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2004 Election Data: Big GOP Opportunities.

John Fund has a great piece in today's OpinionJournal.com, explaining how, after months of data collection and number crunching on the part of a database firm called Polidata, the 2004 election numbers reveal that the Republican Party is in great political shape moving ahead:

In 2000, Mr. Bush carried 228 congressional districts to Al Gore's 207 on his way to one of the closest victories in American history. This year Mr. Bush carried 255 congressional districts, nearly six in 10. The number of "turnover" districts--those voting for a House member of one party and a presidential candidate of the other--continues to shrink, mostly due to the growth of straight-ticket voting and gerrymandering. There were only 59 such districts in 2004, compared with 86 in 2000 and 110 when Bill Clinton beat Bob Dole in 1996.

The best chances for Democrats to gain the 15 seats they need to take control of the House in 2006 are in these districts held by "Kerry Republicans." The problem is that there are so few of them. John Kerry carried just 18 GOP House members' districts, while Mr. Bush carried 41 Democratic ones.

Only five Republican House members currently sit in districts where Mr. Bush won less than 47% of the presidential vote last year: two in Connecticut, two in Iowa and one in Delaware. But 31 House Democrats represent districts where John Kerry won less than 47%. That means Republicans have many more opportunities to pick up seats in favorable political terrain as Democratic members leave the House. No one expects Democrats to hold the seat of Ike Skelton of Missouri when he leaves office; President Bush won 64% of his district's votes. Ditto for the district of Gene Taylor of Mississippi, where Mr. Bush won 68%.

Another reason Republicans ought to be optimistic going forward into the next decade:


Republican-leaning areas of the country, generally, are growing, sometimes explosively. Democrat-leaning areas of the country, generally, are losing population (or, at least, stagnating).


We divided the states into red and blue based on the recent "red for Republican, blue for Democrat" method. A red state must have voted for George W. Bush in both 2000 and 2004, while a blue state must have voted against him both years. Iowa, the only purple state affected by projected reapportionment, went for Gore in 2000 and Bush in 2004.


Click on map for .pdf, adapted from Polidata.

Our map differs significantly, though, from Polidata's, as we included whether the state was Republican-leaning or Democrat-leaning.

Examining the data, there are several demographic trends that benefit Republicans heading into the future, including Latinos becoming Republicans, Republicans having more children, and Democrats becoming increasingly disconnected, culturally, from the people residing in the vast majority of the country.

Hilariously, Ruy Teixeira is still sticking with that whole "Donkey Rising" dream he has prophesied for years now.

How embarrassing for ole Ruy to have written a book called The Emerging Democratic Majority, then feel he has to stick with that hypothesis, spinning any slanted poll that remotely proves that point, even as his theory becomes increasingly absurd with each election.


National Review (via Club For Growth's blog) adds:

Bush defeated Kerry in 214 congressional districts represented by Republican lawmakers and defeated Kerry in 41 congressional districts held by Democrats. In contrast, Republicans only have 18 seats where Kerry defeated Bush, less than half as many....

Even if Republicans and Democrats were to essentially "swap" these seats (and in the coming decades, this is a reasonable expectation), Republicans would come out much farther ahead of the Democrats....

House Republicans may be tempted to play it safe, do the tit-for-tat game with the Democrats, and relax behind their electoral fortress. With a caucus composed overwhelmingly of members in districts Bush won handily, plus an improving economy, they could afford to play it safe, mute partisan differences, and hold on to power. Call it the "Democrat-lite" strategy.

But this data suggests that House Republicans should go for the knockout blow. By drawing bright distinctions between the parties in a wide assortment of the 41 Democrat districts Bush won, Republicans would be able to force the Democrats into a defensive posture that compels them to disperse their financial resources widely, increasing the odds of overall success, and giving Republicans a shot at a breakthrough cycle.

More to come on these numbers, so stay tuned.

Posted by Will Franklin · 4 April 2005 01:28 PM


"Republicans having more children"

That reminds me of an old joke.

Two college students are talking about politics, and the subject comes to party affiliation. The fist students says "I'm a Republican, because my parents are Republican."

The second student replies, "Yeah, that's why I'm a Democrat."

"Because your parents are Democrats, too?" queries the first student.

"No," replies the second "because they're Republican.'

Posted by: Ian at April 4, 2005 02:18 PM

I love jokes!...But really no joke
I Love WILLisms.com
Thanks for the WILLisms!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 4, 2005 08:53 PM

I have a joke! What do you call a liberal who is for a right to life?... ok! do you give up....rare

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 4, 2005 09:04 PM

Another reason Republicans can be optimistic for the future is the way the Democrats refuse to get anything done.

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 5, 2005 10:30 AM