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View Diary: Could the 2008 Election be Like the 1932 Election? (Part 3) (321 comments)

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  •  2008 may be a lot like 1968 (4+ / 0-)
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    seeker, MadEye, scott5js, eztempo

    I see Clinton's 1992 victory as having the same impact on the electorate that Eisenhower's 1952 victory did. Ike's victory showed the first fissures in the New Deal coalition, as many southern states bolted to the GOP for the first time. The 1952, 1956, and 1960 elections presaged the emergence of the Sun Belt, which would catapult the Republicans to 24 years of domination in presidential elections from 1968 through 1992.

    Increasingly, if we look back at the 1992 and 1996 maps, that is increasingly the electoral future of the Republicans should current trends hold. While the Deep South, Great Plains (the row of states from Kansas straight to North Dakota), and the northern Rockies plus Alaska will remain Republican, those states around 150-170 electoral votes. Those are just not enough for the Republicans to win.

    The Democrats could fuse together a similar majority if they were able to take away the majority of CO, NV, AZ, FL, IA, KY, TN, MO, OH, VA, WV, and OH, they could be a majority. Although 9/11, gay marriage, and the backlash against perceived "liberal elitism" kept Kerry out of the White Houes, those issues won't work forever.

    I look at the current GOP presidential field. I've watched a couple of the debates and they look like the Democrats of old. They look like the Democrats of old, who used to pander to Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition. They seem more focused on very narrow right-wing issues, the same way that the Democrats became fragmented on far left causes. And that caused many middle Americans to leave the Democratic Party.

    What I see happening is that the 1968 realignment may finally be falling apart. The issues that connected the group of voters who supported Nixon, Ford, Reagan, the first Bush, and the second Bush--the excesses of the civil rights movement, civil unrest, an unchecked welfare state, higher taxes, crime, and the Vietnam War--have faded. While the embers of 1968 are still flaring in some ways--see this post--for further reference--the Republican Coalition is being divided.

    The biggest fissure occurred in 1992, when the Democrats were able to first crack through the GOP's choke-hold on suburbia. Since then they have steadily been able to consolidate control in suburban precincts ringing cities like Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. In turn this is why the Democrats can now carry states like CA, CT, IL, MI, NJ, and PA without any problem. Indeed some of the most smashing gains in the House have taken place in areas like Delaware County, PA, where Bush the first polled 60% as late as 1988.

    To its credit the DLC was able to make the Democratic Party attractive to those voters. Increasingly these voters have become part of the base of the Democratic Party, which is why the GOP will not carry IL, PA, NJ, MI, and other such states in presidential races for the foreseeable future. The votes in those states rural areas are just not enough to cancel out the Democratic advantage in the suburban and urban areas.

    What I see happening in 2008, barring some significant change in the political environment, is that the Democratic nominee may win a very narrow victory a la 1968 in the presidential race. The Democrats will fare well in Senate and House races because the math favors them vis a vis retirements and open seats.

    However, it may take several election cycles for a permanent progressive agenda to take over. The early Republican administrations of the Republican cycle that emerged were not as conservative as the Reagan and first Bush administrations. The second Bush administration is much more conservative than the first Bush administration.

    Which leads me to my final point. When you look at the Nixon administration that took office in 1969, and you compare it to the current Bush administration, there is a lot of difference. It is almost the same as comparing the latter part of the Great Society/New Deal era to the first FDR administration. The late New Deal era was much different than the early New Deal era.

    Anyway I think you make some good points. I think the Democrats might be poised to finally end the Republican era that started in 1968.

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