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Willisms

« A Thanksgiving Lesson. | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 900 -- Red Tape Rising Under Obama. »

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 899 -- Is America Becoming More Conservative?

A Realignment Underway-

Jay Cost, writing at The Weekly Standard, suggests that, yes, the nation is becoming more conservative:

conservativevotingbehavior.gif
My opinion is that the Democratic Party’s coalition has become too urban for it to sustain itself as a majority coalition in Congress over the long run. Prior to the Depression, the Democrats won when they united the rural South and West with just enough ethnic voters from the big cities. The Democratic super majority that began under Franklin Roosevelt was built upon the South and West, plus massive hauls from the cities. But nowadays the Democrats win the cities, but are much weaker everywhere else. This is important because in our system of government, the distribution of the vote matters. Democrats won the big cities by 65-33 in the 2010 midterm, meaning that their voters were clustered into safely Democratic districts. The Republicans won the suburbs and small towns by smaller margins, meaning that less of their vote was “wasted.” The GOP’s advantage, in other words, is more geographical than ideological.

This trend is only going to become more pronounced after the new district lines are drawn, because, for the first time in half a century, the GOP will dominate the redistricting process. That, combined with the fact that House seats are moving from Democratic strongholds like Massachusetts to Republican ones like Texas, will give the GOP an advantage for the next decade.

In a 50-50 year, I would bet the farm on the Republican Party controlling both the House and (depending upon what seats are up for grabs) the Senate. Now, don’t get me wrong: The Democrats certainly have the votes to force a 50-50 year, which has become the norm over the last several decades. However, their voters are distributed quite inefficiently in the cities and on the coasts, meaning that the Democratic Party wins 190 or so congressional districts by 60-40 or better, but often struggles to cobble together the remaining 30 or so needed for the majority.

This is an interesting debate.

America's political landscape is usually fairly fluid, but the past decade has seen an enormous amount of back-and-forth-- more than usual. One gets the feeling that things may eventually settle down and stabilize again for the better part of a generation. Then again, a lot of people thought that might be the case in 1994, as well.

This is a good visual of the partisan flux in America's presidential elections:

The Reagan coalition reappeared in 2010. Will it be back in 2012 as well?

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Previous Trivia Tidbit: Why Online Advertising Is Slow To Catch On Among Political Campaigns.

Posted by Will Franklin · 29 November 2010 01:16 PM

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