“It’s over,” mumbled Peggy Noonan at the 2008 Republican National Convention when she found out that McCain had nominated Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate. The remark wasn’t supposed to have been public but the columnist was caught on an hot mike saying what most of the Wall Street Journal Republican wing felt about the GOP ticket.
Fast forward two-years and many Republicans were uttering the same words when Tea Party-favorite and Palin-endorsee Christine O’Donnell beat moderate Mike Castle. It’s a battle between “blue bloods vs. blue collars in the GOP,” wrote Wilmington News-Journal columnist Cris Barrish after the primary.
Rhodes Cook also noted today that the same dynamic was at place in the Colorado Republican primary, where Lt. Gov. Jane Norton won the Denver suburbs and ski towns and Tea Party favorite Ken Buck won the rural areas, and in Alaska, where Sen. Lisa Murkowski won Anchorage and the coast and Joe Miller won the interior.
It’s definitely an issue that the Republican Party is going to have to deal with in 2012. Mike Huckabee might have driven Mitt Romney out of the race last time. Will the same dynamic play out next time?
The results map from DelawareOnline.com coupled with the density map are informing: