Some on the right love to say that they are conservatives and not Republicans. These non-Republican conservatives view themselves as being in an ideological war for the heart and soul of America. Campaigns, elections, and polling are in some way beneath their nobility.
So when you talk about what polls say they shrug and or when you mention election results they say things like “so what? Stupid people will learn eventually.” Yes, they are fighting an almost Ayn Randian crusade so a few election or bad PR mean nothing to them.
In practical political terms they would rather lose their way than win by compromising. As you can probably guess these folks love Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and hate Chris Christie.
Conservative columnist John Podhoretz in the New York Post has a little cold water to splash in their pure faces:
But here’s the condundrum: There is only one electoral vehicle for conservative ideas in the United States — the Republican Party.
It’s one thing to refuse to waste your time buffing and polishing the vehicle so that it looks nice and pretty; that’s what political hacks do, and ideologues have every right to disdain such frippery.
But if, in the guise of making the vehicle function better, you muck up the engine, smash the windshield, put the wrong tires on it and pour antifreeze in the gas tank, you are impeding its forward movement. You’re ruining it, not repairing it.
It may not have been a very good vehicle in the first place, and you may think it couldn’t drive worse, but oh man, could it ever. And it’s the only one you’ve got.
In many ways this is a big question the GOP and its conservative activist base. How much compromise is needed to win? As the weeks and months go by in the race that question will get an answer, at least temporarily.