Originally Posted by suited
IMO it's a fallacy to assume that a true conservative can't win the independent vote. In an election, being unsure of your principles and trying to play both sides of the fence is probably more detrimental than being pure and effectively communicating that conservatism is what's best for the country, with the possible exception of one or two social issues.
Jeb and Rubio are at the very bottom of my list.
This is something I hear from conservative commentators all the time, but I'm not sure it is true. Let's look at the last three Presidents.
Obama certainly pandered to the middle and was wishy-washy (or intentionally presented his positions as more moderate). He was publicly against gay marriage as an example.
Bush was certainly moderate - he was no fiscal conservative, and outside of Obamacare and the New Deal, he expanded entitlements more than any other President.
Clinton again campaigned as a moderate, and for the most part he was. He did drop things like Hillary-care before the re-election campaign.
Maybe a principled conservative can win, but it doesn't seem like principled candidates ever win.