OH-Sen: Voinovich lashes out at his regional rump party

Retiring Sen. George Voinovich lets loose.

Too many conservative senators like Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) are to blame for the GOP’s downfall, one of their retiring Republican colleagues complained Monday.

“We got too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns,” Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) told the Columbus Dispatch. “It’s the southerners.”

Voinovich, a native Clevelander who retires after the 2010 election, continued after the southern elements of the GOP.

“They get on TV and go ‘errrr, errrrr,'” he said. “People hear them and say, ‘These people, they’re southerners. The party’s being taken over by southerners. What they hell they got to do with Ohio?'”

The GOP’s problem is that they’re controlled by an element in their party that is grossly out of touch with the rest of America. Check out Obama’s approval ratings by geography, per our weekly Daily Kos/Research 2000 State of the Nation poll:

Obama faves by Geo

On issue after issue, the South stands apart from the rest of the country. For example, check out last week’s edition:

Congressional Democrats

         Fav   Unfav
Northeast 52    39
South     27    68
Midwest   44    47
West      41    49

Congressional Republicans

         Fav   Unfav
Northeast  5    84
South     23    54
Midwest    6    81
West       7    78

Democratic Party

         Fav   Unfav
Northeast 66    24
South     24    67
Midwest   51    44
West      49    45

Republican Party

         Fav   Unfav
Northeast  6    91
South     41    44
Midwest   13    80
West      14    78

This isn’t South bashing, it’s just the numbers. The South is not like the rest of the country. The Midwest and West are quite similar, and they are far closer to the Northeast than they are to the South. And therein lies the problem that is so clearly frustrating Voinovich — how can a party dominated by a region so far outside of the American mainstream present a compelling national vision?

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