Skip to main content

I have been busy with work lately and haven't had time to write. However, as I have been thinking, this is a post that I have been wanting to write for a long time. I have some free time tonight, so I will write it.

First of all, as many of you know, I don't see myself as an activist. I am probably more moderate than many people here would like me to, but my greatest contribution has been in analyzing races in competitive states and districts.

And this is what I will do in this thread beneath the fold.

1968 heralded the end of the New Deal. Forming a coalition of white southerners, white ethnics, suburbanites, and Sunbelt voters, Nixon broke through the New Deal--and formed a coalition that has persisted with the GOP to this day. I am theorizing that perhaps 2008 might mark the final end of the coalition. For me to get to that point, however, I first have to start with the pre-New Deal era. That will follow into a discussion of the New Deal era, the area from 1968 until Clinton's victory, and finally the present.

First of all, up until 1932, politics followed a divide across the Mason-Dixon Line. It extended across what is now US-40. Anything above the National Road was generally Republican, and anything to the south voted Democratic. There were some exceptions, such as the high mountainous areas of states like KY and TN, which voted Republican; but, overall, the south was dark blue, and the north was dark red.

In 1920 the Republicans were able to win states as far south as TN, MO, KY, and OK. That seemed to be the limit of GOP influence in the region. As the US's population was centered up in the industrial areas and Pacific Coast, because the south was still thinly populated, the Republicans controlled the balance. Indeed, in 1916, Wilson won the majority of the country by land; and, even though Charles Evan Hughes just won the Midwest, Northeast, and Upper West Coast, he almost won.

But the first year to analyze is 1928. In that election cycle the GOP broke into south, carrying VA, TX, OK, NC, KY, and TN. These were states that Kevin Phillips defined as the "outer south" in the Emerging Republican Majority. These states rejected Al Smith because of his Catholicism. The deep south stuck with Al Smith even though it was heavily non-Catholic. The hatred of race trumped anti-Catholicism.

Out of the Great Depression the New Deal fused together the south, with the industrial regions of the country, and the West Coast. And the Democrats dominated most elections until 1952, which was the first election where the New Deal Coalition suffered a fracture. Eisenhower was able to break into "the outer south", winning states like TX, OK, KY, MO, TN, VA, and FL. He continued on that trend into 1956 and Nixon carried parts of the region in 1960.

What was at hand here was the emergence of the Sunbelt. The New Deal helped established regions such as the deep south, southern California, Arizona, and other areas that are today the fastest growing parts of the US. Whites moving to states like Florida settled in places like Orlando, turning what was a balance that leaned blue into red. However, the Sunbelt growth disrupted the political order of many southern states, replacing the old, racist southern Democratic regimes with Republicans more concerned about business. States like Florida were the first to turn red as places like St. Petersburg, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando grew. Post World-War II growth in suburbia weakened the role of cities in statewide races, undermining what were then solid Democratic machines.

By 1960, however, Kennedy was able to hold on that coalition just barely. The 1960s saw the end of the New Deal era. What happened was the Great Society. The Great Society was left-wing government that went too far in the minds of too many Americans. The Vietnam warned weakened the national security strength of Democrats, which persists to this day. In the process, angry over civil rights laws, the Dixiecrats left the party. Frustrated over the racial violence, protesting, increasing taxes, rioting, forced integration, and perceived permissiveness to crime, white ethnics (such as Catholics) fled the Democratic Party. Nixon was able to form a majority based on suburbanites, white ethnics, and Dixiecrats. This majority has persisted to this day.

Now, with history out of the way, I can address the more recent present. The issues that bound those voters together were race, hostility to social programs that benefited populations deemed "unworthy", anger toward a welfare state that (in their mind) rewarded laziness, permissiveness toward crime, hostility to the middle class, and a strong defense. These voters rejected the post-1968 liberalism that the Democratic nominees of the 1970s and 1980s advanced. In places like Macomb County, MI, where CNN cameras come every four years to talk to "swing voters", those voters became "Reagan Democrats". As middle class voters, while they thought that the Democratic party cared about the dirt poor and racial minorities (especially blacks), they offered nothing toward the middle except higher taxes for social programs that rewarded laziness and didn't benefit them. While these voters supported civil rights, they took umbrage over forced busing and affirmative action. They also didn't believe that "racism" was the cause crime or that criminals should have been coddled.

This is why, in the period between 1968 and 1992, Democrats failed to win many states that are now solidly blue. After 1964 they would not carry NJ, CA, or IL in a presidential race until 1992. They only carried PA twice and MI twice. They were unable to win states like Connecticut. That is because, in places like suburban Chicago, Democrats were lucky to poll 40% of the vote. By the Nixon and Reagan era the votes in the suburbs of America were much larger than the decaying urban areas that surrounded them.

The DLC now comes into play. I used to be a strong supporter of the DLC because I believed that the Party was too captive to the far left. By the late 1980s, as the Democrats had lost five out of six elections, it was clear that the party needed to change. As I said two paragraphs earlier the reasons why many middle class voters refused to support Democrats for president were for the fact that they believed the the Party no longer cared about their issues. While the Republicans didn't offer them anything better, at least when it came to taxes, these voters saw the GOP as being more respectful of their taxpayer dollars. Although I no longer support the DLC, back in the 1990s, it served to bring the Democrats white suburbanites back to the Party.

At first, when Clinton won, I had assumed that a new political cycle had begun. 2000 and 2004 would prove me wrong. However, Clinton broke through the first part of the 1968 coalition by bringing suburban whites back. In Clinton's first victory, followed by his smashing 1996 re-election, he carried places like CA, IL, PA, and NJ. Three out of four of those states had not supported the Democratic nominee for president since 1964. Since the 1992 cycle the suburbs in blue states have trended heavily toward Democrats. An example in question is Delaware County, PA. 60% for Bush I in 1988, it gave 56% of its votes to Kerry in PA. Even solid red counties like DuPage in Illinois and Orange in California have turned less Republican. Counties like Fairfax in Virginia have gone from 60% Republican as late as 1998 to 58% for Jim Webb in 2006.

The 9/11 attacks gave the 1968 coalition its final hurrah. While I can't promise that the 2008 cycle will lead to a Democratic victory, I see some interesting parallels. Like Vietam the war in Iraq has become increasingly unpopular. The War on Terror still remains unresolved. Osama Bin Laden remains free. There has been cronyism and corrupt across the government. Although Americans were willing to give Bush and the GOP another four years in 2004, based on the current trends, and the lack of popularity, conservatism as it was represented during the Nixon/Reagan era may be dying. The war in Iraq, coupled with the problems here at home, has made it harder to defend right-wing Republicanism. The takeover of the religious right and Christian Reconstructionism has alienated but the hardcore right in the South.

This post will conclude with the future geopolitical map going into the next 20-30 years. First of all, as I look at the map, I see the GOP being marginalized to the following states in the Deep South:

South Carolina
Alabama
Mississippi
Lousiana (the loss of blacks in the aftermath of Katrina puts LA in this category)
Oklahoma

These states will be the base of the GOP in future presidential cycles to come. What makes them solidly Republican is the fact that these states are extremely rural, have no real big cities with international populations, and are not growing.

This next set of states is probably going to be the "border" region of the south, where the GOP will carry in most cycles, but where the Democrats might be able to win occasionally.

Georgia
Texas
North Carolina

These three states, unlike their peers in the first category, have booming populations. They are dependent on the international economy. Their minority populations are also rising. Although they will most likely than not be solidly Republican well into the 2010s, if these states become more connected to the international economy, and if minority populations continue to rise, they will form the "border" between the deep south and the rest of the country. GOP strength will start to fade in this area, but be strong enough to prevail in most national elections.  

These next states will be the key swing areas between the north and south. These states will be extremely competitive, as they are in the border region. Kerry fared miserably in most of these states because he was from the northeast, but a non-northeastern Democrat should have a reasonable shot:

Virginia
Kentucky
Tennessee
Missouri
Arkansas
West Virginia
Florida

These five states will be the battleground of the region. Virginia is becoming more promising because of the Democratic trends in suburban DC. Loudoun County has swung toward the Democrats, going from 66% for Bush in 1988 to 56% for Bush in 2004. In 2005 and 2006 Tim Kaine and Jim Webb prevailed there. Democrats won seats in the House of Delegates and State Senate there. If Fairfax and Loudoun counties, a very fast growing area, continue to trend blue, the VA might be a blue state in the next few cycles presidentially.

Florida will be a battleground due to the fact that the state is rapidly growing, has a significant connection to the International Economy, and has a large retiree population. While Democrats have not fared well there recently, when Castro dies, some of the hostility among the Latino community toward the Party will fade. As areas like Orange County, where Orlando is continue to turn blue, if Democrats can make better headway in the I-4 corridor and turn out their base in Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade Counties, they might be able to win the state. At the very least it will be a key battleground.

Out of the south the safe GOP states in the Midwest and Plains will be Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. And I don't see that changing really. Those states have cultures that have been Republican since statehood, lack large minority populations, and don't have major international cities.

The Rockies are the next region. I see a division opening between the northern and southern rockies. The following Rocky Mountain States will be competetive:

New Mexico
Colorado
Arizona
Nevada
Montana (maybe)

Those five states are all rapidly growing. MT has been the most friendly state toward the Democrats in the northern Rockies. Dukakis polled 47% there in 1988. MT has turned against national Democrats over guns and the environment, but Schweitzer and Tester might be able to change that. Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico have burgeoning Hispanic populations. They are also becoming more connected to the world economy. These factors will make them battlegrounds.

The northern Rockies will remain Republican, except for Montana. They include these states:

Idaho
Utah
Wyoming
Alaska

These states will be out of reach for the Democrats. Utah is out due to Mormonism. Idaho, Alaska, and Wyoming are just too Republican. They will remain Republican for the same reasons as those other Plains and Southern states.

If the GOP continues its embrace of the right, its refusal to fix the Iraq war, and so forth, it runs the risk of where the Democrats were in 1968. The similarities are striking in many ways. The issues that gave rise to the 1968 have dissipated. Jesse Jackson, the Rainbow Coalition, the NAACP, feminist groups, and other perceived "far left organizations" no longer dominate the Democratic Party. The racial violence of the 1960s is a distant memory. Anger over integration and civil rights have dissipated. Democratic leaders, except for the far left ones, are tough on crime. Also welfare has been reformed. Public housing complexes have been demolished. So the anger over the perceived "welfare state" that rewarded laziness is no longer there.

The other factor favoring Democrats is that, in 50 years, minorities will be a majority in this country if current demographic trends hold. While I think that the Democratic Party would be foolish to rely on a minority-vote only strategy, as these groups grow, Democrats will have an easier time winning. However, the Democrats will still need to be competitive with whites. They need to poll 40% of the white vote at least to be competitive. As getting minorities to the polls will always be difficult, Democrats can't rely on non-white votes to win.

2008 presents the Democrats with the opportunity to build a new majority based upon the Northeast, Upper Midwest, Southern Rockies, the outer south, and the border region. They have the opportunity to marginalize the GOP to the deep south, Great Plains, and northern Rockies. It might just be possible to forge a majority based on cities, suburbs, sunbelt, and states with large cities connected to the world economy.

Originally posted to jiacinto on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 06:29 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  If all the stars and planets align for the Dems (3+ / 0-)

    The 2008 electoral map will look a lot like 1964's, with the Republican candidate winning a handful of states in the Deep South and a few in the Mountain West--plus, perhaps, a few Great Plains states.

    Remember, I said "if all the stars and planets align."

    "Those who argue that we should somehow defer to the President are wrong."--Senator Russ Feingold

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 06:42:30 PM PDT

  •  Wyoming (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia

    Doesn't Wyoming have a Democratic Governor?  That's not that Republican.

    I really enjoyed your post, and am not trying to pick nits.  Just adding to the fun, suggesting that Wyoming might be a more possible presidential pickup than you postulated.

    -4.63 -4.77, Check out my blog about my campaign for civil district judge in Harris County (Houston) Texas in 2008 at www.engelhart4judge.com

    by mengelhart on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 06:46:05 PM PDT

  •  What is your analysis of '68 w/Wallace? (0+ / 0-)

    To me, this seemed to tip the scales toward Nixon with the emergence of Wallace's American Independence Party.  You could be overlooking that a 3rd party can help either of the 2 larger parties prevail.  For example, Romney could put together a "Unity" party which could confuse a lot of voters.  It could match Mormons with Massachusetts voters who put him in power in the first place.

    Obama is another.  He could destroy Clinton if he ran on a 3rd party should she capture the Democratic nomination.  A Republican could win in that case.

    Lastly,  Al Gore could sink the Democrats and possibly win as a 3rd party candidate especially if the Republicans nominate Guiliani or an enfeebled McCain and if the Democrats nominate Clinton who is reviled by many including lots of people at DK.  Gore would have plenty of time to put together a party of the young, the environmentalists, and the progressive voters of NY and California.  He will have 8 mos. to get a party on the ballot in each state.  He has big money behind him in Silicon Valley.

  •  You've missed Strom Thrumond in 1948 (0+ / 0-)

    and Wallace in 1968. I agree with you in general though.

  •  According to the Brilliant Analysis you laid out (0+ / 0-)

    in 06 we were still going to be in the minority in both houses of Congress.

    Sometimes you get EXACTLY what you pay for.

    http://dumpjoe.com/

    by ctkeith on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 08:07:04 PM PDT

  •  Oklahoma (0+ / 0-)

    is not in the Deep South.

    "A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by clarkent on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 08:12:04 PM PDT

  •  contrarian view (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia

    The Democrats retained control of Congress long after the supposedly watershed 1968 election. When did they finally lose the Senate, in Reagan's second term or under Bush-1? And they held the House until Clinton flubbed national health care.

    I think a lot of the states outside maybe South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi were there for the taking but the Democrats kept running lackluster candidates from the northeast and upper midwest. The McGovern loss was an aberration that everyone takes to be the new rule. Carter won despite a less than stellar campaign, but then he got hit by a run of bad economic and foreign disasters and by the Ronald Reagan freight train on the next go-round. Then we had Mondale and Dukakis, two very uninspiring candidates. Clinton mopped up both times, in spite of all the trouble he was in almost from the first (he personally was successful but he seemed to drag down the rest of the party). Then Gore won in 2000 but got cheated out of it by Nino and the Supremes. Kerry quite possibly also won in 2004, but he was another uninspiring northeatern candidate who never got the boost he wanted from his more telegenic VP choice in the south.

    So my take is that the big realignment was never as big as it was supposed to be. More of those white ethnics and border staters were on the fence than what the conventional wisdom would lead you to believe, and they could've been had in 1984, 1988, and 2004 if we had put up better candidates. And, please, no more candidates from Massachusetts.

  •  1928 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivacia, andgarden

    I'll add another interesting bit of information to your diary. Before the start of the Great Depression in 1929, over 90% of the Blacks in the United States were Republicans. Within three years time they switched to 90% Democrat. That's what made it happen and when.

    As you know, you fund wars with the Congress you have. Not the Congress you might want or wish to have at a later time.

    by William Domingo on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 08:32:02 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for that piece (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      William Domingo

      of information.

      http://www.keen.com/jiacinto For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

      by jiacinto on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 08:36:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Migration of the Black Vote (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChicagoDem, antonysh, Crisitunity

      The African American vote did not suddenly switch sides.  It came to be important in various states because of the Migration of Blacks out of the South and into the Industrial Economy of the Mid-West and the North.  One aspect of migration -- most Blacks could not vote in the South -- but on migration, they could.  So the "change" is far more a matter of migration and political opportunity, much less a complete change of mind.  

      The High Point of Republican electorial success was the election of 1920, when Harding-Coolidge got about 93% of the vote in Harlem.  Not that much less in Chicago.  As of 1920 Harlem and Chicago were the only electorial significant African American districts.  In 1924, even with a close association between the Klan and the Democrats, the Republicans lost support, in large measure because they would not allow Blacks to run for local offices in Harlem and Chicago on the Republican ticket.  The period 1920 - 1930 was a high migration era, with significant voting African American Communities formed in Cleveland, Detroit, St. Louis and Kansas City Missouri, Pittsburg, Philly, and a few other places.  But as the depression deepened, Migration slowed, only to massively increase during World War II -- all the former destinations, but added to that the war industry centers on the West Coast.  Many of these migrants registered to vote, and voted, because their jobs were Unionized -- and the Unions in the 30's really pushed voting.  CIO unions from 35 on all had non-discriminatory Constitutions, and organized black workers.  (AFL was largely segregated into the 1960's, but the black locals pushed voting.)  One union member in a family might account for half dozen new voters.  

      In Chicago during the 1920's, many Blacks left the Republican Party and moved to the Progressive Party associated with LaFollette of Wisconisn -- but in Chicago led by Jane Addams and Harold Ickes.  It combined the TRoosevelt Progressives or Bull Moosers with a progressive position on Race and immigration.  In 1932 it would move into FDR's ranks, and because the Progressives had fairly specific programs, many of these became core parts of the New Deal.  Ickes quietly ran a black professional personnel agency for years out of the Department of Interior -- and by the late 30's the Democratic Machines in big cities such as Chicago began moving Black Candidates on to the Electorial tickets.  Of huge import, beginning in 1934 Harry Truman running for the Senate asked to speak to Black Audiences in churches and social clubs in Missouri and ask for votes.  I think he is the first Senatorial Candidate anywhere to do this, and in 1948 it was remembered "big time."  FDR himself was not all that involved personally with race matters, but Eleanor sure as hell was, and by 1936 the voting Black Population was literally running from the Party of Lincoln into the Democratic Party.  The Irony was that majorities in the House and Senate delivered the committee chairmanships into the hands of the most reactionary racists from the Deep South. Many pieces of the New Deal retained the veneer of Separate but Equal (which was then the law anyhow), but all WPA programs also inforced equal pay for equal work.  You can track all this in the Black Press, which covered all the details.  

      The War restarted the Great Migration, essentially adding motivated new black voters to Industrial Centers.  In many places African Americans won seats on local school boards, city councils and the like.  Virtually all of them were Democrats, and they were blessed by FDR and Eleanor.  All this was part of the great surprise of 1948 when against all predictions, Truman won the election, with significant states assumed to be pro-Dewey going for Truman because of the Black Vote.  (Gallup's prediction was wrong in large measure because they didn't poll blacks, the census was out of date, and they didn't know how to do it.)

      Of course it didn't hurt matters that at the 1948 Democratic Convention the party platform plank on Civil Rights was challenged by Hubert Humphrey and the ADA -- and when the minority and stronger plank prevailed, the Southerners followed Strom Thurmond and marched out of the convention.  The Democratic Party had finally gotten a divorce from the Klan.  If you read Hubert's "Sunshine Speech" carefully, it is as much about condemning anti-Semitism as it is about racial discriminatory matters -- something I think accounts for the strong association of both Jews and Blacks with the modern Democratic Party.  

      This process would become more complete during the 1960's in the Kennedy-Johnson administrations with the passage of Civil Rights and Voting Rights legislation. (Finally).  The emergence of the Black Caucus in the House (in its history only 2 Republican members), suggests something of the permenance of this party identification pattern.

      All this is less about black people changing their identity and political orientation, it is about migration and political opportunity and inclusion in the Party Systems.  

  •  Interesting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gatordem

    From what I have read your interpretation of history closely matches conventional wisdom and is probably the correct view. In 1968. the New Deal Coalition collapsed, and in 1972, Nixon was able to form his "Silent Majority" coalition.

    What's interesting about this era is that Republican wins are bigger than Democratic wins in this era. Jimmy Carters win in 1976 was very narrow, only a 2,000 vote swing in Ohio would have swung the election towards Ford. Given that we went through Watergate, Carter's ability to take advantage of Southern pride and the worst post World War II recession, Ford actually did quite well and actually won a majority of states.

    The number of states that Republicans won in 1972, 1980, 1984, and 1988 were 49, 44, 49 and 40, respectively. Republicans won those four elections in historical landslides. In terms of electoral votes, three of the four elections were bigger routs than the LBJ sweep of Goldwater in 64.

    Clinton's wins in 1992 and 1996 were not on the scale of the Republican wins in the 70s and 80s. In fact, Bob Dole still won 12 states, more states and more electoral votes than Dukakis won.

    Thus, given the breadth of the Republican vitories, I think you can safely say that the Republicans were the majority party (at least at an ideological level).

    However, predicting the future is still like reading tea leaves. True, the minority population is increasing, but it may be that as they grow in size, they will start acting more like a majority race such that minorities will begin to vote Republican in the future. In fact, minorities tend to be more socially conservative than whites, especially Asian-Americans and Hispanics. On the other hand, as Whites see their power fade, they may start to vote more Democratic in the future.

  •  Bah! (0+ / 0-)

    I hate when it's too late to recommend a diary! That said, this is great!

  •  Good job on the overall history (0+ / 0-)

    But there are two important points you left out.  Number one is the Voting Rights Act. It was correctly predicted that it would cost the Dems the South for a generation.

    The other is that the Dems started to lose their national securty edge in the late forties and into the 50's.  The Dems were roundly castigated for "losing" China to the Communists.  Kennedy had to invent the "missle gap" to overcome this in 1960.  And this same loss of strength on national security is what caused Kennedy to make some of the decisions he did that got us deeper into Viet Nam. So, in a way, it was the Dems attempt to be tough on national defense (Viet Nam) that led directly to their perceived loss of strength in national defense.

    Having said all that, I agree with other commenters that the Dems have been our own worst enemies with some of the presidential nominees we have put up. McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis and Kerry were out and out disasters.  I think that as much as anything else contributed to the "bigness" of some of the Republican wins commented on earlier.

    Florida Kossacks Rock

    You can't govern if you can't win.

    by gatordem on Tue May 01, 2007 at 09:11:17 PM PDT

  •  We didn't lose on the issues, our CANDIDATES lost (0+ / 0-)

    in 1984, 1988, 2000 or 2004.

    We lost because we had poor candidates who screwed up... or because we nominated the WRONG candidates... or both.

    1.  Mondale.

    #1, he was the bottom half of a ticket which had just been repudiated by a landslide, so he shouldn't have been nominated anyway.
    #2, promising to raise taxes without a hell of a long explanation about who you plan to raise them on (which Mondale never provided)is just dumb.  End of story.

    1.  Dukakis

    Dukakis was actually doing well and leading Bush Sr. by fifteen points earlier in the year... but he waited so long to respond to the 'Willie Horton' ads that even his supporters (like me) didn't know what the truth was.  (The prison furlough policy that allowed Horton to be temporarily released from prison and commit some murders, had been started by a Republican governor of Massachusetts, and Dukakis ended it, he finally explained... too late, too late, TOO LATE!  Example #1 of Democrats not responding quickly enough to an attack and setting the record straight).  The Duke was headed up in the polls in the end, once he hit on his 'closing theme' of "I'm on your side," and with another two weeks might have won the election.  He didn't have another two weeks.

    1.  Gore

    What can I say?  He damn near made it; but he shouldn't have pulled out of Ohio, and should have tended to Arkansas and his home state of Tennessee... needing only one of those in the end.  Those were campaign management mistakes that should not have been made.  Other stuff?  I don't even want to get into all that.  Was he unfairly screwed by the media following GOP talking points?  Yes, but his campaign could have done more to refute the dishonest talking points the media was parroting.

    1.  Kerry

    Mistake #1:  Writing off the entire south and west as his starting strategy, giving the GOP a free ride in all those states which let them give us trouble within our own territory.

    Mistake #2:  Muzzling his nominating convention "we don't want this to be a 'hate-bush'fest", and getting no poll bounce out of it.  Were the Republicans gentlemen at their convention, to return the favor?  Of COURSE NOT!

    Mistake #3:  Took a page from the Dukakis book and waited too long to refute the swift-boat liars, relying on the media to set the record straight. Uh, newsflash, you can't rely on the media to do shit for a Democrat-- when people lie about you, you MUST SAY SO, FAST and LOUDLY-- and when you don't, too many people assume its the truth since "he didn't deny it".  Once they believe, the damage is done, even if they hear the refutations later.  Gawd.

    I don't know who Kerry was listening to in that campaign.... but if he'd been listening to ME, he'd be "Mister President" right now.

    In spite of those three collasel errors, he almost won (and some of us believe he actually DID  ::cough:::ohio:::cough:::)... so...

    I don't think you can say that our party lost all those elections, much less on issues.

    But our candidates?  Yeah, they lost.  Or were made to believe they lost, depending on who we're talking about.

    "If my party can't be the voice for the poor, for the elderly, for the disabled, for the disenfranchised, for what reason do we exist?" ~ John Edwards

    by John Poet on Tue May 01, 2007 at 10:38:35 PM PDT

  •  Indiana is were you are wrong (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Luam

    I strongly believe that Indiana is one of the "Bluest" Red state. All the states around it are either blue (MI, IL) Purple (Ohio), or Pink (Kentucky). The problem there is that the Democratic party organization is very week. In a year 2006, were Dems captured 3 US house seats (for a majority), and the state house, the Democratic party didn't even mount a Senate challenger? Gov. Mitch Daniels who is now at 38%, won because the Democratic incumbant ran a weak campaign (he didn't even mention that Mitch was President Bush's budget director, and issue that Bush is/was vulnerable on with suburban Whites for red ink, and gov spending). Also the rural areas are losing population, and the metro central city Indianapolis is growing, much the way IL is/was. I think you could make a good case that any Dem would be better off challenging the GOP here before they start challenging the GOP in most of the South. Either Evan Bayh on the ticket as VP, or a Dem who can carry appalachia (Edwards?) WV, KT, should run hard here. I think Obama could do a good job here as he is the Dem who is perceived as most open to faith. I really hope Howard Dean sinks party money here as this is a state where a good party chair could work wonders!

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power"

    by dopper0189 on Wed May 02, 2007 at 02:42:16 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site