The New Year's Day column by conservative David Brooks
mostly concerned Mitt Romney's presidential campaign but went on to make more general remarks about the political situation we are facing in 2008:
As Walter Mondale was the last gasp of the fading New Deal coalition, Romney has turned himself into the last gasp of the Reagan coalition.
That coalition had its day, but it is shrinking now. The Republican Party is more unpopular than at any point in the past 40 years. Democrats have a 50 to 36 party identification advantage, the widest in a generation. The general public prefers Democratic approaches on health care, corruption, the economy and Iraq by double-digit margins. Republicans’ losses have come across the board, but the G.O.P. has been hemorrhaging support among independent voters. Surveys from the Pew Research Center and The Washington Post, Kaiser Foundation and Harvard University show that independents are moving away from the G.O.P. on social issues, globalization and the roles of religion and government.