Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A sad challenge for Democrats

I know I have not been posting very much lately and, when I do, it is often about U.S. politics. I apologize for that, but it is largely because my main fascination when it comes to politics is electoral machinations and a U.S. presidential election is the biggest series of political machines coming together in the world. Particularly when this is the first election since 1928 where neither the president nor the vice-president is a candidate and therefore both major parties have wide open nominations. I hope you won't mind. If you think I am missing something here at home that I should be writing about, as always, I encourage my readers to drop me a line at nbpolitico@gmail.com and give me a story suggestion.

So anyway, on to the subject at hand. As a Liberal and a slightly-to-the-left moderate, I doubt many would find it a surprise that my U.S. sympathies lie largely with the Democrats - though I have a lot of time for "big picture" Republicans like John McCain and Fred Thompson.

In any event, I thought it noteworthy that the state of the Democratic Party in the Southern United States has become so sad that I saw this on the Drudge Report yesterday and today:



The headline in question: "John Edwards: 'I will win more than one Southern state'". The fact that a southerner, who was until a couple of years ago the Senator for a southern state, stating that he would win more than one state in the south is noteworthy is a really sad state of affairs for the Democrats. I know it is a long time since the Solid South but the Democrats really need to start thinking long and hard about how good it is for their country for an entire region to be written off any time they look to win an election.

The Republicans proved with their Southern strategy, one did need to be explicitly anti-civil rights to carry the south. As Nixon's strategist noted, they only needed 10-20% of the Black vote to carry states because of their domination of the White vote. Today, the reverse is true. Democrats only need about 20% of the rural White vote in the South in order to win due to their domination of the Black vote and competitiveness in the urban White vote.

The Democrats need a Southern strategy or perhaps more generally a rural strategy and they need one fast. Despite the unpopularity of Bush and the Iraq War, without breaking into the South, the Democrats will have a hard time winning in 2008.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Democrats would have won in 2004 if it had not been for a few thousand votes in Ohio.

It will ultimately come down to swinging several thousand voters in states like Ohio, Florida, and Missouri -- which allows the Democrats to effectively write off the South and the Republicans to write off the North East and the West Coast.

Not the best system I agree, but the consequences of the electoral college.

nbpolitico said...

Well, 63 is a bit more than a "few" and it is that many thousand votes that would have had to swing uniformly from Republicans to Democrats in Ohio to give the election to Kerry.

And, as I said, "the Democrats really need to start thinking long and hard about how good it is for their country for an entire region to be written off any time they look to win an election". I didn't say they couldn't win without the South; I implied it would be bad if they did.

Indeed, had John Kerry gotten those extra votes in Ohio, he would be president but he would have become president with an electoral college victory of 272-266, an popular vote loss of 3,000,000 and having won only 20 of 50 states and having one no states in a large region (the South).

This would be far more divisive than the Bush win of 2000, where though Bush won the electoral college by a similar margin (271-267), he lost the popular vote by only 550,000 and won 30 of 50 states and won at least one state in every region.

richard said...

"though I have a lot of time for "big picture" Republicans like John McCain and Fred Thompson."

What is 'big picture' about either of these frauds? Thompson has zero credentials, his Congressional record (absent more than present) sucks, and he stinks as an actor. McCain has changed his position on so many issues that he now resembles a pretzel.

I take it you are a Liberal, not a liberal. The Democrats have not written off the South but they will win without the South in 2008, and they will do it easily. Largely because the Rethuglicans don't have a candidate.

"This would be far more divisive than the Bush win of 2000.."

That is possibly the most incorrect statement you have posted on this blog. Go talk to some Democrats about that election.

nbpolitico said...

I believe I did state that I was a Liberal in partisanship but a moderate, not a liberal, in ideology. However, especially in a system such as the United States, the most important quality in a president is his or her strength of character, ability to rise above the fray and the charisma necessary to convey leadership. Ideology is more important in the make up of Congress is it is they that have the final word on the grand questions of policy.

I did not say the 2000 election was not divisive, as it certainly was. However, a victor with a plurality of states and a small loss in popular vote is obviously more legitimate than a victor with a minority of states and a large loss in the popular vote as Kerry would have been if he had won under the circumstances described by anon at 3:07.

Mushroom said...

Define the South.

Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana not Sourthern states?

Dems will do well there. These are the ones that Bill carried.

nbpolitico said...

mushroom - you seem to have missed the whole point of my post. In the past two elections, the Democrats were completely shut out of the South. Now it is considered newsworthy for a SOUTHERN CANDIDATE to say he would win "more than one" when Clinton won five in both 1992 and 1996.

The point being that the Democrats did not write off the South in the past and now they have.

richard said...

"but a moderate, not a liberal, in ideology."

I take it, NBPolitico, that you are using current American definitions of the terms 'moderate' and 'liberal'.

No one in the civilized world would imply that right-wingers like McCain and Thompson are moderates.

I propose that you re-name your blog from 'Politics from a New Brunswick perspective' to 'Politics from the perspective of an NBer who watches way too much U.S. tv 'news' programming and consequently has a very warped view of reality' or, for short, 'PFPNBWTMUSTV'.

nbpolitico said...

I never said McCain or Thompson are moderates, as the certainly are not. Again, try reading what I write.

I don't care about their ideology, I care about their ability to see the big picture.

As I wrote, "in a system such as the United States, the most important quality in a president is his or her strength of character, ability to rise above the fray and the charisma necessary to convey leadership. Ideology is more important in the make up of Congress is it is they that have the final word on the grand questions of policy."

And, for the record, I do not watch much U.S. news. I do not have FOX or MSNBC and I do watch election night coverage on CNN because it is more indepth than anything else available to me (similarly, I watch BBC for British elections). So other then the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November on even numbered years, I never watch CNN or any other American news source.

In the interests of full disclosure, however, I do read news stories linked off of the Drudge Report and the conservative blog at www.electionprojection.com. I much prefer the liberal alternative www.electoral-vote.com however.

So to summarize:

I am a member of the Liberal Party.

My ideology is moderate.

John McCain and Fred Thompson are conservatives.

A conservative can make a good president if tempered by a liberal congress.

richard said...

"John McCain and Fred Thompson are conservatives"

No, they are not conservatives. Please read what I write. These two are radical right-wing ideologues. You are a conservative.

If you are going to run a Canadian blog, try using Canadian terminology. Harper is not a conservative, neither are McCain or Thompson.

nbpolitico said...

LOL. I am a conservative? I think that that is the first time I've ever been accussed of that and I suspect many of my readers that consistently rip me for my "liberal bias" would strongly disagree!

Spinks said...

LOL Richard! Rest assured NB Politico is no conservative. He would be right to communists but conservative? Not a chance. NB POlitico is merely not a diehard partisan. As for Canada's Conservative party, sheesh they're more liberal than the U.S. Democrats.