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Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:07 PM

Was 2008 a realigning presidential election?

Do you think the 2008 U.S. presidential election was a "realigning election"?

@ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realigning_election#Realigning_elections_in_United_States_history

I think so.



Much of the discussion has been with the demographics changes serving as key support to back up that theory. And after George W. Bush, and what he presided over with Iraq War and the Financial Meltdown, it would be pinpointed as a major turn in the electorate's identification with American politics. That people are now better identifying with the Democratic over the Republican party. That it would play for the next three decades (with majority wins).

One sign for me is this: I notice that so many states' counties colored blue first time in 2008 since 1964 (the election cycle which preceded the previous realigning presidential election). In the just-concluded 2012 presidential election, many of those counties were retained by President Obama despite the national shift in the direction away from him (he went from beating John McCain nationally by D+7.26 to defeating Mitt Romney by, and this isn't official, D+3Ö). For those who are curious, such counties include: Colorado's Arapahoe (Littleton), Jefferson (Golden), and Ouray (Ouray); Michigan's Eaton (Charlotte); Minnesota's Olmsted (Rochester); Nevada's Washoe (Reno); New Jersey's Somerset (Somerville); New Mexico's Los Alamos (Los Alamos); Ohio's Hamilton (Cincinnati); Pennsylvania's Dauphin (Harrisburg) and Monroe (Stroudsburg); Texas's Dallas (Dallas) and Harris (Houston); and Virginia's Loudoun (Leesburg) and Prince William (Manassas).

To get an idea how I think this so advantageous for the Democrats, I also notice the Republicans' usually strongly reliable Duval County (Jacksonville) is no longer as sturdy. In 2000, George W. Bush carried it 17 points better than his statewide performance. In 2004, he came down to 11 points better. In 2008 and 2012, John McCain and Mitt Romney were five points or less better in Duval County relative to the rest of statewide vote of Florida. This would indicate more than a trend; that, when Democrats win the White House and Florida, it would expose how weakened the Republicans have become. (Fla. is a bellwether state: It has voted with the winner in every election since 1928 but with exceptions of 1960 and 1992. Please bare with me by not digressing into Election 2000 comments.)



What do you think?

16 replies, 1837 views

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Was 2008 a realigning presidential election? (Original post)
CobaltBlue Nov 2012 OP
DonViejo Nov 2012 #1
Drunken Irishman Nov 2012 #2
aaaaaa5a Nov 2012 #3
former9thward Nov 2012 #4
satxdem Nov 2012 #5
former9thward Nov 2012 #8
satxdem Nov 2012 #12
satxdem Nov 2012 #13
former9thward Nov 2012 #14
satxdem Nov 2012 #15
rdmtimp Nov 2012 #6
former9thward Nov 2012 #7
PennsylvaniaMatt Nov 2012 #9
sofa king Nov 2012 #10
davidn3600 Nov 2012 #11
MFrohike Nov 2012 #16

Response to CobaltBlue (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:17 PM

1. Here's a link to an article which, I think,...

supports your position:

Today's Politics: Coalition of Transformation vs. Coalition of Restoration

http://www.nationaljournal.com/columns/political-connections/today-s-politics-coalition-of-transformation-vs-coalition-of-restoration-20121121

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Response to CobaltBlue (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:35 PM

2. Sure feels like it...

I think we'll need one more presidential election cycle to know definitively, but Obama winning in 2012, as decisively as he did, kind of suggests the electorate has shifted in ways we haven't seen since the 70s.

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Response to CobaltBlue (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 07:18 PM

3. We now hold the same electoral college advantage the GOP had in the 1980s.


But we can't blow it or take it for granted.

Remember, Karl Rove said the same about the GOP in 2004 and looked what happened to them?



In 1988, Bush blew out Dukakis with over 400 electoral votes. If you had told them then that the GOP would win the popular vote just one time in the next 6 elections, and would not hit 300 electoral votes even once... you would have been laughed out of the room.


What the election told me is that the country is ready for a liberal agenda for government, economic and social issues.

For instance:

Marijuana became legal in 2 states.

Marriage equality was approved in 2 states.

Obamacare is gaining in support.

People favor reproductive rights.

We need a fair tax system

Government does have the right and even the obligation to help industry build jobs for the middle class (auto-bailout).

Invest in home infrastructure.

Wall Street must be regulated to prevent a 3rd great depression (1929, 2008 were the first 2).

We must have immigration reform.

Global warming is real. Science and math matter.

No more unnecessary wars and bring out troops home.

End racism and sexism

This was the winning message on election night. Now we must do what we said we were going to do. This will keep our electoral college advantage. Not beating our chest the way Karl Rove and George Bush did after 2004.

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Response to CobaltBlue (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 08:04 PM

4. It is not likely.

Last edited Fri Nov 23, 2012, 11:14 PM - Edit history (1)

1) If 2008 were a realigning election 2010 would not have happened. For those who shout "gerrymandering" to explain any House loss the 2010 election took place before the 2010 census data was used to realign districts.

2) Obama would have won all the states he did in 2008. He didn't. He lost 2 states and lost the one electoral vote in Nebraska that he won in 2008.

3) If the election was realigning the Rs would not have upped their governor totals. They added one and now have 30.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 08:25 PM

5. Actually

Nobody voted in 2010.

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Response to satxdem (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 11:25 PM

8. A foolish statement.

A little over 90 million people voted in 2010 which was the highest ever for a midterm. In 2006 a little over 80 million voted.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:03 AM

12. but

More so angry white people turned out than a mixture, that's why they lost this year. Blacks, latinos, and young people didn't vote in midterms and that helped them. Women went crazy and voted for republicans. They didn't get some sweeping election where everybody swung to them. Pretty much got the same white swing voters who always switch. It's foolish to not realize the difference in voters who show up in off elections. And the only reason they still have their seats is because of gerrymandering, leaving black and brown people without tru representation.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:05 AM

13. also

†entire third of voters who came out in 2008 didnít show up for that election. That's how they won.

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Response to satxdem (Reply #13)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:36 PM

14. That is the history of midterms.

Midterms always have a lower turn out than presidential elections. This will be true in 2014 as well.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #14)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:45 PM

15. no kidding...

But let's not act like the people in office actually represent all people. They don't. Nothing Eric Cantor is doing benefits the black people in richmond, but he got elected because people stayed home. So your midterms isn't a good example.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 08:31 PM

6. Not to nitpick....

but Obama lost only 2 states (IN and NC) plus the one Nebraska electoral vote.

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Response to rdmtimp (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 11:15 PM

7. Correct,my mistake. Corrected the post by edit.

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Response to CobaltBlue (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 11:51 PM

9. It matters more on the candidate than ideological shifts

Not only did we have a GREAT candidate in 2008, but the Republicans had BAD candidates, especially for Vice-President. Same in 2012. For all the support President Obama lost in late 2010 and throughout 2011, support for the Republicans who were elected in 2010 tanked. Now put President Obama up against someone like Mitt Romney, and that electorate where only 45% approved of him was now ready to give him 4 more years.

There are A LOT of people in this county that may be registered with a particular party, but they may consider themselves the opposite, or they may be easily swayed. Case in point, in the state of Oklahoma, one of the most conservative states in the nation, the number of registered Democrats outnumbers registered Republicans. When was the last time a Democrat won Oklahoma?

Democrats can still hold onto power and continue to make gains so long as we continue to nominate good candidates who appeal to a broad spectrum of the electorate, and so long as the Republicans continue to nominate people who like to talk disparagingly about 47% of the electorate or old white men who talk about rape.

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Response to CobaltBlue (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:41 AM

10. I think it was.

It's true that we were blessed with a sociopathic opponent who stole it from the actual Republicans, but who couldn't figure out how to kick the Presidential election behind the closed doors where his tactics work best.

But something else happened. Republicans were crushed in the Senate. The election of 2006 grievously dented Republican chances of ever regaining a powerful majority there, and virtually all of those freshmen Democrats were reelected, in addition to a few newcomers.

Once a Senator is reelected to a second term, the chances of that person losing a subsequent election drops precipitously. Just look at Jesse Helms... now imagine twenty-some Democratic Senators who aren't dicks, with the same reelection clout as Helms had, and that is what we have achieved. At the mid-point of this Century, there probably still will be a Democratic Senator in Congress who first was re-elected, by some of us, this year.

If we beat their ass one more time like that, we'll have a supermajority in the Senate, and from there, it all gets easier. Without the artificial boundaries of the House districts, this election was a runaway, which suggests that time is running out for House Republicans, too.

The electorate seems to have temporarily realized that our vote is very damned important after all, not because our vote gives us something, but because the few things left to us are too precious to lose. And it might not be all that temporary, for it is the same kind of urgency that propelled Democratic voters for fifty years after the New Deal--after the Republicans screwed all of them, too.

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Response to CobaltBlue (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 02:12 AM

11. Its way too soon to tell

Many thought 1980 and 1984 were realignments.

Political cycles can span decades. You can't say a whole lot after just 4 years. It's not uncommon for one party to hold the white house for 8-12 years and then it shifts again. It's done that over and over again.

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Response to CobaltBlue (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:26 AM

16. No

While it is interesting to note that Obama is the first Democrat re-elected with a majority of the popular vote since FDR, the status of American politics has not changed. Neither party has a lock on any particular part of the national government. I expect this to continue until one party or the other, or the remote chance of a third party, decides to address the billions spent to buy elective office. A positive change in both rhetoric AND action may prove to be decisive.

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