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  1968=2008 the other way around?
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Author Topic: 1968=2008 the other way around?  (Read 1537 times)
Sir Mohamed
MohamedChalid
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« on: January 27, 2016, 05:09:20 am »

This question just came to my mind: Was 2008 the beginning of a reverse from 1968? Before 1968, Democrats were in charge of the presidency for the most time of the past four decades. In 1968, an era of several GOP presidencies begun. During 28 of the next 40 years, we had a Republican in the White House (only 4 years of Carter and 8 of Clinton). Meanwhile, in the same time span, the GOP controlled the entire congress for only twelve years (1995 to 2007; if you include the Senate tie from 2001-2003); even Reagan had only a Republican senate for the first six years of his administration. Now, after 2008, the opposite seems to happen: Democrats control the presidency for the most time, while the GOP maintains its congressional majorities (especially the House, like Dems did in the 1980s). We all talked about the GOP’s difficulties to win back the White House (for example, there is almost no realistic path to victory without FL) and Dem’s problems to retake the House (even the Senate will be tough this year, and even if Hillary is elected president).

Some historians argue that 1968 was a realignment (from 1932), but I disagree with that in the most part, because that only applies to the presidency alone.
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DanPrazeres
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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2016, 08:12:28 am »

I think this change in some important States (like CA) begins in 1992. 2008 turns deeper.
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Virginiá
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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2016, 12:05:54 pm »

I don't think it's fair to say that all realignments happen for the same reasons. 2008's success & future success at that is marked by that of the Millennial generation and the fast growing non-white population, who votes pretty solidly Democratic. The voting patterns of non-Millennial whites hasn't changed a whole lot, and if anything it might actually be slightly more Republican in 2016 than the average of the past 6 presidential elections. Also, because turnout is usually a lot higher in presidential elections, when younger voters come out to vote, they have greater influence and thus it would be easier to see changing preferences play out first in presidential elections. The voting patterns of young adults is critical to understanding the future composition of Congress and state legislatures, while older voters may be split at the presidential level and state level as state/Congressional politicians only have to run on views palatable in their state/district to win over those voters, as opposed to a presidential candidate who has to run on views that appeal to the broadest national audience, which will inevitably alienate certain regions. Think Rubio vs Larry Hogan (R-MD).

Also, the Solid South gave the Democratic party a nice cushion in Congress as they could lose seats everywhere else and still be able to rely on those sweet, sweet Southern seats to keep their majorities in Congress relatively healthy. Obviously those allegiances have changed, and because it's no longer solidly Democratic, it is a bit weaker as the large population of African Americans in the South still votes almost unanimously Democratic.

There are also other reasons why Democrats have a disadvantage in Congress right now. Their voters are simply not distributed as evenly. Republicans have a representation bias in both the Senate and House. Sparsely populated rural states get just as many senators as a large state like California, and these states are sometimes very conservative. Further, the clumping of Democratic voters in population centers creates packed districts where there are regular landslide elections and thus wasted votes. This also makes gerrymandering a lot more effective.

This is worth a read as well:

http://www.people-press.org/2011/11/03/section-1-how-generations-have-changed/

Because of the increasing rarity of split ticket voting, you can probably expect a continuing lag between presidential dominance and Congressional dominance, absent a major event like the GD. Younger voters fueling presidential victories won't vote more reliably in midterm elections for many years.
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Virginiá
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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2016, 02:15:27 pm »
« Edited: January 27, 2016, 02:17:19 pm by Virginia »

Looking at the history of where the country has gone policy wise, it's fascinating to me how many on the right feel like they lost out or at best broke even during 1969-2009.  Obviously, Roe v. Wade still stands, but taxes have dropped to pre-WWII levels, the American labor movement has been effectively wiped out, the airlines, cash welfare benefits have been greatly reduced, banks, etc. were deregulated, and the general legal environment around abortion has gotten much more restrictive.  Only in the past 7 years has there been politically effective pushback to stop or reverse any of these changes.

Good analysis as usual Surprise)

I think a shorter way to phrase what you said above is they have essentially taken for granted their influence. They got so much of what they wanted, and now that there is push back (notably on social issues), they feel like they are being marginalized and dread what has been happening the past 8 years. I mean, how do they think the other half of the country has felt for the past generation? It's incredibly selfish to think that just because the other half is beginning to gain influence and gain ground on policies they want in recent years, that somehow they (the right) have been subjugated and mistreated for so long. Perhaps it is the bias that occurs when they muster enough votes to elect a Republican Congress, they wrongly assume that because that happened, all of America must support their views, when that has never, ever been the case.
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5280
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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2016, 03:03:10 am »

When does Generation Z start, the new 18 year old voters this election cycle or not until 2020?
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Virginiá
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2016, 10:59:00 am »

When does Generation Z start, the new 18 year old voters this election cycle or not until 2020?

I suppose that depends when the Millennial generation ends. I've seen dates ranging from 1998 - 2003, so unless they were born in 1998 or before, they can't vote yet. I think it would probably be safe to say that by 2020, at least the first of GenZ will be be voting.
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RFayette
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2016, 01:13:59 pm »

Slightly OT, but it's just remarkable how lucky Democrats have been with the Class I seats in the Senate.  1994 was the only Republican wave on that cycle since 1946.  Republicans have done best with  the Class 3 seats, which have only seen two Democratic waves in 1986 and 1974 (although the gains were limited) since 1932.  Class II is the most even, with it's big counter swings in 2008/14.

Agreed.  A Democratic Presidency + nasty 2017/18 recession could really change the game with class I seat, an d such hasn't happened in ages.
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DS0816
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2016, 02:49:20 pm »

This question just came to my mind: Was 2008 the beginning of a reverse from 1968? Before 1968, Democrats were in charge of the presidency for the most time of the past four decades. In 1968, an era of several GOP presidencies begun. During 28 of the next 40 years, we had a Republican in the White House (only 4 years of Carter and 8 of Clinton). Meanwhile, in the same time span, the GOP controlled the entire congress for only twelve years (1995 to 2007; if you include the Senate tie from 2001-2003); even Reagan had only a Republican senate for the first six years of his administration. Now, after 2008, the opposite seems to happen: Democrats control the presidency for the most time, while the GOP maintains its congressional majorities (especially the House, like Dems did in the 1980s). We all talked about the GOP’s difficulties to win back the White House (for example, there is almost no realistic path to victory without FL) and Dem’s problems to retake the House (even the Senate will be tough this year, and even if Hillary is elected president).

Some historians argue that 1968 was a realignment (from 1932), but I disagree with that in the most part, because that only applies to the presidency alone.



Last month, in response to a different thread, I wrote the following:

@ https://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=225995.msg4858204#msg4858204

I don't think one strategy fits everywhere. For example, in Georgia it's probably a better strategy to run on Obama's legacy, seeing as to how the Hispanic population is on the rise and general Black turnout is higher. Both of those demographics could help flip Georgia without much of a shift in candidates. However, in Arkansas or Louisiana, Democrats should look to cultural conservatives or moderates who are progressive on economics. They cannot be flaky on economic issues. Minimum wage increases are popular in places like West Virginia and Arkansas.

Democrats should actually be looking more at the Rust Belt states, including my home state Michigan. In midterm election years which are a wave for the White House's opposition party, and results in a pickup of the U.S. House, the trend on Election Night is immediately considered with the Rust Belt states. In 2006, it was obvious with Indiana (which closes its polls at 07:00 p.m. ET). In Michigan, 9 of the 14 U.S. House seats ended up in the Republican column as President Obama won that state with re-election by close to 450,000 raw votes and 9.5 percentage points. (The state is typically close to 6 percentage points more Democratic than the nation.)

The Democratic Party needs to perform routinely stronger in Core Democratic states on the eastern half of the electoral map. And the party needs to be doing that, at the U.S. Senate level, throughout all of New England (much more so now with Maine than the swingiest of those six states, New Hampshire). If the Democrats, going forward, fail to shore up these weaknesses, I would question whether they are actually bothered by losing in midterms. After all, since 1914 the White House opposition party gained congressional seats in 23 of the 26 elections with include as the most recent 2014. It's like asking the question, "Okay—no party wins everything. Or wins everything for long. So which would you prefer—President and maybe the U.S. Senate or fail to win President but win U.S. House and U.S. Senate?" The Democrats, during the Republican presidential realigning period of 1968 to 2004, won Congress the majority of that period while the Republicans won the presidency. From 2008 going forward, we may be looking at the opposite. (Between the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, choosing just one of them to be in the column of the party of the president, it's typically the Senate which will fall in the column of the party of the president…while it is the House which goes first for the opposition. Refer to the midterm elections of 2006 and 2010 as examples of that.)

I received the following response from a forum member who said I have "a relatively good point":

The Democrats, during the Republican presidential realigning period of 1968 to 2004, won Congress the majority of that period while the Republicans won the presidency. From 2008 going forward, we may be looking at the opposite. (Between the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, choosing just one of them to be in the column of the party of the president, it's typically the Senate which will fall in the column of the party of the president…while it is the House which goes first for the opposition. Refer to the midterm elections of 2006 and 2010 as examples of that.)

This is a relatively good point, and I think there may be some truth to it. However, it seems more like that their Congressional dominance began in 1994. Republicans, at this point, already had enough voter support to take over Congress, they just hadn't found a way to get people to vote at the state/Congressional level the way they were voting at the presidential level, which was pretty strongly Republican, and obviously the Republican Revolution was their breakthrough.

Not every dominant stretch is going to be the same and is subject to unique circumstances of the time. Bush was, by most measures, a bad president and his 8 years of rule brought a lot of misfortune to the party. Scandals, the neverending wars, him simply being president when the economy tanked, which got his party blame, and so on. With that in consideration, its reasonable to see how Democrats could pick up so many seats and then lose them. They benefited from a backlash and not a genuine change in older people's voting habits.

The Democratic realignment I think we have having now is not a FDR-like realignment where people of all ages change allegiances, but rather a combination of overwhelmingly minority support, of whose population is growing very rapidly, and generational replacement - Millennials have been overwhelmingly Democratic for a long time now and they will continue to grow older and vote more and more often, squeezing out the Republican-leaning older voters.

All said, I think Republicans best performance will be in the House, and only for 15 or so more years at most. The Senate will probably be relatively flip-floppy as Democrats do have impressive numbers in presidential elections, but those voters fall out in midterms. So while theoretically they have the support in a lot of crucial states, they need to figure out how to get them to vote in midterms or simply wait until Millennials get old enough to vote more frequently.


Bottom line: Look to the past 57 presidential elections of 1789 to 2012. Realigning elections are not just realignments of the map (1988 Republican; 1992 Democratic). They are realigning presidential elections which kick off with a specific year, the result of a disastrous event or incident, and they cause the voting electorate to move away from that president's party and toward the opposition party with a more general trust for voting the presidency of the United States. Those past realigning presidential elections were 1800 (Democratic-Republican); 1828 (Democratic); 1860 (Republican); 1896 (Republican); 1932 (Democratic); 1968 (Republican). And I'm adding to them 2008 (Democratic).
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hopper
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2016, 02:18:45 pm »

I don't think it's fair to say that all realignments happen for the same reasons. 2008's success & future success at that is marked by that of the Millennial generation and the fast growing non-white population, who votes pretty solidly Democratic. The voting patterns of non-Millennial whites hasn't changed a whole lot, and if anything it might actually be slightly more Republican in 2016 than the average of the past 6 presidential elections. Also, because turnout is usually a lot higher in presidential elections, when younger voters come out to vote, they have greater influence and thus it would be easier to see changing preferences play out first in presidential elections. The voting patterns of young adults is critical to understanding the future composition of Congress and state legislatures, while older voters may be split at the presidential level and state level as state/Congressional politicians only have to run on views palatable in their state/district to win over those voters, as opposed to a presidential candidate who has to run on views that appeal to the broadest national audience, which will inevitably alienate certain regions. Think Rubio vs Larry Hogan (R-MD).

Also, the Solid South gave the Democratic party a nice cushion in Congress as they could lose seats everywhere else and still be able to rely on those sweet, sweet Southern seats to keep their majorities in Congress relatively healthy. Obviously those allegiances have changed, and because it's no longer solidly Democratic, it is a bit weaker as the large population of African Americans in the South still votes almost unanimously Democratic.

There are also other reasons why Democrats have a disadvantage in Congress right now. Their voters are simply not distributed as evenly. Republicans have a representation bias in both the Senate and House. Sparsely populated rural states get just as many senators as a large state like California, and these states are sometimes very conservative. Further, the clumping of Democratic voters in population centers creates packed districts where there are regular landslide elections and thus wasted votes. This also makes gerrymandering a lot more effective.

This is worth a read as well:

http://www.people-press.org/2011/11/03/section-1-how-generations-have-changed/

Because of the increasing rarity of split ticket voting, you can probably expect a continuing lag between presidential dominance and Congressional dominance, absent a major event like the GD. Younger voters fueling presidential victories won't vote more reliably in midterm elections for many years.
Um like Rhode Island, Delaware, and Vermont for the Dems? Texas is the 2nd most populous state and they get 2 US Senators just like CA does. Most of the smaller Republican States are out west like Utah, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
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hopper
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2016, 02:23:06 pm »

I think this change in some important States (like CA) begins in 1992. 2008 turns deeper.
Yeah I think because of the Dems suddenly having a economic platform to run on with Bill Clinton in 1992. I think 2008 it runs deeper because of demography.
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mathstatman
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2016, 02:28:24 pm »

Yes. Just as much of the American heartland became out of reach for Dem Presidential candidates in 1968 for the next several elections (excepting possibly 1976), the Northeast and Pacific coast, which are rich in electoral votes, as well as educated heartland states like IL, have become (at least for now) out of reach for Republicans at the Presidential level, beginning in 2008.
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Virginiá
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2016, 03:02:00 pm »

Um like Rhode Island, Delaware, and Vermont for the Dems? Texas is the 2nd most populous state and they get 2 US Senators just like CA does. Most of the smaller Republican States are out west like Utah, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

I didn't mean Democrats didn't have any of their own, but rather that they have less. Look at the states by population - Democrats have more of the highly populated states, with a number of the ones you might think would belong more to Republicans being relatively split between the parties in terms of Senate race pick up possibilities (like Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania being red at the state level but definitely prime targets for Senate elections).

Meanwhile, Republicans have a lot of low-EV states that are solidly red with only occasional deviations.
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