Texeira On The Emerged Dem Majority

Ruy Texeira looks at the exit polls:

First, a few words on how well the Democrats did with the white working class (WWC). They lost these voters by 18 points, a significant improvement over 2004 when they lost them by 23 points, but somewhat worse than I thought they'd do based on preelection polls. In my paper with Alan Abramowitz, The Decline of the White Working Class and the Rise of a Mass Upper Middle Class, we allowed as how Democrats needed to get the WWC deficit into the 10-12 point range to be assured of a solid victory. As it turned out, they were able to achieve a solid victory even with a higher deficit than 10-12 points. This is because the simulations we were working with made pretty conservate assumptions about white college graduate support for Democrats and about minority turnout and support for Democrats. As it turned out, minority turnout and support were through the roof and white college graduates also exceeded our conservative assumptions. So an 18 point WWC deficit was in the end adequate for a solid victory, rather than a squeaker as I thought. And a 10-12 point deficit would have translated into a true landslide.

[More . . .]

But Obama did not attain that. His WWC deficit was very similar to Gore's (18 vs. 17 points). It's also interesting to compare Dukakis' performance in 1988 among WWC and white college graduates to this year's performance. In 1988, the Democratic deficit among these two groups was identical: 20 points. This year's WWC deficit is only a slight improvement (down 2 points) but the white college graduate deficit was just 4 points, a 16 point Democratic swing since 1988.

The stubbornly high deficit for Dems among WWC is mitigated by the fact that there are now far fewer of them in the voting pool. According to the exits, the proportion of WWC voters is down 15 points since 1988, while the proportion of white college graduate voters is up 4 points and the proportion of minority voters is up 11 points.

The Emerged Democratic Majority.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    What I want to know (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Fabian on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 07:41:52 AM EST
    Is where the next generation of Liberals will come from?  If the white liberal voting block is shrinking and the (social) conservative minority voting blocks are increasing, then what happens to the Democrats?

    If this trend continues, it looks like there should be a major shift in either major party, or perhaps both.

    Are you drawing this from a different source? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by JoeA on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 08:31:22 AM EST
    Texeira is talking about the White Working Class vote shrinking (which Democrats have consistently been losing by 20 points) . . . and other Democrat friendly demographics (such as hispanics) growing.  Hence his theory on an Emerging Democratic Majority.

    Where are you getting a shrinking white liberal voting block from?  For that matter, where are you getting an increasing socially conservative minority voting block from?  Minorities voted for Democrats by increased margins this year, especially Hispanics who seem to have been thoroughly put off by GOP immigrant bashing and xenophobia.


    Fabian is referring to... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Thanin on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:37:24 AM EST
    the prop 8 debacle, which was jarring to say the least.  But to this I would say that the younger generation of minority votes, from what I understand, didnt vote for it like the older population.  

    To be blunt, they'll be dying out and replaced by the more socially Liberal thinkers.  But obviously this wont happen quick enough, so there might be a chance to engage the community and turn them.  And Im not willing to just dismiss that chance out of hand.

    Regardless we win in the long run, but a sooner than later outlook is better.


    Yeah (5.00 / 0) (#53)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:15:37 PM EST
    Let's be real clear here, the reason (besides the vote boosting that it brought in 2004) that gay marriage amendments are so popular right now is fear- fear borne from a certainty that if they don't lock Gay Marriage out now through hard to reverse constitutional means, then it will eventually become universal due to the growing tolerance of the younger generations.

    Of course that doesn't really apply (none / 0) (#61)
    by JoeA on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:29:12 PM EST
    in California, as prop 8's constitutional amendment can be reversed by another proposition receiving a bare majority vote in 2 years time.

    While I think it's likely that younger AAs (none / 0) (#29)
    by tigercourse on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:44:22 AM EST
    didn't support prop 8 in as high percentages as older ones, I haven't actually seen any numbers to confirm that.

    Minorities (none / 0) (#27)
    by Fabian on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:43:35 AM EST
    as a whole are more socially conservative than whites.  Any whites.

    This has a lot to do with organized religion.  And whites tend to have a lower percentage of church attendance, especially the more traditional churches.

    The GOP has attracted most of the white social conservatives, but has had less luck with minority social conservatives.  As the minorities grow, will their SoCons stick with the Democrats causing a social conservative shift in the Dem party or will their SoCons find a home in the GOP?

    I think either scenario is plausible.  If the GOP decides that they need a larger coalition to win, they may play the "Tradition!" card to bring in minorities who believe in Traditional marriage, and Traditional families and so forth.  (I won't define what "traditional" means since part of its charm is vagueness.)  Nothing like an economic crisis to send people to their religion for comfort and guidance.  


    Seems to me (none / 0) (#33)
    by Steve M on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:51:58 AM EST
    that an economic crisis causes most folks to focus on the economy.

    people focus on the economy (none / 0) (#45)
    by sancho on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:26:54 AM EST
    as long as they believe it will get better. but if the econonmy fails to improve under dem leadership, then people will turn to "traditional" comforts such as family and religion. the u.s. remains a very religious country (hence obama's attempt to reassure those folks) and hard turn to the right, aided by religious fervor, is always a threat once times become trying.

    so let's hope the dems have answers.  


    Not about minorities, its about education, (none / 0) (#48)
    by Exeter on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:38:46 AM EST
    age, and income level -- less educated, older, and lower income level voters tended to vote for proposition 8. In California, most Blacks and Hispanics are more likely than whites to be less educated and a lower income level. As far as age,younger Latinos and AAs voted against Prop. 8.

    Are Latinos really that much more (none / 0) (#50)
    by tigercourse on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:49:49 AM EST
    educated then African Americans? They were about split down the middle on prop 8, while AA's were heavily for it.

    And where are the numbers that show that younger AAs voted against prop 8?


    All I can find... (none / 0) (#69)
    by Thanin on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:45:13 PM EST
    are numbers regarding the Latino youth (59-41 against prop 8).  

    I really wish there were numbers out there for AAs since, if their youth vote mirrors the elders, thats an issue that needs to be discussed and addressed immediately.  We obviously cant have such a split in our own base, especially one based off of such intolerance... but there doesnt seem to be any evidence either way (or none that I can find) and Im hopeful the AA youth split similar to the Latino vote.


    Looking at the numbers (none / 0) (#77)
    by DaleA on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 01:59:28 PM EST
    The Latino vote split 54/48. Which seems bad until one realizes that something like 25/30% of all Latinos are evangelicals. Which means a majority of Catholic Latinos voted against Prop8.

    Then there are Asians, a minority that voted against Prop8. In CA, Asians are about 12% of the population.

    The situation with Blacks is dismal.


    The problem with this line of thinking (none / 0) (#54)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:17:46 PM EST
    is that its hard for people to vote for a party that views them as fundamentally less American due to their ethnic background regardless of commonality on cultural issues-- Radical Islam and the Radical Christian Right have similar social mores but they don't seem to be jumping to unite.

    Desperation is a powerful motivator. (none / 0) (#81)
    by Fabian on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 02:26:49 PM EST
    The Democratic and Republican parties exist because of their ability to convert political clout into political favors for their Big Money donors.

    No political clout means their Big Money donors will start checking out the other party, so a marked loss in seats means a loss in donors.  So I don't expect to see a conciliatory, bipartisan movement to do anything but cater to Big Money interests.  Otherwise, I expect the GOP to smile broadly and undercut the Dems at every opportunity.

    If you roll over at every opportunity, the people who gave you money to fight for their interests will not be impressed.  Ditto if you screw things up significantly, persistently.


    The Rainbow Coalition (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by robrecht on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 07:51:03 AM EST
    is leaving out gay & lesbian.  The symbolism is ironic.

    Thank you for pointing this out (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by DaleA on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 02:14:12 PM EST
    We vote for Democrats, we volunteer and donate. And get left out the discussion. Interesting that Obama did 7 points less among LGBTQ2S than Kerry.

    I probably don't understand this post... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by jerry on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:13:06 AM EST
    But when I look at the class warfare and even the race warfare advanced and promulgated by self-claimed/self-congratulatory liberal and feminist blogs I think we're doing quite well with the WWC.

    Examine how we went after Joe the Plumber, personally, for having the audacity of asking a question.

    Even examine the class attacks on Sarah Palin, trailer trash/beauty queen of Alaska.

    Consider what liberals did to MLK's dream of a colorblind society, which is to say, that frequently we find so-called liberals demanding that we can't have a colorblind society.  

    Consider the self-claimed progressive liberal reaction to the parts of Obama's race speech where he mentions that WWC have legitimate complaints -- we ignored that part and focused only on the other parts.

    Don't even consider how we won't discuss the many wrongs done under the banner of liberalism by feminists, the abuse of due process and equal protection and the breakup of families and stripping away of fathers from their kids.

    There's Obama suggesting that his daughters should NOT benefit from college admissions affirmative action, especially at the expense of poor white students.  "when they apply to college, particularly if they were competing for admission with poor white students."  What has been the left-liberal-feminist reaction to that?  Not even silence, but a practical renunciation of it and a clinging to race based affirmative action.

    There's more and more, where so called liberals are distinctly not advancing equality between the sexes, or a colorblind society and yet we get surprised when the WWC dissents.  It's not because they are racists and classists.

    But I probably don't understand this post.

    A feminist stole my car. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by tigercourse on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:37:20 AM EST
    A feminist court stole my kids.... (none / 0) (#39)
    by jerry on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:16:24 AM EST
    When three court psychologists recommend you share 50/50 physical custody, and still the bias for mothers in family courts results in your getting 14% custody, let me know.

    When feminists complain of court bias against women in custody cases, but when we see NOW lobby against shared custody and lobby for sole custody, while fathers beg for shared custody,

    Well, we see what's happening in the courts.

    And when self-claimed liberals justify acts that hurt specific individuals deeply by saying it's better for the group as a whole, well, I think we're doing better than I would expect among WWC.


    I don't know about your (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Lena on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:29:37 PM EST
    situation, but there are LOADS of things wrong with your statement.

    1. In most states, custody laws are gender neutral, and are based on the "best interests of the child."

    2. If a court awarding custody to mothers are feminist, are courts who award custody to fathers "masculinist"?

    3. Well into the 19th century (and for centuries before that), there was very little question that men would get custody of children in the cases of divorce, separation, or annulment. Both wives and children were chattel of the man, to dispose of as he pleased. Of course, there were exceptions. But it is a very modern twist (and often much disliked by men) that women now get a shot at custody too.

    4. From the Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpresonal Violence:
    Although women are more likely to get custody of their children, this is often because they are more likely to ask for it. When men ask for custody, they often get it. According to a report by the American Psychological Association, an abusive man is more likely than a nonviolent father to seek sole physical custody of his children and may be just as likely (or even more likely) to be awarded custody as the mother (APA, 1996). A report by the American Judges Foundation, reported that 70% of the time an abuser who requests custody is able to convince the court to give it to him.

    (BTW I am not implying IN ANY WAY that you are abusive, but I wanted you to note how often the cards are still stacked against women).

    You may have gotten a raw deal from a court, but, in my experience with judges and courts, I doubt very highly this is because of a "feminist" court. If you dealt with a woman judge, it doesn't mean that she is feminist just because you were denied custody.


    That should have been (none / 0) (#64)
    by Lena on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:32:34 PM EST
    "well into the 20th century"

    Bad definitions! (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by liminal on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:24:25 AM EST
    Defining the "white working class" as "non-college educated whites" distorts the picture of the support that the Democratic party receives from actual white working class.  

    Income, not education, is a better definition of the working class, race notwithstanding.  Look how much better Obama did with whites making under $50,000/year than he did with whites making more than $50,000/year.

    These are from CNNs detailed national exit polling.  The (paren) is the % of the electorate.  Obama is the first column, McCain is the second column:

    Whites Under $50,000 (25%) 47% 51%      
    Whites Over $50,000 (49%) 43% 56%

    Clearly, among white voters, the actual working class supported Obama more strongly than more affluent white folks did.

    Obama received as much support from whites making under $50,000/year as he did from white college graduates:

    White College Graduates (35%) 47% 51% 2%    
    Whites - No College (39%) 40% 58%

    Education does not define "working class."  Income does; and Obama just as well among poor whites as he did among white college graduates.

    I think it varied regionally this year (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by andgarden on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:24:38 AM EST
    a little more than most. For example, Obama did better in Scranton and NE PA than Kerry, but worse in the Pittsburgh region (Beaver county, for example, which always votes for statewide winning Democrats--but not this time).

    But my thesis is that there are many, many, people in the white collar demographic who either voted for Bush Sr. in 1992, or would have, but ended up voting for Obama this year. I think the Presidency of Bill Clinton made that possible.

    I think one could view ... (none / 0) (#40)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:17:40 AM EST
    the Bush victories as more similar to Carter's victory than previously stated.  Since 2000 is really an asterisk election.  You really only have one victory.

    An election which historically may be seen as a blip between two, two-term victories.

    Carter won despite underlying demographics still favoring the other party, and I think you could argue the same about Bush's wins.


    I think there's something to that (none / 0) (#44)
    by andgarden on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:22:00 AM EST
    If they lose Florida for good, they are in a world of hurt.

    2004 (none / 0) (#55)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:19:25 PM EST
    Was an anomaly due to the lingering effects of 9-11 and the fact that Rove/Bush mastered Hispanic reachout (the immigration debacle hadn't yet occured-- something that may end up being as defining as the Civil Rights Act was on AA party identification).

    o/t (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by txpublicdefender on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:28:25 AM EST
    But, is anyone going to mention on this site that Begich is now ahead of Stevens in Alaska?  There are still thousands more early/absentee ballots to be counted, but he had pulled ahead by about 800 votes.

    That's nice. (none / 0) (#32)
    by Fabian on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:51:39 AM EST
    Tell me when it's over.  (Over! Done with!  At least my email & mail boxes are no longer full of political propaganda and the robocalls have ceased.)

    Why are they having so (none / 0) (#42)
    by kenosharick on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:18:59 AM EST
    much trouble counting votes in that state? You should have been able to bring in results by dog sled at this point.

    The polling places (none / 0) (#56)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:20:32 PM EST
    on the Ice Floes still need to be found, that and the constant Polar Bear / Wolf Attacks really slow the tallying.

    Another issue (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Steve M on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:59:25 AM EST
    is that the working class is becoming less and less unionized.  Union households still support Democrats by a wide margin.

    Confused... (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:10:40 AM EST
    When I look at the exit polls at CNN, there is a number that I focus on:  

    White Democrats went 89% for Obama.
    White Indies went 49% voted for McCain vs. 47 for Obama.
    So party does matter.  Where were the Reagan Democrats?  Or are they not Democrats anymore.  
    White College educated: 51% voted for McCain vs. 47% Obama.

    At the point where we were there was nothing left to the Republican world view.  Every single point that they made was proven wrong.  Who will do the study to find the Obama magic vs. the state of affairs that resulted in the win?  

    I think BTD was right, if he did have Hillary, more red would have been blue.  

    Unlikely (none / 0) (#67)
    by Crusty Dem on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:40:39 PM EST
    Tell me which states Hillary could've won that Obama did not?  The only three I think are conceivable are Arkansas, West Virginia, and Missouri.  On the flipside, I doubt Hillary would've won North Carolina or Virginia, and Colorado was unlikely, too (and I think this is a generous estimation).  

    I think these WWC exit numbers are heavily skewed by the racial divisions in the South, as Exeter points out so clearly above.  And while the Southern shift in white voters away from Obama alters the national numbers, it has no effect on how Hillary (or any other DEM candidate) would've performed, since no DEM was going to win GA, AL, MS, etc, anyway..


    "unlikely" (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:57:27 PM EST
    I guess that settles it, no one should look into it.  

    Obama Still Underperformed Hillary (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by gtesta on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:13:34 AM EST
    ..in the GE.


    ..and his campaign sucked so much money out of the environment, that we party regulars had to work that much harder to make sure our down ticket was supported.

    Certainly I'm pleased at the election outcome, but still annoyed that this had to be Obama v. Clinton even after the primaries had ended.  Much better for all of us if the Obama coalition was merged into the "party proper" back in June.

    Really? (none / 0) (#57)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:24:01 PM EST
    Huh, you know its amazing that someone who "underpreformed" was the first Dem in more tahn 30 years to break 50% and the first Dem in more than 40 to win VA, man I sure would like to see what an incredible performance by perhaps the most gifted politician in recent memory would look like!  Seriously, underpreformed?! The man had the strongest showing of any Dem in my lifetime, and the strongest showing by a non-incumbent Dem since Roosevelt in 1932!

    Only if you define "recent memory" (none / 0) (#80)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 02:20:07 PM EST
    as going back about 12 years.

    Bill Clinton didn't break 50 because of Ross Perot twice.  Gore had Ralph Nader. (Remember that?)

    Virginia, for God's sake, is an entirely different state demographically than it was 40 years ago, or even 20 years ago.

    The fact that the election was this close is horrifying, and McCain was pretty likely headed for a narrow win until the economic crisis.

    We're all glad we're not looking forward to a President McCain, but really, we lucked out.


    Off by a mile (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by koshembos on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:39:58 AM EST
    First, it's clear that Teixeira and Abramowitz were off by a mile; in other words, terribly wrong. Second, it's not news that minorities vote Democratic. Bill Clinton had strong support of AA, Hispanics and Asians. Obama just increased it and not by much. Third, and quite important, it seems that with Hillary as candidate the WWC would have gone Democratic in larger numbers and would have totally decimated the Republicans.

    It seems like political scientist should reevaluate their assumptions and models.

    "Increased it but not by much..." (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by oldpro on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 01:21:52 PM EST
    and with the help of Bill and Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail for Obama...bigtime.

    Credit where it's due.  He didn't do it alone.


    If you take out the southern/ racist states... (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Exeter on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 11:42:22 AM EST
    You get a different picture. For example, in the important battleground states, he did much better than in 2004 among whites, including:
    ( ) = 2004

    Wisc 54% (47%)
    Ind  45% (34%)
    Virg 39% (32%)
    NC   35% (27%)
    Mont 45% (39%)
    Colo 50% (42%)

    While in some states, he did the same or much worse, because of (most likely) racism:

    Alab 10%  (19%)
    Miss 11%  (14%)
    Lois 14%  (24%)
    Ark  30%  (36%)
    MO   42%  (42%)
    GA   23%  (23%)  

    If you take out the Southern states that still have the most serious racial problems, I think you will find that Obama did much better than in 2004 than just the 4% overall.  

    Racism is not confined to the South (none / 0) (#68)
    by Amiss on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:43:02 PM EST

    Of course not... (none / 0) (#73)
    by oldpro on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 01:19:12 PM EST
    but is celebrated there...reenactments and all...

    Admitting my bias, traitors who were sent home rather than be hanged whose descendents are "proud of their heritage."


    What's more, they endlessly preach to the rest of the country on the definitions of 'patriotism' and 'unamerican' and 'treason.'


    Of course its not, but... (none / 0) (#75)
    by Exeter on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 01:45:56 PM EST
    Based purely on the numbers among whites, no other region had a negative difference between 2004 and 2008.  

    The numbers show a pretty strong correlation... (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by pluege on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 03:07:36 PM EST
    between racism and ignorance. But we all knew that intuitively anyway. And we also know these results are why the oligarch republicans work so hard to keep the masses ignorant.

    How ironic. (none / 0) (#2)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 07:50:52 AM EST
    The stubbornly high deficit for Dems among WWC is mitigated by the fact that there are now far fewer of them in the voting pool. According to the exits, the proportion of WWC voters is down 15 points since 1988,

    If I understand this argument correctly, the Democrats benefit electorally by the elimination of the working class from the electorate (at least, the white working class).

    of course the dream of corporate america (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by sancho on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:36:21 AM EST
    since lincoln represented the railroad companies is to make sure the white working class is disenfranchised.

    and any other working classes too.

    disenfrachising the working class, though, is another way of beginning to talk about why the economy looks so frightening right now.

    what are we producing except white collar jobs? yes, the college degreed white collar folks elected obama (isnt this what the egregious David Brooks has been saying too?) and are exulting in their win. but what happens when the underpinning to those white collar jobs goes down the asset sinkhole with the rest of the economy?

    i fear the new dem. coalition is as fragile as the current economy.  and this is why it is such a big deal for the dems' propsects of future power (not to mention the good of ordinary americans) to pass a good, workable healthcare bill.


    It is something (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 07:59:41 AM EST
    that has been true for at least 28 years.

    Here's my proposal. . . (none / 0) (#5)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 08:17:31 AM EST
    for the title of a regular series of posts to run on some major left blog:

    Things you believe that are not true

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 08:33:41 AM EST
    Once more into the breach shall I go?

    The usual suspects will attack me again. Here's the line I liked: "of course Obama haters who pose as liberals -- you know who they are -- are already writing off his administration."

    My riposte is of there are Obama cultists, who pose as liberal who are prepared to excuse anything Obama does and even go to the lengths of embracing a 2 time Bush voting, Alito/Roberts supporting clowns.

    But they are the "liberals."


    Lambert (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:18:59 AM EST
    nails it when he points out the absurdity of arguing that we have no idea what Obama is going to do as president so it's not right to criticize him until he actually does it.

    We have no idea what he is going to do? So his campaign promises were all just empty rhetoric? Someone please remind me why liberals voted for him, according to this logic.


    Lambert's (none / 0) (#59)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:26:15 PM EST
    Going to criticize Obama regardless of what he does because he thinks we needed a Kucinichesque lefty and projected this progressivism on to Hillary in much the same way that the LeftBloggers he criticizes did for Obama.

    And how is this (none / 0) (#76)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 01:52:13 PM EST
    a response to this particular criticism of Lambert's? It's not.

    Hope they can believe in. (none / 0) (#66)
    by oldpro on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:40:18 PM EST
    No logic.

    Pols are pols ... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:10:29 AM EST
    but bloggers are also bloggers.

    Many are just interested in increasing the ad revenues of their sites and think Tiger Beat like coverage of Obama will get them there.

    And they're probably right.


    I refer you to TChris's. . . (none / 0) (#6)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 08:22:29 AM EST
    analysis, a few posts below:

    To hold power, or at least remain competitive, Republicans since the Age of Reagan relied on a sometimes overlapping, sometimes conflicting alliance of (1) Wall Street/K Street interests; (2) neocons and Federalist Society zealots; (3) the religious right; and (4) traditional conservatives.

    Of course, the "working class" must support Democrats.


    Well (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 08:24:43 AM EST
    I can;t speak for what TChris wrote.

    I know what the voting patterns have been for 28 years though.


    You can't? (none / 0) (#8)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 08:29:42 AM EST
    I can;t speak for what TChris wrote.

    Maybe I should have said that John Cole wrote it.

    I just think Chris' post highlights the broad assumption in left-Democrat circles that the Democratic party represents and is elected by the working class and that the "rich" are the enemy.  In fact, Democrats derive a great deal of support from the well-off and while they may act (and properly so) on behalf of the "working class", the favor is not in large part returned at the voting booth.


    Well (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 08:35:01 AM EST
    I think Thomas Frank covered that ground pretty well.

    But yes, TChris is not John Cole so I am not going to bash him.


    BTD (none / 0) (#22)
    by liminal on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:30:15 AM EST
    See my post lower in the thread.  Income, not education, defines the working class, and 47% of lower-income whites supported Obama.  The big fall-off in support for Democrats among non-college educated whites comes from people making more than $50,000/year, and I don't believe that we can include them in the "working class."  

    I'd love to see a breakdown (none / 0) (#90)
    by of1000Kings on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:21:41 PM EST
    based upon the rich supporting Obama and what types of careers these people have compared to the rich that don't support Obama...

    my intuition tells me something about the type of rich people that support Obama and the type of rich people that support those like McCain and Bush, but I could be wrong...

    anyone know where I can find a breakdown of voting based upon career or based upon how that person makes his/her money?


    BTD is right (none / 0) (#60)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:28:41 PM EST
    On this one, the White Working Class has in large part been folded into the GOP triumverate-- primarily through Social Conservativism but also via neo con "American Power" triumphalism.

    You make it sound like a bad thing. (none / 0) (#10)
    by JoeA on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 08:33:27 AM EST
    Presumably their shrinking influence isn't a function of them being killed off or deterred from voting.   More it is that they form a smaller proportion of the electorate due to increases amongst other demographics, and also social mobility and higher levels of education transferring people from the WWC to a more Democrat friendly demographic such as College Educated Whites or the middle class.

    No, the irony. . . (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 08:44:41 AM EST
    is that so many Democrats believe that the Democratic party represents the struggle of the workers against "the man".  While Democrats may legislate on behalf of workers, their support (ironically) comes from disproportionately from "the man" while the workers seem to vote Republican.

    yep. (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by kempis on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:01:32 AM EST
    I'm curious to see what sort of identity the Democratic party emerges with.

    This year, Democrats--even party bigwigs like Brazille--heaped open, utter disdain on the WWC. Certainly the "progressives" at Kos and other Obamablogs mock them on a regular basis as redstate rednecks. They, like Brazille, want the party to give the WWC the finger. They don't need 'em.

    That will naturally lead to less interest in the traditional Democrat/working class goal of supporting unions (or "special interests" as Obama called 'em in Iowa). There will be some feel-good window dressing policies on behalf of the great unwashed, but with limits. No great investment.

    The Democrats will increasingly become the party of the information/creative class. People will aspire to that class and forgive the Dems their abandonment of the blue collar (read "racist, knuckle-draggers") workers that they have such contempt for.

    The times, they are a-changing. It's too soon to tell if this is all smart re-branding of the party or just a co-opting of the Democratic party by TPTB, the GOP having shot itself in both feet.

    Time will tell.


    Not to mention the relentless (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:31:13 AM EST
    class-based trashing and contempt for Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber from MSM and other perceived "liberal elites."  It's a good thing the WWC mostly doesn't read the blogs or we'd lose even more of them.  Jeering and sneering and finger-pointing ain't the way to win friends and convince people you're on their side.

    oy. (none / 0) (#30)
    by Fabian on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:48:29 AM EST
    Limbaugh probably could spend fifteen minutes reinforcing his audience's feeling of victimization just by using the LeftBlogs' posts on those two.

    Well (none / 0) (#58)
    by CST on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:25:42 PM EST
    What about the relentless class-based trashing and contempt for the "east-coast liberals" that Sarah Palin and John McCain participated in?

    I do think we hurt ourselves with some of the stuff that was said/done about Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin.  But the otherside is hardly blameless.  They did everything they could to seperate and "de-americanize" the rest of us too.

    Frankly, I think their side stoked the class warfare a lot more than our side, considering that it came from the top two candidates rather than a bunch of bloggers.  Obama made one mistake in that regard (bitter) - but he apologized for it and moved on while Palin and McCain intentionally demonized the rest of us constantly.

    Yes, I'm still ticked off about that.


    The difference is (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 01:17:52 PM EST
    they're not trying to win us over to their side.

    And it may be your perception that "they started it" this time, but in fact, "liberal elites" have been sneering at, or just plain ignoring, working class and rural values and society (not talking hot button issues here, but real basic stuff from food to cars to regional accents) since way before the GOP figured out they could profit in an organized way from the resentment.

    Just sayin'.


    They're not trying (none / 0) (#79)
    by CST on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 02:15:10 PM EST
    But maybe they should be (see my other post).

    I never said "they started it".  It's not about that.  It's about who and how it's used today.

    I know there is a history of sneering and animosity from our side.  And I think we need to work on that too.  I still think there is a pretty big difference between what a comedian or a blogger says about people vs. what politicians running for the highest office say.

    Honestly, I also feel like working class urban values and society have also been ignored or sneered at for a long time too (transit/housing anyone???).  It's like the only values/people that matter are the ones that come from "white-picket-fence suburbia".


    The voting public makes (none / 0) (#87)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 03:52:21 PM EST
    no big distinction between what politicians say and what media figures, celebrities, etc., say, nor should they, actually, since they're all part of the same culture.

    I'm not justifying the politicians on the right wing, God knows, I'm just telling you the very legitimate resentment on the part of the voters is there and it's deep and it's been around a long time.  Lee Atwater just figured out how GOP politicians could codify it and invoke it to their benefit.


    Hey! (none / 0) (#63)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:32:08 PM EST
    You don't get it its okay to demonize the coasts, and the "intellectuals" we have to take it because see we're "effeminate" and "unAmerican" nevermind that American Democracy was born and fostered in those regions now considered less than American, or that the "true America" seems to be in large part the portions of the country that didn't want to be America, no we have to take it, and the moment we voice any counter-criticism or even a feeble defense, well; then we're being contemptuous on their values.

    I think the real answer (none / 0) (#65)
    by CST on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:40:07 PM EST
    Is the electoral college keeps us from mattering.

    I hope that will change though as more young, college-educated types move south and west to more affordable areas.  I think we actually saw some backlash against this meme in VA and NC.  I know a number of people who have moved there in recent years from MA and do not take kindly to that kind of bashing.  I hope they learned a lesson about "fake Virginia" - those people can vote too.


    Well (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Steve M on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:54:05 AM EST
    Folks who are BELOW the "working class" still provide the Democrats with a significant number of voters.

    When they vote at all. (none / 0) (#85)
    by oldpro on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 03:25:12 PM EST
    What was the number this year?

    Perhaps if Obama comes through on labor reform, green collar jobs, and health care, the dems will pick up substantially more WWC voters.  Too many pundits treat race and class as destiny.  That was the initial mistake pointed out in this post - the assumption that college educated people voted Republican.  Some people actually vote based on the candidate's record.

    That's the key (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by cal1942 on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:44:16 AM EST
    It's been some years since workers have actually seen any dramatic, obvious benefit of governing by Democrats.

    Democrats have controlled Congress and the White House for only two of the last 28 years.  

    Republican's full court press against universal health care in Clinton's first term and the passage of NAFTA and other trade agreements like China PNTR have not helped Democrats among workers.

    Twenty-eight years is a long time and the memory of Democrats as the champions of working people has faded and in the memory of workers under 50; doesn't exist.

    Younger workers simply haven't had the same experience as their fathers and grandfathers.

    I've heard so many arguments between older and younger workers over party preference that I have to believe that positive action will alter younger worker's perception of politics in general and Democrats in particular. Many believe that neither Democrats nor Republicans have done anything for them and may even believe that nothing can be done for them.

    Anyway I hope that Democratic Party strategists don't abandon worker's concerns.  Good legislation that benefits workers is not only a winner electorally it's also the right thing to do. If workers are prosperous and secure the nation is stronger and Democrats will benefit.


    "If workers are prosperous and (none / 0) (#70)
    by oldpro on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 12:52:48 PM EST
    secure.....and Democrats will benefit."


    Not in 2000.

    Yes, I know Gore won the popular vote but after the Clinton years Gore should have won in a landslide.  Workers were (more) prosperous and secure.  Nevertheless...


    The point (none / 0) (#83)
    by cal1942 on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 03:14:25 PM EST
    I'm making is that many workers, especially younger workers, didn't necessarily recognize Democrats as the responsible party during that period.

    You left out the caveat and that's if Democrats pass legislation that's obviously beneficial to workers, etc.

    If you think that Gore should have won a landslide then I suggest you examine the 1948 election. Truman beat Dewey in a period when workers knew who buttered their bread, but he didn't win by a landslide.

    Given the way Gore was treated by the press during the 2000 campaign I'm, in some ways, surprised he won the election.

    If you're suggesting that the Democratic Party ignore workers then we're clearly on different sides of the political divide. In fact, 180 degrees off.


    I'm not suggesting that (none / 0) (#84)
    by oldpro on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 03:24:16 PM EST
    the Democratic Party SHOULD ignore workers...only that they often do.

    What I am also suggesting is that workers (voters of many stripes, in fact) often vote against their own 'best interests' as defined by others.

    Growing up in a poor, then working class, family I never could understand any of my peers voting Republican...ever.  It turns out it is complicated...as in their swallowing the 'death-tax' nonsense.  They vote to get rid of it because they are wannabes...they HOPE to someday be wealthy enough to afford to live the way they vote...Republican!



    Your background (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by cal1942 on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 08:03:11 PM EST
    sounds like mine.  All too familiar. I grew up in what was then a Republican town and attended school in what today would be called a lower middle class neighborhood. I don't know if there was a label for it then but it was intermingled with factories, etc. We had less than most in that neighborhood, sliding along on the edge. My neighborhood and like neighborhoods in town voted Democratic but there were always a few Republicans in our midst and the better and nice parts of town were Republican.

    That town is now overwhelmingly Democratic and reflects various changes in political attitude.

    I understand your point that so many people vote against their own interests and I believe it's because Republicans changed the game over nearly three decades and Democrats haven't had enough power in that time to make an impression.

    I hope that changes.


    the problem is finding (none / 0) (#91)
    by of1000Kings on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:28:47 PM EST
    WWC voters who can separate voting based upon government policy and voting based upon social issues that the government was meant to have little hand in...

    many of the WWC voters I know had voted in the recent elections mostly on issues like gay marriage, a xenophobia and abortion, rather than taxes or liberty or anything of that sort


    I had a similar question (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:24:32 AM EST
    It's certainly not economic mobility.  I'm also uncertain of the precise definitions-- "working class" is presumably primarily defined economically or financially, "college-educated" is, well, education.  The two are certainly related, but seems to me there's considerable real world overlap, depending on the definition of "working class."

    That number (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by liminal on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:34:32 AM EST
    of 40% Obama, 58% McCain, is simply non-colleged educated whites.  I think it obscures the income issue in an unhelpful way.  Education does not define class, in my opinion, income does, and low income whites supported Obama in greater proportion than higher income whites.

    Thank you (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:49:41 AM EST
    That's just what I was thinking.  Although income isn't really the sole indicator of "working class" either.  My plumber, Tim the Plumber, comes from a farm family in which no one has ever had a college education, nor does he.  OTOH, he makes way more than I do (though he certainly works a hell of a lot harder), and his family is comfortable, though in no way wealthy.  He's certainly working class, though his income is well above whatever level is deemed the dividing line.  I'm a low-income professional, but surely below the cut-off point financially.

    I realize these are all rough demographic cuts for the purposes of a poll, not a treatise on socioeconomic status and class perceptions, etc.  It's far easier to cut charts based on income, but it doesn't really accurately reflect the cultural/social strata that I suspect have much more to do with voting behavior and party identification.

    IOW, I suspect a fair amount of whatever income-based supposed WWC support there is for the Dems may well come from folks like me.

    (No idea how my plumber votes, but this is Vermont, so he probably voted for Obama, too.)


    But, under that definition, (none / 0) (#35)
    by dk on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:54:11 AM EST
    wouldn't college and graduate students be counted as "working class."  I.e. a single, 23 year old Harvard graduate student who earned $15,000 last year as a teaching assistant would be counted as working class, while a 45 year old high school educated assembly line supervisor supporting a wife and three kids on $52,000 per year wouldn't be counted as working class?  

    Not sure what I think about that.


    You make precisely my point (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:59:24 AM EST
    "Working class" is to my way of thinking the same as "blue collar."  So neither income nor education alone is a particularly useful criterion in the real world.

    As I say, it's close to impossible to define it more accurately for the purposes of polling, but for those of us trying to draw conclusions from those polls, we need to keep in mind that if "working class" is solely based on income, then there are a large number of young or part-time or underemployed white profesionals who would fall in that category.

    OTOH, if "working class" is defined as non-college-educated low-income workers, maybe we're starting to get closer.

    But then where does that put my plumber or your assembly line supervisor?  My plumber definitely considers himself working class, despite his income (which as I say is not large, but not struggling).  Your assembly line guy, I'm guessing, would define himself as working class or professional largely depending on his family background and his social circle, so could go either way.

    The middle class in this country is made up of both well-paid blue collar workers and college-educated white collar workers.

    So I can't wrap my head around a politically useful division based on either income or education.


    Additionally (none / 0) (#86)
    by cal1942 on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 03:25:28 PM EST
    working class in today's economy can certainly apply to many white collar workers.

    Well, look - (none / 0) (#43)
    by liminal on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:20:19 AM EST
    Texeira is arguing that the working class is dead, and that there is a new "mass upper middle class" to whom the parties must appeal.  The actual numbers show that white people making under 50,000/year supported Obama 47% - 51%, and that white people making over 50,000/year supported Obama 43% - 56%.  Class is assuredly a nebulous issue, I agree, but the evidence shows that - contrary to what an awful lot of people think - poor white people still support Democrats more than better-off white people.  

    Yes, the 25% of voters who are "whites making under $50,000/year" certainly include GAs at Harvard, but it also includes nursing assistants and window assemblers and ditch diggers and cooks and janitors, and there are more nursing assistants in this country than there are GAs at Harvard (or any other institution of higher learning).

    The numbers, taken together, show that poorer whites support the Democratic party more than wealthier whites, and that, among wealthier whites, the non-colleged educated folks support the Republicans much more strongly than the college educated.  


    Is this really gospel? (none / 0) (#46)
    by cal1942 on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 10:31:56 AM EST
    As it turned out, they were able to achieve a solid victory even with a higher deficit than 10-12 points.

    I really wonder if Texeira and Abramowitz considered the nature of this election in relation to the state of the nation.  A GOP administration has screwed up royally and that had to be the major determining factor in this election.  In Michigan even Kent County went Democratic and for anyone familiar with Michigan that should be telling but only about this election.  I doubt if this is the sign of an overall trend in that area.

    College grads do give a majority of support to Republicans in most elections, just not in this one.  I hope that they're not concluding that the results of this election indicate a trend among college grads.

    But I really wonder where they came up with 10-12 points and also how they determine blue collar.  

    Do they examine votes in actual precincts?  Are they using numbers from the nation as a whole or are they examining state by state. Numbers from most of the old Confederacy it seems to me should be considered separately and for obvious reasons.

    I haven't been to the emerging democratic majority site in a long while and can't recall how they did their research or if they ever did reveal their methods.

    Anyway I always took what they wrote with a grain of salt and I've always wondered if there is an agenda tainting their conclusions.

    The Emerged Democratic Majority Indeed (none / 0) (#88)
    by john horse on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 07:37:54 PM EST
    The stubbornly high deficit for Dems among WWC is mitigated by the fact that there are now far fewer of them in the voting pool.

    Thanks BTD for the Texeira post.  We may be witnessing the birth of a political power shift.  A major portion of the GOP hold on power was implementation of Nixon's Southern Strategy, that is their ability to successfully appeal to the southern white working class.  

    For the first time this group has been unable to deliver for the GOP.  And the good news is that demographic trends favor the Democrats.