US Mid-Term Elections

Despite the occasional crazy candidate put forward by the Republican party this election cycle (the first of those links is Christine O’Donnell, nutbag and senate candidate, the second is Rich Iott, Nazi re-enactor and house candidate), the Republican party is still looking as though it has a reasonable chance of taking over both houses in the US.  Good analysis of this possibility (the best, that I have found) is at 538, where the current predictions show the Republicans taking the house comfortably and cutting the Democratic senate majority to one. 

The question I have is what exactly fuels the people who vote for the Republican party?  From outside the US, the hot button issues on which the American right is getting agitated and involved, are all crazy person issues that simply aren’t taken seriously (at least not in US form) in any other reasonably functioning liberal democracy. 

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