Jan
13
2015

The demographic shriveling of the Democratic party continues.

Oh, dear. It’s worse for the Democratic party than I thought.

The GOP dominance in these predominantly white working-class districts underscores the structural challenge facing Democrats: While the party has repeatedly captured the White House despite big deficits among the working-class white voters who once anchored its electoral coalition, these results show how difficult it will be to recapture the House without improving on that performance. “The question is: Are we at rock bottom here?” says Tom Bonier, CEO of the Democratic voter targeting firm TargetSmart Communications.

These trends present Republicans with a mirror-image challenge. The vast majority of their House members can thrive without devising an agenda on issues—such as immigration reform—that attract the minority voters whose growing numbers nationally have helped Democrats win the popular vote in five of the past six presidential elections.

Note the weasel phrase in the last sentence, there: now that ‘Republicans can’t defeat incumbent Democratic Senators’ has joined ‘Democrats always win special elections’ in the great heap of Rules Of Thumb Past Their Sell-By Date you can expect to hear that particular factoid. Because Democrats won the popular vote in five of the last eight Presidential elections. And five of the last nine. Six of the last ten. Six of the last twelve. Eight of the last fourteen. Eight of the last sixteen. And that gets us to the end of the Truman administration. Put another way: hey, here’s a news flash! The Democrats and Republicans have been trading the White House every eight years or so since my mother was a child. Expect that to happen in 2016, too.

No, really, expect that to happen even if we nominate That Candidate That You Hate.  What this article is carefully not mentioning is that it’s assuming that the Democratic party’s voter pool is anything like a baseline for that party, instead of a ceiling. Simply put: far too many Obama voters in 2008 and 2012 only came out for Barack Obama.  They will not come out for Joe Biden, they will not come out for Hillary Clinton, they certainly will not come out for Elizabeth Warren, and they will not come out for anybody that Barack Obama stumps for.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at these maps comparing 2008 and 2012. Barack Obama made a little bit of history by doing worse in his reelection bid, yet winning anyway: a combination of overwhelming black (and solid Latino) support, coupled with a horrific disparity in campaign infrastructure, allowed him to eke out a win.  2014 showed us, pretty clearly, that when Obama’s not on the ballot minorities don’t turn out and the Democrats’ vaunted digital outreach infrastructure is reduced to the online equivalent of an angry drunk. Which is funny, because, hey: Barack Obama’s not going to be on the ballot in 2016!

Again, it doesn’t matter if That Candidate That You Hate gets the GOP nomination.  This is not about us.  This is about the Democratic party relying on a voter model that has to improve on what is already an artificial set of assumptions. I’d perhaps feel differently about this if the Democrats had a candidate that could cause precisely – precisely – the same sort of irrational appeal that Barack Obama produced in 2008.  Instead, the Democrats get to choose between a bunch of old white people who are only charismatic in relation to each other. I understand that many people enjoy being miserable in advance, but all of this reminds me of our problems in 2007.  Which makes me grin.

I am truly sorry if it doesn’t make you grin, too.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

35 Comments

  • Catseyes says:

    A lot of the big corporate donors will be hedging their bets so they can have seat at the table if the republican wins, so the dems won’t be able to count on a big money advantage.

  • Antoninus Pius says:

    i’m just happy that none of the dems seem to be able to think out of the box. were they to do so they might realize that a DLC-type candidate might have a good shot at a win. fortunately they were all driven out of the party except for bill and he’s not eligible anymore. not sure if Webb is in that area or no. we’ll see.

  • countrydoc says:

    If it truly doesn’t matter, then lets go ahead and nominate a staunch conservative like Cruz. After all, this would apply to the candidate YOU hate just as easily.

    • countrydoc says:

      I mean the whole argument you and other RINOs put out for nominating a Squish is his electability. If just about anybody is electable, then why bother with the Squish?

      • Moe_Lane says:

        “You.” Funny: I don’t recall many situations over the last six years where I’ve chimed in too much on our *primary* process. Largely because it’s a lot harder for somebody in my position to support a nominee that I’ve previously attacked.

        Also: you don’t get to call me a RiNO. Ever. Are we clear? Indicate in your next comment here that you understand.

        • countrydoc says:

          I don’t like petulant temper tantrums. Ban me if you will, but I will not reward juvenile pouting.

          • Moe_Lane says:

            Well, since you insist. I’m sure that you’ll figure out some way to let me know when you’ve regained enough essential couth to post on a site without calling its owner a name.

  • WmTell says:

    Troll Alert. Don’t waste time bantering with this one, he’ll just get more dramatic and annoying.

  • Skip says:

    Rudeness aside, I do take countrydoc’s point, which is, ‘why not nominate a conservative, if everyone is electable?’ And I think the problem is that to the GOP leadership, they’d rather see President Warren, or President Clinton, than President Cruz. Because they think they can work with either of the first two, and not with the last.
    .
    But we may find ourselves in interesting times, because it would not surprise me in the least if, say, Chris Christie or Jeb Bush is nominated, for there to be a revolt led by talk radio, and a third party candidate to arise. Moe probably disagrees, but it feels like we’re very very close to that happening.

    • WmTell says:

      I can’t argue with your basic points, as I’d rather see a better GOP nominee that Romney or Bush myself. However, I still believe that even a strong third party nominee has no real chance (for the foreseeable future, at least) of getting elected, and I would ABSOLUTELY rather see Romney or Bush in office than Clinton or Warren. Mostly kind of conservative is still better than not even remotely conservative in my book.

    • Robert Mitchell Jr. says:

      Because “We” don’t nominate anyone, and haven’t, for a long, long time. The primary voters do. If the Republican leadership doesn’t seem too enthused about conservative candidates, maybe they are worried about another Goldwater blowout, yes? If a conservative candidate can’t handle the powerless nonsupport of the “leadership”, they sure as heck aren’t rated to run the country…..

      And why would the “Leadership” reward the RINOs like countrydoc? The “Real Conservatives(TM)” are always threatening to leave the party. Always abandoning the party for third parties like the Reform party. Always slitting the Republican’s throat in stupid, conterproductive tantrums, like when they formed “Porkbusters”, and threw their tantrum over Miers (Yeah, “Porkbusters”. Deficit is dropping like a rock, in a time of War, and the “Real Conservatives(TM) don’t give the Republicans any credit, they throw a tantrum, and give control of Congress to the Democrats, who explode the Deficit, and the Earmarks “Porkbusters” were protesting. Brilliant!)

      Much as I like the goals of conservatives, they have shown, time and time again, they are Political Poison. You want them to have a place at the head of the table? Get them to grow up. This endless Denethor act is old and embarrassing…..

      • Moe_Lane says:

        Do I just need to ban the word ‘RiNO?’ It’s already torpedoed one reader.

        • Robert Mitchell Jr. says:

          Nah, I just had to poke, the people who created and use the term, have so little party loyalty, they are always creating third parties or sitting at home because “The Candidate They Hate” got the nomination. It’s surreal insofar as the term, at it’s base, is an accusation of disloyalty……

          • Moe_Lane says:

            Well, please don’t. I don’t enjoy banning long-time readers; and I didn’t enjoy this ban, either.

          • Robert Mitchell Jr. says:

            No worries, it’s not one of my hobby horses. (Just a little on edge over the endless “Denethor” rants I’ve been hearing since the Election. Really don’t want to see a repeat of the “Porkbusters” fiasco!)

          • acat says:

            Are you suggesting that Porkbusters’ opposition to the “bridge to nowhere” was somehow illegitimate?
            .
            Do you mean to imply that Ted Stevens or Robert Byrd are anything but big-government proponents to whom party was simply a mark of convenience?
            .
            Mew

          • Robert Mitchell Jr. says:

            “Somehow illegitimate”? Well, yes. Building Roads and Bridges is something that Governments are supposed to do, and have done since the dawn of Civilization. Building them to “nowhere” is also something that has been done since the beginning, it’s how governments have traditionally claimed wilderness, and expanded Civilization, and their countries.

            Then we get to my actual complain, “Making the Perfect the Enemy of the Good”. “Porkbusters” saw no difference between the Democrats and Republicans, and so gave control of Congress to the Democrats, who, again, exploded the Deficit and the number of Earmarks. The opposite of their goals. I wouldn’t be so hard on them, save for their stunning lack of awareness or humility over their failure…….

            Well, duh. First, note Ted Stevens is not an “is”, he is a “was”. Thanks to the “Justice” department’s political assignation of him, letting a pedophile go free so they could fake a case against him, he is dead. Second, DUH! What a great example of eyes blinded by hate. We have Ted Stevens, who’s vote would have stopped the ACA, who might have spent more then you are comfortable with (Alas, your one example was of something the Government is supposed to do……), and then there is the Robert Byrd Memorial State. (And Mr. Byrd had to be a Democrat. Republicans don’t allow unrepentant racists and members of the KKK to join…..)

          • acat says:

            Porkbusters was right, some GOP folks are awfully hard to tell from Dems when it comes to spending. Stevens is a good example, Hastert (house, yes) is another, specifically *bragging* about adopting a “bring home the bacon!” strategy.
            .
            Postal roads are a Federal issue .. but roads or bridges to nowhere, by *definition*, will carry very low mail volumes. You would have better luck trying to sell it as a national defense issue.
            .
            Development is a *Local* or *State* issue – if *Alaskans* want the bridge, they may pay for it.
            .
            Are you *sure* Stevens couldn’t be bought to support the ACA? Several other people who “will vote against it!” … didn’t.
            .
            Finally, there are plenty of racists in both parties .. I suggest you read up on David Duke sometime. Arguing nonsense like “The GOP won’t allow them” is silly on its’ face, and makes your entire post seem weak.
            .
            As a counterpoint, *conservatives* (such as those involved with Porkbusters) *don’t* generally work with racists and other sleaze, and were responsible for Duke not getting an electoral win.
            .
            If you can see the difference between the two groups, then we might be able to have a more interesting conversation.
            .
            Mew

        • Luke says:

          The RINO insult is an interesting one, and most of the time it’s arguable where it should apply.
          The Grand Army of the Republic was the original party supporting big federal government. This continued well after they changed to the Grand Old Party. If Teddy hadn’t lost the internecine fight with Taft (admittedly due to Taft abusing procedure in a most undemocratic fashion) and then played spoiler to hand the role of Progressive Champion to Wilson, it would still likely be.
          .
          But between Wilson, FDR, and LBJ, the Democrats wrapped themselves in the flag of a more powerful central government.
          Goldwater gave a principled opposition to this a firm place to stand. Reagan imposed a platform that cemented this, and none of the centrists have been brave enough to try and change it. The citizens most active in the party see the party as a distasteful means to an end. While those who depend on the party for their livelihood and power see the party’s base a distasteful means to an end.
          So who really is a RINO?
          For all the complications and conflicting narrative, the answer is actually easy: John McCain.

      • acat says:

        So wait a second here. JFK had been in the ground barely over a year, LBJ** wasn’t moving in radically different directions yet, Nixon had barely lost in 1960 after 8 years (!!) under Eisenhower (R) ..
        .
        Just based on Moe’s math above, Goldwater was a long-shot, giving him the nomination is parallel to giving it to Bob Dole or John McCain or … Mitt Romney .. the electoral equivalent of “get this loser his turn at bat so we can get serious next time”.
        .
        Note that I write this as an admirer of Goldwater and one of those “pesky libertarians” who refuses on principle to vote for Christie, Bush 3.0, or Romney – period. The GOP can nominate someone worth voting for if they want my ballot, I’m done holding my nose.
        .
        Mew
        .
        .
        .
        ** (the same LBJ who may or may not have ordered the assassination to protect his cronies…)

        • Moe_Lane says:

          I was not alive in 1964, but I get the general impression that all LBJ really had to do in that election was avoid f*cking a pig in public if he wanted to win it. I’m pretty sure that Goldwater would have done a lot better against a living JFK than he did [against] the martyred one.

        • Robert Mitchell Jr. says:

          Oh, sure. But there was a Rout, and it was Goldwater who was the face of it. Might not be “fair”, but it does put the lie to the whole “The voters would vote for a “Real Conservative(TM)”, if they had a choice!”. They had a choice, and they chose LBJ. Being a “Conservatve” is not enough. Again, speaking as someone who likes the conservative goals.

          “Done holding my nose”? Well, at least you’re enjoying the ACA…….

          • acat says:

            If Moe has a problem with my position, he only has to ask, and I shall hold my tongue.
            .
            That said, I am rather enjoying the ACA, yes.
            .
            You may not have noticed it, but a majority of the citizens who are eligible to vote *were not alive* when Jimmy Carter was running things…
            .
            Further, there are *more* Millenials than there are Gen-X kids .. they *do not have* the gut-level rejection of nanny-statist twits *yet*, but the continuing collapse of the ACA is making the difference between conservatism and statism *real* clear to ’em.
            .
            I won’t say I’m happy with this result, but I’m optimistic about the long-term results.
            .
            Mew

          • Moe_Lane says:

            The rules are more fluid over here, but I largely try to keep people from tossing insults at each other (and probably more importantly, me).

          • Robert Mitchell Jr. says:

            Ah, the old “We are failing now, but it’s going to lead to victory in the long term!” plan. Can’t think of any examples of that actually working………

          • acat says:

            Can’t think of any plan that starts with “we will elect someone who won’t do the job we want done” working either.
            .
            Mew

      • Lady Penguin says:

        I’m usually content to just read Moe’s excellent insights, and most of the comments. But your little snide remarks about conservatives isn’t appreciated. And you might want to look up the difference between the word “deficit” and “debt.” The lefty media is gleefully making that talking point about the deficit, all the while ignoring the debt, the real unemployment numbers, the new 29hr/wk norm, and the ever rising number of folks on food stamps.

        You want to talk down to conservatives, because we believe have principles? Quite a few conservatives do vote for the less than “perfect” candidate, but we are just as entitled to our beliefs, choices and principles as any other group.

        P.S. I’ll give the Republicans credit when I see Obamacare destroyed – before it destroys the country, and makes us into enslaved creatures to an indifferent bureaucracy in control of our lives.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      Well, of course we want to get a conservative out of the process. And that ‘we’ actually includes the leadership, which is considerably better these days than it was in the time of endless earmarks and other legal forms of bribery. As for the nomination, the way to avoid a Christie and/or a Bush (both of whom would be improvements on McCain and Romney, btw*) is deceptively simple: find a candidate who wants the job and who has his or her act together. Because the primary system rewards people who don’t burn up in reentry.

      *Yes, damning with faint praise.

      • acat says:

        I disagree only with your assertion that Christie is measurably superior to Romney in any way other than raw decibels.
        .
        I believe I have been clear that Christie is nothing more than a Valkyrie for the New Jersey Dems – he only wins because they nominate losers (see parallels above) and then don’t support ’em. (see Moe’s blog posts regarding candidate Bono)
        .
        Mew

  • JEM says:

    Clinton: the expiring meat in the half-price freezer.

    Warren: toxic to any white male who’s ever had to compete in the affirmative-action marketplace, *if* the opposing campaign will make the case.

    Who else on the Dem side wants to take a shot?

    Romney may be the best MAN to run for President since maybe Abraham Lincoln, but unfortunately he wasn’t the best CANDIDATE. I think he’d have made a very good President. I’m not sure that I’d want to ride a “you were wrong last time and you’ve got another chance” candidacy in 2016, though.

    Christie: I’d vote for him, but I really don’t want a warmist. It’s one of my top three issues, and I really don’t want a warmist.

    I really want Scott Walker in the Oval Office. He’s everything that Obama is not, right down to the absence of the Harvard Law sheepskin. Frankly, I’d like a President that’d embargo hiring of Ivies in DC for two years. But Walker would need a couple experienced and seriously hard-headed realists at State and at NSC.

    • acat says:

      I don’t think there’s a lack of hard-headed realists available to choose from; Bolton’s not dead yet for one, Condi’s still around for another. (and .. nominating Condi is several very un-subtle messages wrapped up with a golden ribbon)
      .
      Referencing the above comments, Walker remains in my top 5, I would be very happy to vote for him, and to make the case for the Throne of Skulls quite publicly.
      .
      Mew

      • JEM says:

        Look, John Bolton with a flame-whip in the halls of Foggy Bottom is a personal fantasy of mine, but I don’t dare imagine it’d ever come to pass.

        • acat says:

          He’d be wasted in that role .. if you really want Foggy Bottom purged, you don’t need Bolton .. you need Donald Trump with orders to say “You’re fired” to as many people as possible.
          .
          Mew

  • Antoninus Pius says:

    Bolton at State would be great. could we get Mitt to take Treasury once he comes home from his ego trip? and Jindal at HHS?

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