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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Weekly Open Thread: What races are you interested in? (433 comments)

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  •  in which I try to do some math (lone star edition) (12+ / 0-)

    Here is a study that looks at the demographic future of the US, California, and Texas, including predictions of citizen voting age population by demographic group. For Texas, they show roughly the following percentages for whites/hispanics/blacks/others (this is just based on eyeballing, and proportionally redistributing to make numbers equal 100:

    2010: 54/29/13/4
    2015: 49/33/14/4
    2020: 42/39/14/5
    2025: 34/43/15/8

    If you assign the Democratic share of the two-party vote as follows - 25% for whites, 65% for hispanics, 90% for blacks, and 60% for others, you get this:

    2010: 46.25
    2015: 48.7
    2020: 51.45
    2025: 54.75

    This makes it seem that Dems ought to be favored in Texas statewide races by the end of this decade. However, this forecast would basically represent turnout nirvana for Democrats, because hispanics do not turn out at anywhere near their CVAP numbers. (This is generally treated as a problem of "getting out the hispanic vote." But I wonder about this. The hispanic population is disproportionately young and poor, and if you corrected for these two variables, I wonder if there would be any depressed turnout effect attributable simply to hispanic identity. I'm not sure, but it seems like an interesting question.) For instance, according to this report, the CVAP breakdown in Texas ca. 2008 was 55/28/13/4, but according to exit polls turnout was 63/20/13/4. Given the numbers I used above, that works out to 42.85% for the Dem - slightly lower than the ~44% Obama actually got, since he actually got 26% of the white vote and like 113% of the black vote.

    So what would be more realistic turnout projections? Maybe something like this:

    2010: 61/22/13/4
    2015: 56/26/14/4
    2020: 49/32/14/5
    2025: 41/36/15/8

    Here I just added 7% to the white vote share and subtracted the same amount from the hispanic vote share. Pretty crude, but it's consistent with continuing underperformance for hispanic turnout, yet slowly improving hispanic turnout relative to population share. (Also these are predictions for turnout in presidential elections, though obviously 2020 is the only year that will actually have such an election.) So what do these numbers yield given the same assumptions given above about Dem performance among each group? The following:

    2010: 43.65
    2015: 45.90
    2020: 48.65
    2025: 51.95

    So if we assume Dem performance remains static among each demographic group for the next 12 years, Texas ought to be a genuine swing state by 2024. It might even be competitive by 2020, depending on how that election pans out. But I wonder about these numbers a bit. In particular, I'm surprised at the rate at which the CVAP in these projections approaches overall population numbers - for instance, they have the total population breakdown for 2010 at 45/39/11/5, representing a CVAP of +9 over total population for whites, but for 2025 it's like 35/48/10/7, for a white CVAP that's basically equal to total population. How can that be?

    Maybe it would be prudent to bump up the white numbers for expected turnout by a bit - say, +2 for 2015, +4 for 2020, and +6 for 2025, and subtract the same for hispanics. Then we get turnout that looks like this:

    2010: 61/22/13/4
    2015: 58/24/14/4
    2020: 53/28/14/5
    2025: 47/30/15/8

    Which yields Dem vote shares of:

    2010: 43.65
    2015: 45.1
    2020: 47.05
    2025: 49.55

    That seems more likely to me. And it does still suggest Texas could be a swing state in 2024, depending on the national environment.

    (The source for these numbers, btw, is the William C. Velazquez Institute, using census projections.)

    •  This is incredible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itskevin

      You should absolutely turn this into a diary. Please do it's really very interesting.

      26, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

      by okiedem on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:05:31 PM PDT

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    •  And it also squares with the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DCCyclone

      back of napkin calculations I've done on my own. Although Texas is moving our way it will probably be at least another 10 years before it's legitimately competitive. Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and Nevada however could all permanent come our way sooner that than however.

      26, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

      by okiedem on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:08:28 PM PDT

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      •  If that were to happen, (0+ / 0-)

        then there would be no need to have elections because democrats would average 400 EV's all the time.

        20, Male, NC the best state ever! Majoring in Piano Performance.

        by aggou on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:37:49 PM PDT

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        •  I've gamed this out too, (7+ / 0-)

          and there's almost certain to be an ideological realignment among Republicans, because you guys really can't continue on as you are now and expect things to be just peachy when a majority of the population becomes nonwhite.  Republicans will find ways to be competitive, even if it means moderating or completely changing stances on some things (like gay marriage).

          Lewis & Clark Law class of 2015

          by James Allen on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:43:08 PM PDT

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          •  Gay marriage is all but a settled issue. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SaoMagnifico

            I don't think it will be an issue in the 2016 race at all - unless it's to attack somebody like Christie for vetoing SSM.  

            I also think immigration will be a settled issue - major reform will happen in the next congress and it will be off the table for awhile.  

            There is no way you can put today's voter demo partisan breakdown 5-10-15 years down the road.  

            •  Not sure about that (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              itskevin, redrelic17

              perhaps gay marriage may be a settled issue for Democrats in 2016 if we're lucky, but I'm not sure for Republicans.
              Best case scenario is that Republicans will turn to a popular sovereignty/state's rights view on marriage equality and say the states are free to decide on their own.

              "I know the loneliness that breaks men's hearts"' - Sam Rayburn (D-TX)

              by lordpet8 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 02:39:37 PM PDT

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          •  It's not a question of it, but a question of (0+ / 0-)

            when--for what you describe, or for some sort of strain of conservatism to grow within non-white communities. (I know the latter seems highly unlikely to some, but I'm being very general; those really are the only two things that can happen.) I wonder if it's going to take a lot longer than some people expect.  

            "The election of Mitt Romney and a supporting congress this November would be a...disaster for America. Think of the trainwreck that has been the Conservative government in Britain since 2010. And square it."--Brad DeLong

            by bjssp on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:54:43 AM PDT

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            •  I still think a variation of the Jack Kemp method (0+ / 0-)

              would work -- African Americans were listening seriously when he talked enterprise zones.

              Rs would have to come out for immigration in some fashion, perhaps based on giving green cards to anyone with a BA/BS or higher (Romney's PhD green card thing doesn't cut it.) -- and supporting the reuniting of all families.

              "I hope; therefore, I can live."
              For SSP users, see my Tips for Swingnuts diary

              by tietack on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:02:01 AM PDT

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        •  agreed which is why (8+ / 0-)

          I agree with James Allen below that the Republican party in it current form will become extinct in the near future and undergo some sort of ideological realignment to regain competitiveness. Before too long the two parties will be roughly evenly matched again but the Republican party that exists at that time won't look like the Republican party that exists now (in fact the Democratic party will likely look quite different as well).

          26, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

          by okiedem on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 01:05:12 PM PDT

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          •  I wonder what both parties will look like... (0+ / 0-)

            ...at the end of the next realignment that you and James are predicting...

            "We don't have government anymore, we have an auction." -Lori Compas

            by DownstateDemocrat on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 03:20:59 PM PDT

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            •  That's a very interesting question (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sacman701

              and ultimately unknowable. However, Republicans will restore competitiveness by some combination of adding white collar secular-minded whites to their existing coalition or by substantially improving their margins with minority voters.

              Although it's impossible to know exactly how this will happen, I would guess it would occur through Republicans moving to the left on both social and economic issues (with the Democrats likely moving to the left as well). Ironically, the past could be future as something similar to the New Deal Era alignment could emerge with Republicans as the pragmatic socially and economically moderate party and Democrats as the more thoroughgoing economically populist party.

              26, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

              by okiedem on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 04:12:31 PM PDT

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            •  yeah it will be interesting (0+ / 0-)

              I've always the held the belief that today's conservatives were yesterday's conservatives.

              Who knows in half a century perhaps a candidate that supports gay marriage and contraception may be considered a conservative.

              I'm curious to know if the old wing of the GOP (that believed in real small government) will make comeback or not.

              "I know the loneliness that breaks men's hearts"' - Sam Rayburn (D-TX)

              by lordpet8 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:17:45 PM PDT

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              •  I don't think the Republican party will ever (0+ / 0-)

                be pro-choice, if that's what you meant by "contraception."

                20, Male, NC the best state ever! Majoring in Piano Performance.

                by aggou on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:49:36 AM PDT

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                •  Contraception (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lordpet8, sapelcovits, askew

                  and abortion are not the same thing.

                •  actually (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sapelcovits, KingofSpades, bumiputera

                  the Republican party had been pro-choice in the past

                  Believe it or not but back in 1948 Massachusetts Republicans began pushing a pro-contraception and pro-choice agenda in the legislature and with a ballot initiative.

                  1948 proved to be dismal year and the abortion issue united Democrats and allowed them to sweep the state. Democrats won the State House for the first time ever.

                  From Tip O'neill and the Democratic Century

                  It didn't look good at the start : the GOP advantage in the Massachusetts House was a whopping 144-96. To take control the house, Democrats would need a net shift of 25 seats - not an impossible goal in a 240-member body, but so difficult it would only occur only two times in the century. Nor did 1948, as it began, look like a promising year for the Democratic party.
                  [...] the birth control bill put the Republican leadership in a terrible bind, as it cleaved the electorate along religious lines and aroused Catholic passions.
                  The Republicans had been tarred as the anti-union, pro-birth control party. The Birth control  question was defeated by a 2 to 1 margin in Boston, and by 200,000 votes statewide. O'Neill's party had scored a net gain of 26 seats. The margin was close: 122 Democrats 118 Republicans
                  I also expect that eventually the Republicans will have to take a state's rights view on issues of abortion and contraception. Otherwise they will always have to write-off states like CA which hasn't elected a Pro-Life candidate statewide since 1988.

                  "I know the loneliness that breaks men's hearts"' - Sam Rayburn (D-TX)

                  by lordpet8 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:55:55 PM PDT

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        •  Don't worry with gerrymandering... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lordpet8

          house districts and the 60 vote threshold McConnell makes the new normal in the Senate the GOP would still be able to grind things to a halt via Congress.  

      •  Nevada is coming real soon (8+ / 0-)

        It's possible the state has flipped for good already in Presidentials, and that 2004 was the last time a GOPer wins it.  But it's not "unwinnable" yet, that's still at least 4 years away, maybe more.

        New Mexico was first in the interior West to flip for good our way, Nevada is next, and Colorado should follow after that.  By then, Arizona will be squarely purple.

        Georgia will flip before Texas thanks to the huge black vote, the population now 31% of the state and growing.  That black voters are 90-10 Democratic gets us about one-quarter of the total vote right up front, with growing nonwhite vote from others helping us get over the hump.  I think the state GOP's domination in elections the past decade and the next few years will help harden nonwhites' Democratic voting as a reaction.  That will produce some loyalty and a higher ceiling, even if it means a much more polarized electorate where a lot of rank-and-file voters don't like either other.

        I wish I were 10 years younger.  This would be even more exciting for me if I got to experience red states flipping still in my 40s.

        44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:43:09 PM PDT

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    •  Nice work. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itskevin

       The point is the transition is happening. And while it won't become a liberal dream like California exactly, it will be competitive for Democrats.

      http://www.snappac.org/ Students for a New American Politics!

      by redrelic17 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 12:22:50 PM PDT

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    •  Where'd you get these numbers from btw (0+ / 0-)

      particularly the CVAP future projections which I don't think the census estimates?

      26, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

      by okiedem on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 04:19:43 PM PDT

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    •  Great work, and the key to your data is... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Minnesota Mike

      ...you found something that specifies U.S. citizen voting-age populations.

      Total census doesn't cut it, yet a lot of people point to it.  You gotta exclude non-citizens and underage Hispanics (of course other minorities, too, who fit those descriptions, but mostly they're Hispanics) to get an accurate read on voting potential.

      And those are realistic vote shares per group.

      The turnout differential is the big variable that still kills us.  You identified whites were only 54% of CVAP in Texas in 2010, but the 2010 exit poll said they were 67% of voters in the Governor's race.  That 13-point gap is huge.  If it persists (and I bet it will), we're looking at 2020 before the state GOP starts to get real worried about close races, and 2024 before a Presidential gets competitive.  The white vote is as one-sidedly GOP as the overall nonwhite vote is Democratic, and that complete offset means we need a 50-50 white/nonwhite split in the electorate that won't happen until white CVAP drops into the high 30s.

      44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:32:43 PM PDT

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    •  I think targeting Texas (0+ / 0-)

      would bump the percentage our side gets from white voters up at least a little. Getting to 35 percent with strong but not outstanding turnout from non-whites should easily flip the state, but getting to 30 percent might also do the trick.

      "The election of Mitt Romney and a supporting congress this November would be a...disaster for America. Think of the trainwreck that has been the Conservative government in Britain since 2010. And square it."--Brad DeLong

      by bjssp on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:52:21 AM PDT

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      •  I don't think Texas will be targeted until (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aamail6

        the votes are already there, so it will go from solid red and uncontested one year to heavily contested and leaning blue the next.

        Lewis & Clark Law class of 2015

        by James Allen on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 02:54:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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