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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Demography and Destiny

At Third Way, Michelle Diggles writes that demographic changes do not guarantee long-term dominance for the Democrats.  Though the basic point is highly plausible, her specific analysis is not entirely convincing. She notes that only 30 percent of Hispanics self-identify as liberals but does not consider evidence that they take liberal positions on most issues. (Much more than the general population, for instance, Hispanics favor bigger government.)

She also writes:
While Democrats may display dominance in presidential voting in some key  states, the data does not suggest that all of the so-called “blue firewall states”have turned permanently blue or are solidly progressive. Both Michigan and Pennsylvania have voted Democratic in every presidential election since 1992. Yet at the state level, the governorship and both chambers of the legislature are under Republican control. Wisconsin has voted Democratic in every presidential election since 1988, but there, as well, the state government is currently under unified Republican control—despite President Obama winning the state twice. 
But state elections operate on a different track from federal elections. In the 1970s and 1980s, Southern states elected Democratic legislatures while voting for Republican presidential candidates.  In 2012, popular former GOP governors lost Senate races in Wisconsin and Hawaii when they had to discuss national issues instead of state issues.