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Can the Clinton Coalition Survive

Sean Trende poses this question as he analyzes the Virginia vote.  Very good article sent to me by a friend with a special interest in Virginia politics.  He wrote this: "The big point of the article is that Obama is in danger of losing a big chunck of the Clinton coalition, which was made up of urbanites, minorities, and liberals AND suburbanites and blue collar guys (Jacksonians).  The article claims that the Virginia results show that the trend of Jacksonians leaving the democrats is almost complete and that Obama's spending policies (stimulus, health care, etc.) are driving suburbanites back to the GOP.  If Obama loses them for the Democrats, no amount of big turnout from college liberals and minorities will make up the difference in 2010, especially in districts where they don't exist."  Also note the good maps.



Categories > Elections

Discussions - 2 Comments

Good analysis, but I remember reading from National Journal's Ron Brownstein that if the racial and eduacational demographics of 1992 had attained in 2008, McCain would have won. Obama really was more liberal than Clinton, had less support among whites, and still won the highest percentage of the popular vote of any Democrat since LBJ. And those demographics were no fluke. The electorate of 2010 might be more friendly to the GOP, but those of 2012 probably won't and its all downhill from there. If unemployment is 10% in 2012 that probably won't matter if the GOP picks a competent candidate who runs a solid Rovian/try to get some moderates/get out the base campaign. If the situation is ambiguous then the GOP is in for real trouble if they can't make gains among both persuadable suburban whites and that huge fraction of nonwhites who voted for Obama in 2008. I would suggest that when it comes to policy, the two goals are not inherently in tension. When it comes to communication and coalition building, thats alot tougher.

One of the issues that seems to have many people exercised is the trials of the Gitmo gang in NYC. I am surprised at the variety of people who have been Obama supporters who are upset about that. There are many problems, such as what to do if those guys are found innocent and released over some technical legal issue. If that is not a possibility, then these are show trials and horrible. I keep reading hints from the administration and supporters that no matter what, these guys are going to be found guilty. How is that right? Yet, if their being found innocent is a possibility, then won't Obama & Co. look awfully stupid? Worse, won't the US look awfully stupid? Or will the blame go back to the Bush Administration, as per usual.

I suppose I am mostly hearing about this from the suburbanite branch of the coalition. In any case, it seems to me that those trials will do harm to the Clinton coalition, as well as the horrific domestic spending.

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