Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, February 29, 2008

Looking Ahead to 2012

The basis of US representative democracy is the census, that apportions congressional representation and electoral votes. The 2010 census should show some dramatic changes for representation (to take effect after reapportionment by the 2012 election). At least one early projection shows that a dramatic shift to the South of 10 seats, with four going to Texas. California is also poised to lose a seat possibly for the first time in its history, as a middle class exodus slows the population growth to below national levels. Also, four seats should shift to the Mountain West. This changes the 2012 electoral calculus. Assuming the Solid South votes for the GOP nominee regardless, the GOP gets a natural 8-EV advantage for the 2012 elections. That is the equivalent of losing Oregon (which may be up to 8EV in 2012). This means that if the Democrat wins narrowly in 2008, the winning coalition will have to broaden in 2012 to include another medium-sized state. Put another way, if Kerry had won Ohio in 2004, he would have won the race. If a Democrat wins all the states Kerry did plus Ohio in 2012, it will not be enough.

The future of the Democratic party is in the Mountain West, in AZ, NM, CO, MT, and NV - the only "purple" states that are growing (I include Montana for a reason: it is projected to be within 10-20,000 people of getting a new seat in 2012, and that new seat could easily be Democratic depending on the gerrymander. Today, Montana has a Democratic governor, Democratic control of the Senate, and the House is split literally 50/50, so Dems may control the process. Of course, their legislature meets every other year, so it won't meet again till 2009 and 2011 respectively. Yes, I am so geeking out over this).

This is relevant to our discussion of a blue-state strategy or a 50-state strategy. Democrats cannot, I suggest, succeed without at least establishing themselves as a viable minority party with some Congressional representation in the Mountain West, Mississippi Valley, and South.


Raised By Republicans said...

I completely agree with what LTG proscribes for the Democrats.

I would only offer this ray of hope. The population growth that will occur in the South will also bring urbanization. States like Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia are booming but become much more urban as they do.

We should remember that stuff brings problems for the GOP too. To the extent that they are a rural, socially conservative, populist party, urbanization is troubling news for them. The "guns, gays, and God" stuff doesn't play as well in the suburbs of a large or booming city.

What will that do to the solid South? We can't say for sure but in Florida urbanization and growth has turned a solidly Southern state into a swing state that is up for grabs. Virginia seems headed that way too. If North Carolina starts to swing too, the Solid South will officially be a phenomenon of the history books.

Raised By Republicans said...

Of course, the transition from Red South to Purple South won't happen if the Democrats don't force the issue by competing for votes in those states early and consistently.