Can the GOP Maintain the Status Quo


With strong shifts in public opinion and in demographics, I have argued for quite some time that the Republican party is in a real bind. The public is moving rapidly away from the anti-gay views of the religious right, but can the GOP move away from those positions without sparking a third party for theocons? Tom McClusky, VP of the Family Research Council, says that’s a real possibility:

Mefferd: If the GOP continues to go in a direction where they will not get on the side of traditional marriage and be willing to fight for it, what do Christians do?

McClusky: I think you will—there are always threats of a third party—I think if something like that were to happen you would see a third party. It would be made up of more than just disgruntled conservative Republicans. On the marriage issue there’s African Americans who normally vote Democratic, there’s Hispanics, and the same on the life issue, and there are a lot of good Democrats like say in the state legislature of New York who fought against same-sex marriage and Maryland who tried to, I think what you see is a lot of people drifting from both parties into a third party or some sort of independent party that is more pro-life and pro-marriage.

Over the next few election cycles, this is only going to become more and more of a problem for Republicans. The religious right is a huge part of their base that they can’t afford to lose, but everyone other than the religious right is moving in the opposite direction when it comes to social issues. They’re going to have to make a choice, do they continue the anti-gay policies and keep that base or do they try to moderate and appeal to everyone else? Something is going to have to give.

The same thing is true on immigration. With Latinos making up a larger and larger portion of the electorate, there’s just no way the GOP will be able to continue advocating harsh anti-immigration policies and still hope to win elections.

Comments

  1. says

    The same thing is true on immigration. With Latinos making up a larger and larger portion of the electorate, there’s just no way the GOP will be able to continue advocating harsh anti-immigration policies and still hope to win elections.

    Unless they can get them on board. It’s worked with other groups. Just assure them they are some of the good immigrants who came to get work, but sometime after they came over, a bunch of lazy freeloaders decide to come live off the system.

  2. danreed says

    I don’t remember seeing “pro-marriage” before as a parallel to “pro-life”. Is that new?

  3. says

    These loons are just making noise to keep the attention of the Republican establishment, and maybe get some concessions on the official platform. They’ve been caterwauling about how “hurt adn betrayed” they are since before Reagan even took office; but when putsch comes to shove, they’ll always stick with the Republicans — and the rest of the PoG will always keep them because their other major interest group, reactionary big business, is in the same bind: they’re alienated from the majority too, and they need the Christian Reich’s power at the grassroots to compensate.

  4. busterggi says

    The Repubs will stick with the Religious Reich no matter what because that’s the only reliable group they’ve got.

    Ultimately I expect it will turn to violence, the action of choice for all religious fanatics.

  5. says

    Good post Ed. I agree with your idea that “something has to give” in the current Republican platform. I think we will see some evidence of which direction that will take in the next few months. Romney will most likely move a bit more to the center. How he does that may be indicative towards the future.

    As far as a third party goes, I think that is a very likely scenario, but that McClusky gets parts of it wrong. He seems to suggest that it will be a party based on the views of the Christian Right alone. He points out there are people currently on the left who support traditional marriage and are pro-life. While he is correct, they are, as he points out–on the left. Those two issues alone have not moved them to the right at this point, what evidence is there to support they would move even further to the right in the future? I do not think that will happen. I am not sure that such a party would be sustainable at the national level.

    If a third party were to emerge on the Right, clearly the big winner would be the Democrats. The Republican party would lose a large sum of money and votes with a Christianity based party to compete with. Whether the Republican party splits or not, there clearly has to be some inner changes. As a Democrat, I am not at all displeased with the mess on the right. As an atheist, it concerns me a whole lot more…

  6. baal says

    I’d like to share your optimism Ed but some combination of shadow $$, fear tactics, appeals to bigotry (even with the anti-gay and anti-immigrant stuff not working as well) and on-going rounds of voter suppression efforts (sorry, anti-voter fraud*), I think the folks with the (R) after their names will more than limp along.

    *Ok, I’m not actually sorry for my framing; it’s plain vote supression.

  7. RW Ahrens says

    I think you’re right. In this latest election cycle, the Republican noise has gotten so crazy nuts that almost all of the traditional republican heroes could no longer win a Republican primary.

    I knew things were moving this way the day it was publicized that the nutcases were proclaiming that Colin Powell was no longer to be considered republican.

    My own personal opinion is that this election is going to be a wakeup call for the Republican Party, maybe even the catalyst to begin that split. The religious right has had a far larger political influence than their sheer numbers justify on the national political stage, and their views are getting so radical as to seriously jeopardize Republican’s ability to win national elections.

    If they are stupid enough to split off into another party, they can kiss their future as a viable major influence good-bye.

    It is past time for the Moderate Republicans to take their party back.

  8. juice says

    I hope they do form a third party. Third parties in this country are almost entirely invisible.

  9. The Lorax says

    Third party? Never going to happen, at least not in America. Oh sure, some may attempt it, but we all know it won’t get anywhere. As for the GOP, they won’t have any problems in the foreseeable future; idiots far outnumber every other demographic, and the GOP does a wonderful job of appealing to them. Why do you think Romney is the leading candidate despite being the biggest waffler since Kerry? Because he’s Not Obama ™, and that’s all they care about.

    It’s easy to appeal to stupid people. Just tell them what they want to hear, and if you contradict yourself repeatedly, they won’t notice or care.

  10. cottonnero says

    I doubt the GOP will split, or if they do, it will only take one election of Democrats sweeping everything before they come to their senses.

  11. Taz says

    Mefferd: If the GOP continues to go in a direction where they will not get on the side of traditional marriage and be willing to fight for it, what do Christians do?

    They need to be called out on this shit every time. No one sect gets to pronounce official “Christian” policy.

  12. says

    Eventually, they’ll have to embrace the opinions of the majority of Americans on gay rights. When that happens, they’ll convince themselves that they were at the forefront of that battle all along. Just look at how they alone were responsible for the overthrow of slavery and Jim Crow laws.

  13. d cwilson says

    Why do you think Romney is the leading candidate despite being the biggest waffler since Kerry? Because he’s Not Obama ™, and that’s all they care about.

    That doesn’t explain how Romney is scraping out a lead from among all the other Not Obamas running for president. The reason why he’s likely nominee is that result of the fact that he’s got the most money from his corporate backers and the better organization. He’s outspending Santorum in some states by $10-to-1 or more. Plus, he’s got the organization on the ground while Santorum and Gingrich are running half-assed campaigns that have failed to even get onto the ballot in some states.

    Finally, Santorum and Gingrich are splitting the fundie vote. If it was just one of them, he could conceivably pull ahead of Romney. And that’s where the big conflict between the two GOP factions is playing out. The corporate conservatives, represented by Romney are winning out because the social conservatives are split between Gingrich and Santorum. Assuming Obama wins in November, the 2016 GOP may be even more contentious. Based on the “whose turn is it” rule, Santorum will be the presumptive nominee and the corporate conservatives will be scrambling to find a candidate to block him.

    This is where a third party might come into play. Third parties, like the Reform Party, the Bull Moose Party or the Green Party (with Ralph Nader in 2000), tend to emerge as protests when a large section of the party faithful are unhappy with the establishment’s candidate. They never win and generally don’t last, but they could have a significant impact on the elections in the short term.

  14. d cwilson says

    Rachel Maddow had a segment last night about how the GOP is lacking in a state organization in many key states these days. Instead, they’re counting on Ham Rove to pump them up with cash and ads to get out the vote. Meanwhile, the democrats have more people willing to knock on doors and talk to their neighbors.

    Aside from shifting demographics, another problem facing the republicans in the future is the fact that they are rapidly becoming a regional party that is losing its ability to compete in key state elections.

  15. raven says

    Why do you think Romney is the leading candidate despite being the biggest waffler since Kerry? Because he’s Not Obama ™, and that’s all they care about.

    Ironically, Romney isn’t even a xian.

    If the christofascists were capable of thought, they might see the irony here.

  16. eric says

    I wish I agreed, but I don’t. I think a third party is much less likely than these issues slowly getting sidelined. They’ll matter a little less each year, and like the frog in the pot, anti-gay-rights, anti-hispanic immigrant conservatives will slowly get ‘comfortable’ with more gay-right-accepting but otherwise conservative GOP candidates.

    Another phenomenon which will help the GOP retain such voters are their dog whistles. Consider that the legality of mixed marriages and the rights of interracial couples is a complete political non-issue. Its just never brought up in any debates or stump speeches by legitimate candidates. But the GOP still uses mixed-race imagery and subliminal messaging in their ads, to bring bigots to the polls. I can easily envision the same thing happening with gay rights and immigration issues. They will disppear from the ‘above board’ political dicussion, sure, but they’ll still show up as boogiemen in GOP advertisements, intentionally used by the GOP to bring anti-gay-rights and anti-immigration voters to the polls.

  17. says

    One stop-gap the measure the Party can do, and is doing, in states where they can get away with it, is via old-fashioned gerrymandering.

    The Nation ran an article a couple moths ago on this issue. Though they took the “resegregation” angle, overall the mechanism could also be seen as a way for the Repubs to adjust for some of the inevitable demographic changes:

    In virtually every state in the South, at the Congressional and state level, Republicans—to protect and expand their gains in 2010—have increased the number of minority voters in majority-minority districts represented overwhelmingly by black Democrats while diluting the minority vote in swing or crossover districts held by white Democrats

    http://www.thenation.com/article/165976/how-gop-resegregating-south

  18. harold says

    It is past time for the Moderate Republicans to take their party back.

    Out of curiosity, very specifically how would a current “Moderate Republican” differ from a Democrat?

    In this context, I assume that you mean the MR would not be against gay marriage, legal abortion, or contraception.

    Would they still engage in coded racism, or would that also not be “moderate”?

    Would a Moderate Republican favor the Ryan budget?

    The reason I ask is that most research indicates that Republicans win only due to identity and social issues. The idea of moving even further to the hard right on economics is intensely unpopular.

    If the Republicans split into a White Jesus Party and an Ebeneezer Scrooge Party, the former will at least do better than the latter.

    That’s why the Ebeneezer Scrooges invited the fundamentalists in, in the first place.

  19. John Hinkle says

    Aren’t they already heading toward a third party with the “Tea Party”? And don’t the Tea Partiers self-proclaim they are some kind of silent majority, that they’re everywhere?

    C’mon Tea Partiers, put your confidence where your mouth is. Form a real third party!!!

  20. patricksimons says

    The Republican party, in its endless search for ideological purity, has been steadily painting itself into a corner for the last thirty years. Now that the religious right has largely co-opted the party, it may be easier for moderate conservatives to start a new party and let the GOP go the way of the Whigs.

  21. jesse says

    The third-party threat, is, as others have noted here, probably empty. More interesting is the complete takeover of the GOP by the racist fringe.

    That’s why they have had such a tough time with the Latino vote. While many children of immigrants skew socially conservative, you just can’t ignore when someone bashes you for not speaking English in your home or says you aren’t really an American, and then makes life tough for your parents by mandating English only laws.

    (This line appeals to white ethnics because of several myths about immigrants we love to tell, by the way, and complete ignorance of relatively recent history).

    In any case, the work done by many GOP operatives to get Latinos to vote for them was basically shattered in the last two election cycles. The only Latinos now who vote primarily GOP are Cubans and they have a unique position among immigrants (they are the only group I know of that gets effectively automatic asylum, no questions asked).

  22. Zugswang says

    I don’t see a theocratic third party attracting many Democratic individuals unless they are able to split from right-wing fiscal policies at the same time, which I sincerely doubt will happen. But if they manage to do that, then you can possibly get a nationally viable third party, but if the only thing you have to distinguish yourself is shouting “Jesus” louder than your political opponents, you’re not going to do any better than the current GOP. You’ll just be the next “dixiecrats”.

  23. says

    I honestly don’t see what the big deal is. Homophobia will eventually go the way of racism. It will become verboten to display it openly, though it will still be displayed covertly, and conservatives will pretend that they were never against gay rights in the first place while still dog-whistling to the dwindling homophobe demographic. Gay people will probably still overwhelmingly support the Dems (though it’s amazing how many gay Republicans there are), but pro-gay-rights straights will go back to voting their pocketbooks.

    The notion that this is going to tear the Republicans asunder strikes me as very unlikely. They’ll adapt as they have with everything else. Far more serious from a policy standpoint is their messianic complex and complete unwillingness to compromise on anything, leading to a rapid descent into insanity and tribal rage. From an electoral standpoint, it’s their massive deficit of support among the under-30 crowd, which if history tells us anything will remain loyal Democrats for decades to come. Obviously, the gay issue plays into this somewhat, but it’s not their only problem and is far less intractable than, say, their views on taxes or warmongering.

  24. lofgren says

    There will be a third party called some coded version of “The Libertarian Jesus Party.” It will be slightly less successful than the Green party for about three election cycles. The Republican party will retain their screw the poor message but revert to coded bigotry instead of overt bigotry. In comparison to the Libertarian Jesus party they will seem sane and open-minded, allowing them to regain any lost constituency. By that time the loony left will be ascendent again and the democratic party will be dealing with the same issues. The cycle will begin again, and Ed will beam the exact same post from the jar where his brain monitors political commentary to the cellular nanite newsfeeders in our heads that are otherwise primarily used for porn and advertisements for frozen bread from a tube.

  25. jamessweet says

    Oh man, a real sizeable third party would be awesome, not only would it split the GOP, but it could even siphon off all the bigots from the Democratic Party and send them packing. I agree with others though that it’s unlikely, at least for there to a be a major third party.

    This is still a good thing long term though: They simply cannot keep the anti-gay vote and the young vote at the same time. Even young bigots-in-training don’t tend to be particularly anti-gay these days. Anti-woman, anti-brown people, sure… but not so much anti-gay.

  26. eric says

    From an electoral standpoint, it’s their massive deficit of support among the under-30 crowd, which if history tells us anything will remain loyal Democrats for decades to come.

    I am not sure that matters as much as you think it does, because age cohorts and different party supporters don’t vote in equal numbers. For example, right now the gen-Xers (born 1965-1980) have about the same numbers as the baby boomers (born 1946-1964); about 80 million each. But the boomers are a more critical voter population because they vote in higher %s. Likewise, when the 1980-2012 cohort achieves majority status, that doesn’t mean that who they prefer will get elected. If they vote in significantly lower numbers, they won’t matter as much as the Gen-Xers.

    There can also be radical state redistributions and population movement based on unforseen preferences and environmental or social trends. The population growth in Florida and parts of the southwest owes its existence to air conditioning. This would’ve been largely impossible to anticipate in the ’40s and ’50s. I doubt today’s maps of 2042 population distributions among the states are any more accurate than a 1950’s map of 1980 populations would’ve been. But such redistributions matter with the electoral college and with campaigining. Which states are swing states makes a big difference on Presidential candidate positions. A very obvious example: if the Dems thought they could lose California, they’d probably make a much bigger issue out of supporting gay rights in order to lock up that big 55 electoral college vote. Likewise, if the GOP though they could take CA, they might tune their campaign to appeal more to CA voters. But neither has to worry much about CA, so they tune their campaigns to states like FL, VA, and OH instead. Because those states are more on the fence about gay rights, the parties are too.

  27. cottonnero says

    Although it would be awesome to have the Jesus Republicans and the Scrooge Republicans split, wither into irrelevance, and then have the Democratic party split into Democratic and Liberal parties. Have the choice be between Obama and a candidate to his left.

    Yeah, yeah, and as long as I’m dreaming, I’d like a pony.

  28. says

    I am not sure that matters as much as you think it does, because age cohorts and different party supporters don’t vote in equal numbers.

    That’s not particularly relevant. Most people form political loyalties by their early 20s and more or less keep them for life. Today’s under-30 voters will one day be middle aged, and they’ll vote in the same numbers as typical middle-aged people, but they’ll favor the party that they favor today.

    If you look at the last 40-odd years of survey data, the Dems had a significant advantage among the under-30 crowd in the 1970s (and they still maintain a big advantage among that cohort). But by the early 80s it went away, and with some exceptions here and there, the two parties more or less split the under-30 party ID over the next 30 years. And then things changed. By 2008, the Dems had an incredible 28-point advantage among under-30 voters. It’s since softened somewhat, but it’s still at a whopping 14 points. The Republicans can’t just wait for these people to get older, because they’re going to keep voting this way for the next 50 years. Meanwhile, the Eisenhower generation is dying off.

    If the Republicans don’t find some way to turn this around, they’re in deep shit. It will likely regress on its own as people who have no memory of Dubya and are not as enthused about Obama turn 18, but the Republicans seem to delight in pissing-off everyone who’s not an old white male Christian, which inevitably means young people.

  29. says

    It’s interesting to compare this with what’s going on in Alberta. Albertans have proven incapable of electing a non-conservative government for almost 80 years. Non-conservative parties elect enough members to the provincial legislature to live in hope of winning power but it never happens. But what does change every few decades is the conservative party in power. The voters get tired of the party in power and go looking for a similar sort of party, instead of trying a different flavour of party. The Social Credit Party was first elected in 1935 and remained in power until 1971, when the Progressive Conservatives took over. And now it seems the Progressive Conservatives will be dumped in favour of a new right wing party called the Wildrose Alliance after 41 years in power.

  30. mkoormtbaalt says

    The same thing is true on immigration. With Latinos making up a larger and larger portion of the electorate, there’s just no way the GOP will be able to continue advocating harsh anti-immigration policies and still hope to win elections.

    Immigration has been flat since 2007. As 2011’s DHS Office of Immigration Statistics said (http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/ois_ill_pe_2011.pdf):

    In summary, an estimated 11.5 million unauthorized immigrants were living in the United States in January 2011 compared to a revised 2010 estimate of 11.6 million. These results suggest little to no change in the unauthorized immigrant population from 2010 to 2011. It is unlikely that the unauthorized immigrant population increased after 2007 given relatively high U.S. unemployment, improved economic conditions in Mexico, record low numbers of apprehensions of unauthorized immigrants at U.S. borders, and greater levels of border enforcement.

  31. Michael Heath says

    RW Ahrens writes:

    It is past time for the Moderate Republicans to take their party back.

    Name five moderate congressional Republicans on the national stage who are elected. I can’t. Zero moderates pursued the GOP ’12 nomination.

    In fact I can’t find a moderate caucus in Congress which includes Republicans. I can find some congressional Republicans who might be moderate on an issue or three and join some informal caucuses, but even these people are joining their party to obstruct the governance of this country in a way unprecedented since our beginning. Consider the fact that nearly congressional Republicans have signed the Grover Norquist pledge to not raise taxes in spite of the fact raising taxes must be done to get the federal budget into a minimal semblance of order where taxes are at a all-time low in the post-entitlement era.

    The near total loss of Republican moderates on the national stage was a primary reason I left the party in 08, because I perceived no feasible way for the party to reform itself. In the last four years the behavior of the party’s leaders and elected officials in the national stage always validate my assertion they are incapable of reform.

    I am optimistic the GOP will come to tolerate gays, similar to how they tolerate blacks and women; but I have no confidence moderates will “take their party” back in my lifetime (I’m 52 in family whose members live deep into their 80s and even 90s.) since there are effectively zero moderates operating at the national stage.

    One reason we won’t see any moderates in the near future is the mutation of what it means to be fiscally conservative. We used to see people self-identify as socially liberal while being fiscally conservative, perhaps the best recent example of governing this way was CA Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Fiscally conservative didn’t use to mean cut taxes at all costs, in fact by definition it was more focused on balanced budgets and a more business-like approach to governance than it was to low taxes. Now we have Democrats like Barack Obama cutting a 1/2 trillion of Medicare by making it operate more efficiently and Republicans scream bloody murder, where such proposals is what Republicans voters used to fantasize doing in the 1980s (and which Al Gore actually did in the 1990s as VP). Now we have Democrats offering a budget deficit approach which relies on 80% spending cuts and 20% in tax increases, which used to be a far-right approach, and Republicans en masse scream socialism because they signed a pledge not to raise taxes.

    Moderates like me are pretty joined at the hip with Barack Obama, and even then we’re frustrated his budget and domestic policies are mostly too far to the right; though I’m happy with his efforts on regulations and cutting business taxes while eradicating subsidies of cash cow sectors like oil and coal. But his budgetary approach amplifies our being an insurance company with an army will only suppress economic growth and corroborates the conservative argument that government puts a damper on growth when the opposite is true for developed economies. Moderates used to support spending initiatives which increased growth, like in education, research, and subsidies of growth industries, I don’t see any of them in the GOP, and not many in power in the Democratic party either.

  32. Pierce R. Butler says

    danreed @ # 2: I don’t remember seeing “pro-marriage” before as a parallel to “pro-life”. Is that new?

    Your question set me to digging in my email archives.

    The earliest uses of the string “pro-marriage” I found date back to around the turn of the century, but in that context they referred to “welfare reform” measures in which liberals and conservatives colluded to coerce the poor into (heterosexual, of course) matrimony.

    The earliest use of “pro-marriage” in a Stop-teh-Gheys context I found came from a Foof (FOcus On the Family) bulletin of 12/11/01. By the next year, professional homophobe Peter J. LaBarbera was slinging the term around gaily, and the rest is history.

  33. jesse says

    @Michael Heath —

    I like your characterization as “an insurance company with an army.” It reflects something that has bothered me here in NYC under Bloomberg, who is almost a lefty Democrat these days. It used to be called the FIRE economy (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) and the problem is that it is insanely vulnerable to financial market swings and has no “cushion” of stuff that you can actually make and sell. It also breeds insane amounts of inequality because service industries (almost by definition) generate so much less wealth than manufacturing. (Think of the multiplier on the worth of the hunk of steel and plastic that goes into a car and what the value-add of say, an investment banker is. The former beats by an order of magnitude, I would guess).

    Defense spending might once have taken up the slack but the multiplier effect is again too small for the capital investment; when you build a tank it gets bought by one customer and is essentially there to get blown up. It never generates any economic activity after you build it, the way a truck does. (George Orwell pointed this out years ago).

    Tell me Michael, whose idea was it to allow Barry Goldwater anywhere near political office? :-)

  34. says

    Eventually, they’ll have to embrace the opinions of the majority of Americans on gay rights. When that happens, they’ll convince themselves that they were at the forefront of that battle all along.

    And they’ll claim that that Harvey Milk was actually a conservative Christian and his legacy was co-opted by the secular left.

  35. abb3w says

    There’s also the tendency for younger cohorts to be less religious; trend rate seems demographically similar to the Hispanic growth, though immigration policy might speed up the Hispanic shift more.

    Doesn’t seem to be any significant shift in the M/F ratio, but the GOP do seem to be pissing off women more of late.

  36. says

    Conservatives in other countries have made peace with gay rights. I see no reason — the Religious Right not withstanding — to believe that conservative Republicans won’t do the same thing here, in time.

    The New Hampshire House of Representatives, which is held by a strong Republican majority, has already decided against introducing a bill to repeal gay marriage in the state. Yes, they are mostly Tea Party Republicans, but the overlap between them and the Religious Right is a sizable one, yet they decided that it wasn’t an issue worth going to war over again.

    Maybe New Hampshire isn’t typical, but this is the type of thing that will increasingly happen as gay marriage gains majority support in the nation. Perhaps it will be a very long time (decades) before it gains official Republican support, but all that’s really necessary is for the Republicans to stop making it a front line issue. Focus on abortion and fighting against the separation of church and state instead, and the religious right will fall quickly into line, gay marriage or no gay marriage.

    Power is the bottom line here. The leaders of the Religious Right can’t say it, but they know they are far better off sticking with a majority Republican Party in Congress than they would looking in from the outside with a rump of a third party, even if that means giving up on one of their (current) core issues.

    There will be no third party for theocrats sick of the Republican party’s retreat over gay marriage. The theocrats will simply decide to accept the new reality that the Republican Party as a whole no longer wants to make it an election issue.

  37. dingojack says

    My guess is they’ll go for the more ‘palatable’ option of supporting Immigration Reform and harden their position on Marriage Equality (to gain the Latino vote) which will help stem the bleeding of voters in the short-term.
    In the long-term, however, they will have to come around.
    The Democratic Party will probably tie the issues together under a civil rights banner so Immigration Reform will become a non-partisan non-issue. Marriage equality will then become increasingly a thorn in the Republican flank until (eventually) they will come around (for demographic reasons, as even young Latino voters will increasingly oppose their position).
    In the end, the GOP will loudly trumpet how the Stonewall was a club for young Republicans raided by Obama death-camp liberal cops (rafted in by time machine, presumeably), and that Harvey Milk was really a torch-bearer for Republicanism, or some such nonsense.

    Dingo

  38. Stacy says

    Oh, ffs. A third party is not going to be viable until we change our voting system.

    Meanwhile, I hope that the Rethugs do make themselves obsolete. With all the ascendant bigotry on display lately, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  39. KG says

    By that time the loony left will be ascendent again and the democratic party will be dealing with the same issues. – lofgren

    At what point was any left, let alone a “loony left”, ascendant in either the Democratic Party, or US politics as a whole?

  40. eric says

    Doesn’t seem to be any significant shift in the M/F ratio, but the GOP do seem to be pissing off women more of late.

    This is one of those issues that may become more important in the future. Among 65+ year olds, women outnumber men 3:2, and the ratio gets larger with older populations. We can probably expect that due to technology, medical science, and greater use of mail-in votes, older populations will vote more in the future. Overall, they are only about 15% of the population but they already vote in significant numbers.

    IOW as it becomes easier for the elderly to vote, women become a more important constituency. Due to the elderly’s relatively high (and likely increasing) representation at the polls, their vote impact is likely to be higher than their mere population numbers would predict.

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