Skip to comments.Demography and the Future of the GOP (Michael Barone)
Posted on 05/13/2014 10:43:45 AM PDT by neverdem
In recent years, the Democratic hold on key constituencies has weakened considerably.
Demography is destiny, we are often told, and rightly up to a point. The American electorate is made up of multiple identifiable segments, defined in various ways: by race and ethnicity, by age cohort, by region and religiosity (or lack thereof), by economic status and interest.
Over time, some segments become larger and some smaller. Some prove to be politically crucial, given the political alignments of the time. Others become irrelevant as they lose cohesion and identity.
From the results of the 2008 presidential election, many pundits prophesied a bleak future for the Republican party, and not implausibly.
The exit poll showed that President Obama carried by overwhelming margins two demographic segments that were bound to become a larger share of the electorate over time.
He carried Hispanics 67 to 31 percent, despite Republican opponent John McCains support of comprehensive immigration legislation. Obama also carried voters under 30 the so-called Millennial Generation by 66 to 32 percent.
But over time, Democrats hold on these groups has weakened. In Gallup polls, Obamas job approval among Hispanics declined from 75 percent in 2012 to 52 percent in 2013 and among Millennials from 61 percent in 2012 to 46 percent in 2013.
The recent Harvard Institute of Politics poll of Millennials showed Democrats with a big party-identification edge among those over 25, but ahead of Republicans by only 41 to 38 percent among those 18 to 20.
The older Millennials came of political age during the late George W. Bush years and were transfixed by the glamor of candidate Obama in 2008.
The younger Millennials are coming of political age in the middle Obama years and are plainly less enchanted and more open to the other party.
There are other rifts in what some saw as the emerging eternal Democratic majority. National Journals astute analyst, Ronald Brownstein, often contrasts whites and nonwhites, but nonwhites are not a single homogeneous group.
Hispanics usually tend to vote more like whites than blacks, with high-income Hispanics trending Republican.
When California Democrats tried to use their legislative supermajorities to put on a ballot proposition repealing the states ban on racial discrimination in state college and university admissions, Asian-American legislators withdrew their support.
They had been getting hundreds of calls from parents concerned about their kids chances to get into Berkeley and UCLA.
Campus-based Asian activists maintained solidarity with their fellow people of color. Asian parents with their families futures at stake saw things differently.
Union members were long a key Democratic constituency. But there are increasing splits between unions representing public-sector and private-sector employees.
In New Jersey, Democrats with private-sector-union backgrounds have backed Republican governor Chris Christies fiscal reforms.
In Nevada, the state AFL-CIO is opposing the teachers unions drive for more than doubling the business tax to pay for education spending.
On the national level, Laborers International Union president Terry OSullivan has spoken out bitterly against the Obama administrations repeated refusals to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
But in administration councils, that counts for less than billionaire Tom Steyers pledge to spend $100 million against the pipeline.
Meanwhile, other constituencies have been growing with concerns opposite to those of Democratic interest groups without much notice.
Americans for Tax Reforms Grover Norquist, a board member of the National Rifle Association, points out that 9 million Americans today hold state permits to carry concealed weapons. Back in 1987, when Florida passed its concealed-weapons law, there were none.
That is now a powerful constituency with an interest in opposing restrictive gun-control legislation, which Hillary Clinton called for in a speech last week.
In 1990, there were no charter schools, homeschooling was widely illegal, and the first student voucher programs were only just beginning in Milwaukee.
Today, there are 1 million children in charter schools, 2 million children being homeschooled, and hundreds of thousands of students in voucher programs from Arizona to Indiana to Tennessee.
These form the basis of emerging constituencies, consisting of millions of parents, with interests in opposition to or in tension with those of teachers unions.
Increasingly, the unions claims that they are the only champions of the kids are coming into question.
All these eddies and currents have the potential to shift the nations political focus and partisan balance in various directions.
Any single, straight-line extrapolation, like those from the 2008 exit poll, risks missing the next turn in the political road.
Michael Barone is senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner. © 2014 The Washington Examiner. Distributed by Creators.com
The Republicans will surely blow any advantage gained from those demographic shifts favorable to them.
"There is no such thing as a good tax."
No surprise about the student activists. They had gotten in.
Voters will follow an actual conservative, not the kind who puts his finger to the wind to determine his values, so that leaves out 95% of Republican politicians.
A candidate must believe in his values, he must also be able to articulate them, and defend them strongly but with a sense of humor.
He must also be tall, attractive, and have a good voice for television.
We need to clone Ronald Reagan.
Boner and McCain and all the Bushes, and the other usual suspects, are working feverishly to bring about amnesty for illegal aliens and big increases in legal immigration, steps certain to wipe out any gains Republicans might make as the extant population of citizens move more toward conservative positions.
The Dims will lose no sleep over the trends Barone points out unless there is an even greater uprising among the Republican base than in 2006 and 2007 to defeat this latest amnesty for illegal push.
Problem #1: Obama isn’t running again. The Democrats will have some bright new shiny idol for former Obama voters to worship. All will be forgotten and forgiven for this new “God of the Marketplace.”
Problem #2: NEVER assume that approval ratings will have anything to do with voting patterns. Disillusioned Obama are still likely to vote Democrat, just as disillusioned conservatives still vote for ‘Pubbies. Turnout might drop, and some of them might vote for parties even further to the Left (both net gains for the ‘Pubbies), but there are very few votes for ‘Pubbies to glean in those groups - even if they act like Democrats.
Middle class white liberals are going to wake up to the fact that they are being screwed by supporting the welfare party of blacks, illegals, and kooks that want to drive everyone back to the stone age.
“disillusioned conservatives still vote for Pubbies”
A real conservative would not vote for a neostatist. I submitt, these , who you refer to, are disillusioned republicans and party loyalist.
Just for the sake of argument, consider if conservatives split off from the Establishment GOP and formed a Conservative Republican Party.
Now, consider if the volatile new demographic of illegal Hispanic immigrants decided to play the kind of politics that are in Mexico and Central America.
You'd have La Raza Communists and Elitist Liberal White People and Their Plantation Help.
We could end up with four parties. I do not think that would be a bad thing.
A lot of us get suckered. “Better a bad ‘Pubbie than a Democrat.” That sort of thing.
Worthy of consideration, yes, but not what it used to be.
The only advantage we used to have is that white Conservatives voted at a much higher rate than other ethnic and political groups.
But, for the last 20 years, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and poor single white women have slowly, but steadily, increased their participation in presidential elections.
In 2012, Romney lost by 3.9%, with 58.2% of eligible voters turning out.
I decided to calculate what would have happened if 100% of eligible voters turned out.
I used ethnic, age, and gender data from the National Election Pool (NEP), population data from the Census Bureau, and eligibility rates from Pew Research.
If every eligible voter in the USA had voted in 2012, Romney would have lost by slightly less than 5%.
I'll speculate that 5% is a bit low.
I think people who don't typically vote are probably more likely to vote Democrat than Republican.
One final note - the idea that millions of demoralized Conservatives stayed home in 2012 is not based on fact.
In 2012, the white vote went down 4.2 million.
However, Romney received almost 4 million MORE white votes than John McCain.
Conclusion - almost all white voters who stayed home in 2012 voted for Obama in 2008.
Why do people, Republicans in particular, seem to think that the way to win Hispanic voters is immigration legislation.
Hispanics who vote in presidential elections are U.S. citizens. They were either born here or earned their citizenship legally through currently established procedures. They're just as impacted by illegal immigration as everyone else is.
IS Paris Hilton running against HRC?