The Emerged Democratic Majority

At the height of recent Republican dominance, 2002, Ruy Texeira and John Judis wrote a book titled The Emerging Democratic Majority. In the book, Texeira and Judis posited that, as Judis and Texeira wrote about the 2006 elections:

Just as important as these victories is who voted for Democrats in 2006. With few exceptions, the groups were exactly those that had begun trending Democratic in the 1990s and had contributed to Al Gore's popular-vote victory over George W. Bush in 2000. These groups, which we described in our 2002 book, The Emerging Democratic Majority, included women, professionals, and minorities. But in 2006 they also included two groups our book slighted or ignored altogether: younger voters (those born after 1977) and independents. These voters can generally be expected to continue backing Democrats.

The thesis forwarded by Judis and Texeira has been confirmed in this election. Women (56%), African Americans (95%), Latinos (66%), young voters (66% (among whites (54%)) and college graduates (53%) form the new Democratic majority. Older white voters remain Republican voters. And, as Texeira and Judis noted this has policy ramifications:

[T]he 2006 election represented a shift in American politics, away from the right and toward the center-left, on a range of issues that go well beyond the Iraq war, corruption, and competence. Voters in 2006 returned to viewpoints on the economy and society that inclined them, even leaving aside the war, to favor Democrats over conservative Republicans.

The 2008 exit polls show that the Emerged Democratic Majority is progressive and Democratic in its views on issues. 54% of the country agrees with Obama on the issues (50%) or think he is too conservative (4%). 63% disapprove of the Iraq War. Barack Obama won a majority vote on the issues of energy, Iraq, the economy, and health care.

The new Democratic majority is a progressive electorate. It wants Democratic and progressive change. The notion of a "Center Right" Beltway Agenda is not what they want. Democrats must respect this. If they choose to instead adopt a Broderite agenda, they will be voted out of office - not because the new Democratic majority will prefer Republican policy, but because they will conclude that Ralph Nader is right, there is no difference between the two parties.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    A new majority... (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by oldpro on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:34:19 AM EST
    if we can keep it!  That will depend on results and in the mess we're in that's a fairly risky proposition...but not impossible if this new administration and congressional leadership are smart in their priorities.

    BTW...as an 'older white voter' who has never voted Republican (and neither have my older white friends!) fill us in on the breakdown of what that demographic actually is?

    BTD the Indies (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:37:07 AM EST
    Once again the myth that white Dems go for the Republicans is wrong, it was the white Indies that go Republican.  Even though Obama got an Indie majority, it was not from the white Indies.  

    Democratic, (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by andgarden on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:41:51 AM EST
    but not necessarily progressive: Prop 8 is still stuck in my craw.

    Anyway, And it's not all roses everywhere. Obama got 11% of the white vote in Mississippi and 35% in North Carolina. Dixie still needs to be whistled past. And apparently, there's a little bit of Dixie even in California.

    Florida is the real shocker: Obama found about 500,000 voters who didn't turn up in 2004. McCain's total there was ever so slightly worse than Bush's in 2004. But Obama's put Kerry's to shame.

    The Good News on Prop 8 (5.00 / 6) (#11)
    by BDB on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:53:20 AM EST
    1. Young voters overwhelmingly rejected it, so change is coming one way or the other;

    2. It can be undone through another ballot referendum.  Personally, I think 2010 would give us a good shot because there will be less turnout.  That's very sad to say, but there it is.

    That wasn't the only anti-progressive measure that passed in California last night.  Restrictions on minors' access to abortions also passed, also driven by support by African Americans and Latinos.  The same provision failed the last two elections.  In the great "Democratic" sweep of last night, it passed.  I was happy to see the GOP repudiated yesterday, but on social issues, conservatives won a lot of things.  It's hard not to wonder about the broader implications of the Dems cozying up to people like Rick Warren.  The faith based stuff has an effect and it isn't limited to Republican voters.

    Yup (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by andgarden on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:55:45 AM EST
    And the Republicans are going to go back to trying to win black and hispanic votes by overloading on Jesus. The reality of the new Democratic coalition will force them to.

    Someday, it's gonna work.


    Yup. (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:00:22 AM EST
    the question in my mind is whether a post-Obama candidate will be able to keep this coalition together. But that is a question for the future.

    Love the phrase 'overloading on Jesus'.


    Well, overloading on Jesus (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by dk on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:08:39 AM EST
    helped Obama win this year..why shouldn't the republicans try it again?

    It is fair game (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:14:22 AM EST
    We have to convince the churchgoing electorate that Jesus agreed with separation of church and state. And was more liberal than most present-day Dems ever thought of being.

    I could probably never be a politician (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:16:17 AM EST
    I can't lie to people about believing ridiculous things.

    No, I couldn't make those (none / 0) (#39)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:49:19 AM EST
    arguments with a straight face either.  No one has to worry about a primary challenge from moi.

    I should have put 'we' in quotes.  I don't go near the Jesus people.


    I wonder about that. (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by TheRealFrank on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:23:40 AM EST
    Did all the religious stuff really help? I noticed that the Obama campaign stopped doing it after a while. Probably because Palin was the magic codeword that those voters needed to "come home".

    I think he would have one without all that outreach.

    Of course, he still would have had to show that he's Christian..

    It used to be that the president of the US had to be white, christian, male and straight. We can now scratch "white" from that list, and "male" will certainly follow in the near future, but "straight" and especially "christian" will be much tougher.


    Prop 4 didn't pass (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by SarahinCA on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:18:07 AM EST
    So far Californians are not approving the parental notification proposition.

    Couldn't agree more (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:52:08 AM EST
    Your last paragraph is key. I fervently hope the politicians see it that way too, and say so pronto.  I know Al Franken does, and he is not afraid to say so, which is why I want him in the Senate so badly.

    I'll be interested to see the Emerged Dem Majority (EDM?) broken down along income lines.

    Man (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by Steve M on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:58:54 AM EST
    A white man just can't catch a break in this country.  And I'm getting older every day, too.

    It's going to be interesting to see how the economy affects the Democrats' ability to address some of the touchier issues.  For example, we talked yesterday about card check; when the Republican argument is that unions make jobs go away, will that have more salience during an economic downturn?  Will it be easier to demagogue a moderate solution to the immigration issue when people are under more job anxiety than before?  This will be tricky.

    I thought you qualified. . . (none / 0) (#20)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:11:25 AM EST
    for the "Jew exemption"?

    Lucky for me! (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Steve M on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:53:43 AM EST
    By the way, Obama won 78% of Jewish voters, but 83% of "white Jewish voters."  See if you can figure out what accounts for the discrepancy!

    Sephardim. n/t (none / 0) (#68)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:35:24 PM EST
    The economic meltdown will put Obama... (none / 0) (#25)
    by santarita on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:19:18 AM EST
    to the test.  Immediately.  He probably can't do much more than listen at the upcoming economic summit.  But he can start sending major signals to Treasury and to Bernanke even before he takes office.  If he doesn't send signals to them, he may find that he has inherited a bunch of measures that he wouldn't have allowed if he were President.

    Obama will have an opportunity to show how progressive he is very early in his tenure.  He will be forced to address foreclosures and continued financial institution meltdowns.  Does he continue to take the hands off approach of Bush or does he become more active.

    With the Iraq and Afghan Wars and the economy, Obama won't have time to push much of his domestic agenda for the first year or so.  At least I don't think so.  He could surprise us with a series of bold initiatives.


    He's reportedly been talking to (none / 0) (#33)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:36:35 AM EST
    Paulson several times a day since things started getting ugly.  Paulson himself has staffed up a working transition group and has well thought-out plans for absorbing some of the new president's economic people into Treasury starting immediately after election day-- ie, today, apparently.

    Paulson did a full hour on Charlie Rose a few weeks ago and spent a big chunk of it talking about transition.

    IOW, Obama doesn't need to "send signals," he's been talking directly and Paulson is anxious to have the new president up and running well before inauguration day.


    Well, I hope to see something better... (none / 0) (#41)
    by santarita on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:51:16 AM EST
    coming out of Treasury,  I read an article yesterday about the rather secretive process that the Administration is using to decide which banks get the handout.  And I'd like to see a little more muscle put into the terms of the handouts.  

    He MUST (none / 0) (#50)
    by cal1942 on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:02:18 PM EST
    address economic matters first and there is no reason the war in Iraq can't be dealt with in tandem.

    First act, day one. Extend unemployment benefits.

    If people feel there is urgency and action to address their immediate needs the rest of the agenda will move along much easier and a lot of hard-up, laid off workers will become friends.  It's also the right thing to do.

    Roar in like FDR and strike while the honeymoon lasts.


    ah yes (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by sas on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:25:20 AM EST
    the emerged misogynistic (and partially homophobic)Democratic majority

    let's all celebrate

    At least I'm no longer ignorant. (5.00 / 5) (#32)
    by Fabian on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:32:50 AM EST
    I learned a lot this past year.  Part of what I learned is that our society is not as tolerant or enlightened or egalitarian as I had thought.

    I had learned about women's rights and civil rights and all that as history.  A done deal.  Along came a candidate talking "Move on!" - don't refight those battles again.  I saw the younger generation believing, for a time, that those battles had indeed been fought and won.

    Then I found out that every generation must indeed fight the same old battles that the previous generations had fought.  Injustice and bigotry are never defeated.  So we'd best teach every generation that it is their duty to fight them.


    All that plus... (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:55:06 AM EST
    I learned that liberals are just as likely as conservatives to lap up lies, propaganda, truthiness, whatever, and perpetuate it all down the line. Education level doesn't seem to matter either. I used to think we could only make fun of the other side for being uncritical purveyors of truthiness. But apparently, people just believe what they want to believe.

    People want to feel good. (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Fabian on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:07:12 PM EST
    Obama used a lot of Doctor FeelGood rhetoric in his primary speeches.  A lot.  It's headology.  Make them feel good about themselves and it may make them feel good about you.  

    True, he also used ... (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:46:39 PM EST
    some of the oldest Madison Avenue tactics in the book.  And, as I'm sure you are, I'm always disturbed by a personality driven campaign.

    Because when people choose a person over a policy, they may follow that person no matter what policies he advocates.

    And I think Obama is an ideologically conflicted person.  And nothing brings an ideological conflict to the fore like being elected President.


    His primary campaign (none / 0) (#69)
    by Fabian on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:45:20 PM EST
    was a showcase of style, without a doubt.

    I'm not sure what happens to Obama's supporters, now that he no longer needs them.  (It was great folks!  See you in three years.)

    Obama doesn't have a wonkish drive or a clear vision which means he'll be looking for advice and that's where I start worrying.  


    That's my concern as well ... (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 02:02:00 PM EST
    let's just hope it's not Goolsbee or Sunstein.

    Let's just hope he understands that building lasting public support (which means doing things for average people) is more important to real political power than courting the media or his friends on Wall Street.


    It's not permanent (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Manuel on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:31:33 AM EST
    It will require real, demonstrably positive policy changes to fundamentally change people's attitudes.  It will take a new New Deal that changes the landscape for generations.  Unfortunately, I don't see that taking place.  I see little evidence that people's attitudes about progressive issues (taxes, budgets, health care, economic justice) have changed sufficiently.  I do see some slow progress in tolerance though tolerance towards gays and women still lags.

    Conservatism will adapt.  They'll become more tolerant themselves (a good thing), find their own media star that appeals to pop culture and the majority will erode.

    Despite the above, this election has been a significant necessary first step.  We always tend to overestimate the short term and underestimate the long term.  Progress is slow.  Let's hope it's steady.

    to answer someone's question (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by progressiveinvolvement on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:38:35 AM EST
    Obama got about 25% of the evangelical vote, barely up from Kerry's 22%.

    There's just no reasoning with some people.  Forget the evangelicals.  Go with mainline protestants and Catholics.

    They aren't buying (none / 0) (#53)
    by Fabian on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:08:30 PM EST
    what we are selling.  That's about it.

    I'll take that 25% (none / 0) (#56)
    by robrecht on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:21:22 PM EST
    It's not like it's mutually exclusive of mainline Protestant, Catholic, and ethical atheist support.  It takes all kinds to make a world, as my Dad used to say.  If 25% of evangelicals can see that Bush-Cheney-McCain-Palin is just wrong for America, that's a working coalition in my book.

    In 2004 (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Lil on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:54:13 AM EST
    Rove et. al. almost had me convinced that there was going to be a permanent Republican majority. Glad that was wrong.

    As for now, I'm so happy with the trend with one caveat...the gay marriage thing.  As a white person, I have done my best to be an ally to POC and confront racism. Last night, in addition to losing my voice from sceaming, I cried to have finally crossed the race barrier in terms of the Presidency.

    As a lesbian, I am beyond hurt that minority groups do not see the discrimination they dish out to us (straight privilege).  I am to be an ally, but should not expect the same in return.

    This morning before I read all these posts, I said to my mother, that gay rights will have to be the next generation's battle to win...enough straight people will have to become "allies" just like enought white folks became allies to make a difference.  My daughter turned 8 yesterday and watched returns in a ballroom; I am so happy that she saw history being made, so I'm expecting big things from her generation, so I'm happy to hear there is an emerging Democratic Majority, now I'll be looking for some emerging progressivism.

    BTD, Thank you!

    Well (none / 0) (#55)
    by cal1942 on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:18:19 PM EST
    Rove et. al. almost had me convinced that there was going to be a permanent Republican majority. Glad that was wrong.

    They overreached, they tried to pull a fast one on Social Security (the beginning of the end).  

    From the start they believed in their economic ideology, an ideology that works only in a world of fantasy and wishful thinking, an ideology guaranteed to bring the nation grief.

    There was never any way the Rovian Dream was achievable.  The only question was how long it would take to crash and burn.


    Seems like the same old. . . (none / 0) (#1)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:33:53 AM EST
    Women (56%), African Americans (95%), Latinos (66%), young voters (66% (among whites (54%)) and college graduates (53%) form the new Democratic majority

    Democratic Party to me!  The only difference is that Hispanics swung a good deal more towards the Democrat this time than last and there seem to be more young Democratic voters than before.

    Am I missing something?  This seems to be the same old Democratic coalition (although, for some reason, we Jews got left out) as before, with a cyclical generational wave (and disgust of Bush) helping us out.

    Now a majority (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:41:24 AM EST
    Whites now only 74% of the electorate. Just 16 years ago, 88%.

    Let's call the theory. . . (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:50:59 AM EST
    the Diminishing Republican Majority!

    Probably more accurate (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:52:41 AM EST
    Or, to paraphrase the Rovians (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:53:43 AM EST
    The Somehwat Less Than Permanent Republican Majority

    ONLY 74% (none / 0) (#18)
    by cal1942 on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:07:10 AM EST
    This time (none / 0) (#3)
    by WS on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:36:49 AM EST
    there's more of our people.  

    There is a good chance (none / 0) (#8)
    by Pepe on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:51:33 AM EST
    we will lose one or both houses in the 2010 midterms just as Clinton did. If Obama tries to pass some of his somewhat progressive agenda the GOP will drag their feet and it won't get passed. Win goes to the GOP, nothing gets done, house cleaning in 2010.

    If Obama compromises with the Right, which is his nature to do, then what passes will be watered down centristism and not what the center-left population bargained for and they will have no where to turn to take out their frustrations of being duped by Obama other than the House and Senate races. Of course turnout their will be dominated by the Right as the Obama voters will be deflated and not turn out in 2008 type numbers.

    So in the end instead of giving people what it is he was elected for Obama will just become one of the many newly elected presidents whose time is consumed with International affairs and known and unknown fires to put out, and domestically he will be playing politics instead of governing with the task at hand more on how to win 2010 than how to actually help people. A few crumbs will be tossed around in hopes that will save the day but in the end those crumbs will not amount to much. Then whatever happens in 2010 it will be a 2 year political run to get reelected in 2012. And so it goes.

    Republican foot dragging (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:56:32 AM EST
    can't stop it unless Congress and Obama let them. Make the Republicans that haven't gotten the message yet truly filibuster and take the heat from the public that gave a mandate for these changes.

    If we don't claim the manadate, we won't succeed.  It is that simple.


    It won't take much (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Pepe on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:31:09 AM EST
    foot dragging. Didn't you hear Obama walk back his promises last night? Didn't you hear him say that it is possible that the Change he promised may not happen in his first 4 year term? You didn't hear that?

    No (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by Claw on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:48:06 AM EST
    I didn't hear that.  I heard him trying to be gracious in victory.  Gracious to a really pi**ed off republican party.  Probably a good idea if he wants to get anything done.  I also heard him owning up to the fact that it's going to be hard to turn around the absolute mess the Still-President will be leaving us.  I liked that.

    I did hear that (none / 0) (#42)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:51:16 AM EST
    and similar things the last few weeks.  As I say, it is up to Obama and the Dems.  Not the Republicans. They can make things happen or take the fall in 2010.

    There is little chance. . . (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:59:50 AM EST
    we'll lose one or both houses in 2010.  Clinton was elected during a Republican up-cycle.  This is a Democratic up-cycle.  The map looks relatively favorable for us in 2010, and we have plenty of cushion.

    Past performance no guarantee of future success, of course, but unless the country really goes to hell in a handbasket over the next two years, we'll keep both houses.


    Oh yeah (none / 0) (#23)
    by Pepe on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:18:05 AM EST
    I'll take that to the bank just because you said so.

    I've been around a long time and seen a lot of elections and a lot of Presidents and some things never change as politics is politics.

    You say this is a Republican down cycle. They had a miserable turnout and didn't lose the popular vote by a whole lot. They would have lost it by less if they had turned out. And turn out they will in 2010. And as I said if Obama doesn't deliver our own turnout will be miserable in 2010.

    Do you really think the Blacks and youth turnout will be the same in 2010? Won't happen. Midterm elections are always a fraction of Presidential elections and the houses change because the minority has all the reasons in the world to turn out and the majority becomes apathetic and even deflated as I wrote. And when they are deflated and feel duped they will stay at home.

    But of course you think none of that will happen and that our majority is insurmountable even though we hardly won the popular vote with a good number of GOP voters sitting out the election. In the years to come you will learn as I did when I was young.


    We are winning the popular vote (none / 0) (#29)
    by lilburro on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:27:28 AM EST
    52 - 46.  That's hardly winning the popular vote?

    Over all (none / 0) (#38)
    by Pepe on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:48:52 AM EST
    the GOP turnout was way down. We had an extraordinary  number turnout may who in my opinion just wanted to be part of history but not necessarily politics.

    I think in the end when you add back in the GOP faithful and subtract the first time/one time voters that the numbers last night ill distill down to a much narrower victory - meaning our margin of victory last night will not hold up in the next few years.

    Turnout does not always reflect the real public sentiments. Again add back in the GOPers who did not bother, and subtract the one timers on our side and you have a different picture.


    That's actually pretty close (none / 0) (#45)
    by Manuel on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:54:04 AM EST
    It would take only a 3% swing to reverse it.  The total voter turn out rate is about 60% or so.  Now consider the enthusiasm gap (Bush and the economy were severe drags on the Republicans) as well as the excellent campaign that Obama ran, which included a significant fundraising advantage, and one can see how such an edge could be reversed.

    Popular Vote Close? Balderdash! (none / 0) (#58)
    by Politalkix on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:25:27 PM EST
    GHW Bush beat Mike Dukakis 53.4% - 45.6%. If that was considered a landslide victory for the Republicans, a 52%-46% victory is also a landslide for the Democrats.

    Considered by whom? (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Manuel on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:07:18 PM EST
    I did not consider Bush/Dukakis a popular vote landslide. But even if it was it doesn't compare to 2008.  GHWB won 49M to 42M.  That's 7M out of 91M.  Obama is winning by 63M to 56M or 7M out of 119M.  It is a much narrower victory.  BTW it looks like turnout will end up being similar to 2004.  It looks like a lot or Republicans stayed home (can't blame them).  It is a great victory but there is no need to exgerate it.

    Ha Ha (none / 0) (#70)
    by Politalkix on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:52:52 PM EST
    So according to you, even if GHWB could not get more than 53.4% of 91M (48.5M) to come out and vote for him (McCain had 56M voting for him), his victory was better than Obama's! Funny stuff!
    A percentage win is a percentage win is a percentage win! Period!
    Note: If we extend your logic, a 6% win in New York is "narrower" than a 6% win in Montana because more people vote in New York. Really creative stuff!

    Read again please (none / 0) (#74)
    by Manuel on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:10:37 PM EST
    GHWB's percentage win was bigger than Obama's.  Nice try with the creative part but I never claimed what you wrote.

    BTW the landslide election article at Wikipedia doesn't list this election or the 1988 election in its list of popular vote landslides.  It does list it in the list of EV landslides (I disagree with that. For modern elections, I'd set the EV landslide bar around 400).


    Obama won this on the economy (none / 0) (#61)
    by Fabian on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:52:23 PM EST
    much like GWB won in 2004 on terrorism.

    It's about what people fear and who they think will save them.

    Ew.  I can't believe I just wrote that.  But...I think that's about right.  If there is no real threat, manufacture one.  If there is a real threat, position yourself as the one best prepared to take that threat on.


    Wrong Analogy (none / 0) (#65)
    by Politalkix on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:18:39 PM EST
    GWB sqeaked through in 2004. Obama drubbed McCain.
    Obama won because he convinced people that he was a better candidate to handle an economic crisis and also because he ran a more inclusive campaign and his ability to inspire people from a variety of backgrounds. If it was just about the economy every Congressional Democrat candidate would have won their elections by huge margins, that certainly does not seem to be the case now.
    I am also curious about how you view previous Presidential campaigns. Did Bill Clinton win in 1992 only because of an economic recession? Did LBJ win in 1964 only because he scared people into believing that Goldwater would start WW3?.

    A not trivial part (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by cal1942 on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:25:37 AM EST
    of the loss of Congress in the 1994 mid-terms was the end of the Dixiecrats.

    These things are made of more than one part.

    But like Pepe, I'm concerned about the schtick and whether it will become policy.

    If Democrats listen to the Village there are going to be some deeply disappointed people who may not show in 2010.

    Even the exit polls clearly demonstrate that people finally want significant government activity to restore the health of the nation. Among the American people in general the Reagan "government is the problem" trash has been rejected.

    Not so among the Village people.  They're still stuck in that Reagan fantasy land and they'll pour on the pressure to keep that 'vision.'

    The Village chose both nominees, chose the President and now they'll try to choose the agenda.


    Agreed (none / 0) (#73)
    by BrianJ on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 06:37:48 PM EST
    The Democrats will finish up with about 40 seats more than half the House.  In 1966 and 1994, they demonstrated that things don't have to go to Hell to lose forty seats in a midterm election.

    Three things (none / 0) (#35)
    by joanneleon on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:40:55 AM EST
    Most importantly, IMHO, 56% isn't nearly enough women.  The Republican party is not a party which offers a lot to women.  We've got to analyze why more women aren't voting for Democrats.  I think there are still many issues important to women that are simmering below the surface.  We have to figure out what's going on and how to appeal to more women.  Could it be isolated to this election because McCain ran a woman on the ticket?  I think it was a factor, but it doesn't explain the bigger problem.  I read an interesting article that claimed, based on voting statistics, that the biggest obstacle to women in higher offices is Democratic men.  I'll have to find that article again and think some more about it.

    Second, I'm not sure that center-left really describes the position of the emerged Democratic majority.  There is an element of populism in there too, IMHO, that leans more to the left.  I believe that many are center-left on fiscal issues, but when jobs and healthcare are concerned, they lean further left and are willing to compromise on strict fiscal responsibility.  On other issues like miltary contracting, and other kinds of spending, they lean more to the right.  What it boils down to is jobs and healthcare, and some more protectionism when it comes to outsourcing and the lack of industry.

    Last, I really can't figure out why McCain got the senior citizen vote.  

    I noted (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Steve M on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:55:16 AM EST
    that Obama won working women by a 70-30 margin, which is pretty huge.  So that provides a starting point for the discussion.

    Really? (none / 0) (#36)
    by sj on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:44:37 AM EST
    We've got to analyze why more women aren't voting for Democrats.  

    I'd say that's been well analyzed.  People just didn't believe it.


    Which analysis? (none / 0) (#72)
    by joanneleon on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 04:42:18 PM EST
    Are you referring to the "security mom" analysis from 2004, or the more recent discussions about this year, Hillary Clinton, media misogyny, etc.?

    I am not convinced this win is really (none / 0) (#40)
    by befuddledvoter on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:49:20 AM EST
    an indication of a progressive majority at all.  I think it had everything to do with the economy; McCain's overall weakness in that area and his choice of Palin.  To me, that is why Obama won.  True, he inspires.  True, he is hopeful. True, he is historic.  All true.  However, I still think the economy tanking was the windfall that put him over the top.

    Whatever the reason, it is a good thing and historic.  

    So, demographics (none / 0) (#43)
    by bocajeff on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:53:19 AM EST
    are a huge factor. And you know what else is, the direction of the economy. And foreign wars. That's about it...The rest is just filler.

    Say what you will about a realignment, but if you look at the results you will see that we have an unpopular war and bad economy and Obama barely won in Indiana, North Carolina and won by a slightly larger margin in Florida - but still small. That's 53 Electoral Votes right there. Add that to McCain's 173 Ev's (assuming Missouri stays Red) and you have 226. He would only need another 44 Ev's (Ohio shouldn't even be so close) so that's another 20. Not to mention how the next Census has an effect on EV's...

    In other words, even in a year that should have been a cakewalk it really wasn't. (For comparison purposes McCain got more EV's than the Dems got in 1980, 1984 and 1988 COMBINED). It comes down to actually doing something and hoping the economy gets better.

    Remember, Coleman looks like he beat Franken, a corrupt Senator in Alaska looks like he won, an incumbent Senator in Oregon of all places is in a very tight battle, not to mention the anti-gay ballot measures in Florida and California...

    It's always seems to be the economy, war, and voters getting itchy every 8 years for change.

    Yourn prediction is looking good BTD (none / 0) (#49)
    by LatinoDC on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 11:57:05 AM EST

    Government moves at the speed of a glacier. (none / 0) (#51)
    by OldCity on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:03:24 PM EST
    So we shouldn't expect sweeping change.  

    I think they're be movement on his core issues...healthcare, taxes, to some degree the wars.  Education is a tougher row.

    We sholdn't have any expectation of some monolithic Democratic coalition.  I don't.  I fully expect Blue Dogs to be problematic with regard to regulation and taxes.  I expect the more liberal wing to be resistant to compromise on healthcare.  

    That's when we'll see whether he can be the consensus builder some of think he is.  Despite the numeric advantage, things are gonna get watered down.    

    Democratic and Progressive (none / 0) (#54)
    by robrecht on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:16:12 PM EST
    It's an exciting time to be a Democrat.  Generational change.  Just as JFK was the first WW2 president, Clinton was the first baby boomer president, Obama is now the first post-Vietnam president.

    I viewed Clinton as sort of an old style politician with a Southern Democratic coalition, but he used this base to try and start bringing in some new ideas, or if there were no real new ideas other than co-opting some of the Republican agenda, at the very least he introduced the theme of new ideas--"Don't stop thinking about tomorrow."  Maybe Gore was more with the new ideas.  Bottom line: the nation was at least saved from full bore Republicanism.

    Clinton in '92 won MO, AR (home), LA, WV, KY, TN (Gore), GA, and MT: 64 EC votes that Obama did not get.  But Obama got FL, SC, VA, IN, and maybe Omaha: 67 votes that Clinton did not get in '92.  It's no longer the geographic electoral map that dominates, it's not just that a Democrat can not win big without one or two southerners on the ticket.  Virginia was the capital of the Confederacy, but that's not the part of Virginia that Obama won.

    It is a new, younger coalition that has potential.  I spent a year in Charlotte, NC, and even back in the early '90s there weren't many traditional southerners around.

    Obama has the opportunity to use his new coalition to move us forward with younger, fresher, progressive ideas.  Will he rise to the occasion?  And even if he does, he will only succeed in my view if he stays loyal to the traditional Democratic values that have not changed.  An exciting time.

    JFK? (none / 0) (#60)
    by bocajeff on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:51:45 PM EST
    JFK was the 1st WWII president? I guess Eisenhauer was doing something else during those years????

    You know what I mean, right? (none / 0) (#64)
    by robrecht on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:14:39 PM EST
    I distinguish between the generation that wages a war and the younger generation that fights and dies on the battlefield.  Ike was not of the same generation of JFK, just as McCain was not of the same generation as Richard Nixon.  JFK and my Dad fought in WW2 as part of Brokaw's greatest generation.  It was a generational thing.  

    If President Obama fails ... (none / 0) (#57)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:22:08 PM EST
    and the economy goes from bad to worse, then the country may turn to anyone who claims they can fix things.  

    And times like that lift up some of the ugliest political figures imaginable. Figures that will make Sarah Palin look like Minnie Mouse.

    This is the danger of the economic times we're in.  FDR understood this, and knew that bold progressive action was the only way to avoid the dangerous courses countries can take in times of intense economic distress.

    I hope that Obama is smart enough to understand this lesson of history.

    Bold, progressive action (none / 0) (#62)
    by bocajeff on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:54:24 PM EST
    FDR took bold, progressive action? Intering 100,000 American citizens based on their ethicity, trying to pack the Supreme Court, forgoing 2 term precident, as well as other bold, progressive initiatives? Bush didn't even come close to doing those things and many people here think of him as a fascist...

    Please look at the context: the Republicans (none / 0) (#66)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:23:25 PM EST
    were vocally pro-Hitler. In fact, their was a plot to overthrow FDR in the early 30's.

    We can certainly do a lot to hold that majority (none / 0) (#67)
    by vicndabx on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:34:13 PM EST
    together if we learn to argue for a progressive position on an issue w/o disparaging someone who's first inclination is to disagree w/that position because of their culture.  Talk along the lines of "I'm smarter than you and you live in the dark ages" doesn't help.

    Yet another lesson I hope we've learned from this election.....