchanan in 1992. It is not even sure how the neoliberal wing of the GOP would accept a Fitzgerald White House. But it is uniquely breaking the mold and uniquely smart in the sense that it may appeal to enough of the country to secure 270. This is a character with a lot of ideological thoughts (although many have made the mistake of thinking Kyle Fitzgerald isn’t an intellectual; he is, in fact, a thinker in his own way. Just look at the work he’s put into this character and you get the view this is not an unintelligent player). Is it a dangerous character? Absolutely. It is a character that would enrage free market small business Republicans and Latinos but it would be also a character appealing to populist Democrats and base Republicans after the 2008 crash. It’s a character designed to either win by a squeaker or lose by a blowout. The groups it ticks off is almost equal to the groups it can attract. I will say this, Fitzgerald has reinvented in many ways what it means to be a Republican with this character without being a fender bender like a certain New Yorker who angrily tweets nonstop. He is not the same cookie cutter Republican many others are. And this is a character innovative and novel enough that I have rarely seen it replicated to this degree and depth anywhere else - most other people are too repulsed by the real life ideology or too afraid to try it. And it shows in the ratings. He’s at 50-45 before you add his leadership bonus, an almost even split, which is amazing given how slanted to the left the Democrats were. This is where his tariffs, lobbyist stuff, and constant attacks on the GOP orthodoxy gets him (attacking the Walton family, for one, is not something that is done in GOP circles).
Anthony Granata (R-Illinois). 85: 67-18-0. To put it this way, Senator Anthony Granata is a very conservative figure out of Illinois. If we ever had approval ratings, Granata would win all the Republicans and downstate but would enrage Chicago and the Collar Counties. His Presidential run was short lived but sought to cast himself as a conservative alternative to Kyle Fitzgerald (didn’t work; he ended up endorsing Fitzgerald for the Party’s nomination) - ranging from opposing ObamaCare to talking about the broken immigration system to cutting the EPA to advocating withdrawing from the Iran deal. On the floor, he’s voted for the fair trade act with China, the lobbying ban, and supported Concealed Carry on the Floor. He’s also raised a public cry against the Democrats on their suspension motions and bashed Minority Leader Robert Powell for suggesting Bush rigged Florida and as a weak leader. Now, this is a character playing well in Peoria, but Illinois is much more than that - it is Chicago and the Collar County dominated. A Republican, winning Illinois, must rack up votes downcity and around the Collar Counties (racking up 55% there, and north of 65% downcity). Granata seems intent to play to his conservative bonafides, but one might wonder if he’s leaning too hard on them. Nevertheless, a solid character.
Michael Madison (R-Missouri). 95: 59-36-0. Senator Michael Madison is a hard-line conservative who I would estimate to have 87% support among conservatives but middling support among moderates. In the Missouri of 20 years ago, he would have been in a tough race, like Senator Jim Talent, but luckily for him, Missouri isn’t the same state it was 20 years ago (fun fact: Missouri voted for the Republican ticket every election since 2000 and lost it’s bellwether status in 2008). The important thing to note about Senator Madison is that whatever weakness he demonstrates on his independent flank, he makes up for it in the GOP flank. Missouri is 50% conservative, which is all what you need to know. And to start with, Senator Madison is the RNC Chair. Senator Madison has pushed gun rights, anti-abortion bills, and cracked down on illegal immigration. He is the sponsor of Kate’s Law, Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, and the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, all of which received Senate floor time under Majority Leader Kyle Fitzgerald. He has highlighted his social bonafides by promoting his pro-life credentials both in press releases, tweets, and on the Senate floor. To the moderates, he gave the fair trade with China Act (popular in the Midwest, by the way). But he also alienated moderates with attempting to come to Senator Adam Benson’s defense in the 9/11 bill and fell into the Democratic trap there. The abstention on the lobbying ban also attracted some concern and interest; especially in the St. Louis suburbs and the Kansas City suburbs that people like Jason Kander run well in. Being iffy on lobbyists being banned is an opening for Democrats to take him on but it’s also a deep red state. Overall, I’d rate him fairly safe in Missouri. Good work and strong output.
Senator Driscoll and Senator Tillman need to contact me if they want ratings. They seem to have fallen off the map abit. If they do, I’ll do theirs tomorrow.