Friday, November 07, 2014

Packets of catchup

More tea-leaf reading on the weekend ahead.

-- Caption, please:

Mine: "Do what now?"

-- More 'duh'.

White voters of all ages were less likely to back Democrats this year than in elections past, helping Republicans nationwide but most acutely in the South — and overpowering Democratic efforts to turn out their core supporters among blacks and Hispanics.

In a nation growing ever more diverse, political forecasters repeatedly warn Republicans they must improve their appeal among minorities in order to remain competitive in the long term.

But for the Democrats, dominating the vote among minorities isn't enough to win elections today — and it won't be in the future if the GOP is able to run up similar margins among whites, who still make up a majority of voters in every state.

"The rule of thumb was Democrats could win with 90 percent of the African-American vote and 40 percent of the white vote," said Merle Black, a political science professor at Emory University in Atlanta.

"But now very few Democrats could think about getting 40 percent of the white vote. They're trying to get 30 percent. In the Deep South states, from South Carolina to Louisiana, it's very hard for the Democratic candidate to get 25 percent of the white vote."

-- Here is the best explainer for the current political climate in the USA.

In 2004, Republicans won big, and Democrats were left trying to figure out what went wrong.

Then in 2006, Democrats won big, and they decided everything was fine. Republicans merely shrugged it off as the 6-year-itch that bedevils parties that hold the White House in a president's last midterm.

2006 was a wipeout for Texas Democrats, kos.  Let's forget it, he's rolling.

2008, Democrats won big again, and Republicans were left fumbling for excuses, but mainly decided it was Bush's fault and an artifact of Barack Obama's historic campaign.

In 2010, Republicans won big, so they were validated. All was fine! Democrats were left fumbling.

In 2012, Democrats won big, so they decided everything was fine. Demographics and data to the rescue! Republicans decided to rebrand, until they decided fuck that, no rebranding was needed.

And now in 2014, Republicans are validated again in the Democrats' own 6-year-itch election. Democrats are scrambling for answers.

And I'll tell you what the future looks like:

In 2016, Democrats will win big on the strength of presidential-year turnout. Republicans will realize they really have a shit time winning presidential elections, and maybe they should do something about that!

In 2018, Republicans will win on the strength of off-year Democratic base apathy, and they'll decide everything is okay after all. And it's going to be brutal, because those are the governorships we need for 2020 redistricting. Republicans will then lock up the House for another decade.

Then in 2020, Democrats will win on presidential year turnout, and  ... you get the point.

So in short, we have two separate Americas voting every two years. We have one that is more representative, that includes about 60 percent of voting age adults. Then we have one where we can barely get a third of voting age adults to turn out, and is much whiter and older than the country. And Democrats can win easily with the one, and Republicans can win easily with the other.

And that cycle won't be broken until 1) the Democrats figure out how to inspire their voters to the polls on off years, or 2) Republicans figure out how to appeal to the nation's changing electorate.

And given that each party is validated every two years after a blowout loss, the odds of either happening anytime soon? Bleak.

-- And the best thing about red waves is that we don't have to listen to any whining about voter "fraud" from the King Street Patriots and True the Vote.  We'll take our little blessings where we can find them.  I'm pretty certain that will only be a two-year reprieve.

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

Caption: "My fucking back pain meds are wearing off! I need a fix!"

Totally right on the comparisons to 2006. Add in that a lot of red-state Senate seats were up (and Senate Democratic candidates running from Obama), and it's not an apocalypse.

That said, the House gains are kind of bad.

And, you minority voters, especially, per your piece just below, Perry ... this is why midterms matter, of course. Especially when they're in a year ending with "0" like 2010. Because that's how state legislatures wind up gerrymandering redistricting.