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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

How Durable is the Shift in Party Strength?

In Canada's Globe and Mail, John Ibbitson sees an enduring trend that helps Democrats:
The United States is shifting slightly to the left, led by younger voters, minority voters and better-educated voters who want to see better access to health care and quality education, within a framework of balanced budgets. They want to see a responsible approach to the environment and a more modest posture in foreign relations.

At The Monkey Cage, however, Jim Gimpel cautions against drawing long-term conclusions from short-term shifts:
[It] is highly doubtful that the weak partisans who are shifting are switching their party identification based on detailed issue and policy considerations. More likely, they are “nature-of the-times” voters as described in the classic study, The American Voter, from 50 years ago. They move according to their vague sense of how things are going with the economy and the presidency. They have not shifted because they have calculated that their current party is out-of-synch on some specific policy stand.