In the aftermath of the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses, People For the American Way Political Director Mary Jean Collins issued the following statement about the influence of right-wing voters across the country:
The results of Super Tuesday gave us three key lessons on the power of the far right in the 2008 elections:
- Despite disarray, confusion and sniping among the right’s self-appointed power brokers from James Dobson to Rush Limbaugh, Huckabee’s strong showing demonstrates that the Religious Right still has considerable muscle at the ballot box.
- Right-wing leaders may be trashing John McCain, but the GOP front-runner has been actively seeking right-wing support, especially by promising to put more justices on the Supreme Court like Bush’s damaging nominees. In fact, McCain’s speaking next week before the Conservative Political Action Conference, the right-wing political conference he blew off just a year ago.
- The self-anointed kingmakers of the far right — talk show mavens like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham — were rebuked by the foot soldiers of their own movement. Try as they might, they couldn’t give Mitt Romney a boost. Have the leaders of the right — from Dobson to its talking heads — lost control of the voting bloc they helped create?
McCain and Huckabee have clearly been engaged in a love fest that excludes Romney. The coming weeks will reveal whether frontrunner McCain will consider Huckabee as his running mate. But even that may not be enough to fix the broken right-wing voting machine.
Visit PFAW’s Right Wing Watch blog for coverage of this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference and the role of the far right in the GOP presidential primary.