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."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Looking Ahead to 2012

This is a re-post from February 2008:

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.

New Commentary

The basics of 2010 seem to be that another net 10 EV will migrate to Republican territory. This means that in 2010, the Dems have a higher burden than this year to hit 270. So the Obama strategy of targeting swing states is crucial.


Robert said...

As always, a great post. I really enjoy this blog, and its thoroughness.

Is there a future in VA, FL, Penn, or is this a one time thing?

Any just curious as to why you use Kerry as the prime example? I don't think he represents the Dem's finest hour. I'm assuming you aren't using 2008 because we just don't know and so 2004 is the most recent, but I think (which may be true in any election) that 2004 was also very unique and maybe not representative of the future.

The Law Talking Guy said...

2004 was the first election after the 2001 reapportionment. That's why it's the basis for comparison with 2008 and reapportionment in 2012.

Raised By Republicans said...

One thing I think this election is showing is that as the population moves South, the South is becoming more urban. For example as recently as 2004, Virginia and North Carolina were seen as out of reach for Democrats are now looking like swing states. Actually, Obama is ahead in Virginia by significant amounts.

The Republicans are a Southern party but they are also a Rural party and the urbanization of the South is very bad news for them.

The Law Talking Guy said...

True, but the problem is that the population is there NOW, just being undercounted in the electoral college. And in most states it doesn't matter. If, however, the Dems can make inroads into VA, FL, and NC, that's what needs to happen. Dixie needs to shrink. Then we can sell Texas back to Mexico and get on with sensible government here.

Raised By Republicans said...

The reason Virginia and North Carolina are in play at all right now is because of this population growth and the fact that almost all of it has been in the urban areas of those states.

Valar Morghulis said...

I hope it's OK to rewind the clock for a moment.

I found this link from the Chicago Tribune dated February 15, 2006, asking the question, should Obama run for President in 2008. The comments section is priceless and revealing.