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"Purple Mountains"...something the Republicans need to be blue about.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:18 AM
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"Purple Mountains"...something the Republicans need to be blue about.
From the Dallas Morning News an article about the Western states, the South, and the changing Democratic demographics.

Purple Mountains

There's even more for Republicans to be blue about. Folks in the usually solid red states of the interior West aren't high on big government or meddling social policies. That's bad news for today's GOP and good news for Democrats.

After the 2004 election, plenty of people noted that a shift of 60,000-odd votes in Ohio would have handed the Electoral College to John Kerry. But there was another place less remarked upon where a shift of similar magnitude would have done the same trick: the Southwest. Fewer than 70,000 votes among Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, with their collective 19 electoral votes, could have swung the election just as surely as Ohios 60,000. And with George W. Bush winning by margins of 5 percentage points, 3 points and 1 point, respectively, these were swing states by any definition of the term.

What is it? In part, the regions changing demography is changing its political sensibility. Its no secret that the West is becoming more Hispanic, and Hispanics tend to cast their ballots for Democrats. Republicans made a lot of noise after the 2004 election about their inroads with this population, and initial exit polls showed Mr. Bush taking 44 percent of the Hispanic vote nationwide. But later, more careful reviews deflated that figure to 40 percent or less, with much of Mr. Bushs support clustered in Texas and Florida. Whats more, whatever gains Mr. Bush has made among Hispanics seem to begin and end with him. Hispanic party identification consistently registers roughly two to one in favor of the Democrats and hasnt shown any major swing toward the GOP under Mr. Bush. Continuing growth of the Hispanic population in the interior West is bad news for Republicans.

The writer speaks about how the Republican party's devotion to the values of the Southern states has hurt them elsewhere.

But as the South has become central to Republican Party strategy, its particular flavor of social conservatism, moral certitude and activist government has infused the national partys character. This is slowly alienating the other major bloc in the Republican coalition: small-government conservatives, especially those who value individual liberty most highly.

While fissures run between these two groups in every state, there is also a larger geography to the modern Republican Partys dilemma. In balancing the Religious Right against the Libertarian Right, the GOP balances the South against the West. (The Midwest is something of a muddle in between.) Bush-style big-government conservatism has tilted the partys regional balance and put the West in play.

He recognizes that this is where the new strategy by the Democrats will come into the west. Several articles lately have noticed that. Dean himself admitted in an article called New Map Out West that we would be concentrating less on Florida and more on the Western states in 08.

Theres widespread agreement among Democrats that Howard Deans party apparatus gets its opportunity out West and is beginning to invest there after years of neglect. Republicans, meanwhile, have had a hard time adjusting. Colorados GOP seems to be walking off the same Christian Right cliff that Californias did in the 1990s. Republicans lost control of the Colorado Legislature in 2004 because theyd spent the previous session on issues like gay marriage, the Pledge of Allegiance and the liberal biases of college professors, all while the state faced a monumental fiscal crisis. As the Republican minority leader in the Colorado House said on National Public Radio after the 2004 election, Our party has basically made the party platform guns, God and gays, and that wasnt a winning message.

Unfortunately, that message still may be true in the South.

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:48 AM
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1. Great article! K&R
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 12:00 PM
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2. The GOP strategy of divisiveness...
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 12:01 PM by madfloridian
may come back to bite them...especially if they keep the South as their focus. The last two paragraphs:

..."religious voters tend to be demanding. And party ideology carries a certain momentum that can be hard to reverse. In 2006 and 2008, the GOP will be working with Karl Roves machinery, which is largely built to mobilize churchgoers and rile up socially conservative citizens."

"If the political center of the GOP continues to drift southward, the party risks catalyzing another geographic realignment on a par with that which brought it to power starting up in Montana and running south. Many of the Wests mountains are already turning purple. They may yet turn blue."

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 07:27 PM
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3. Kick for Purple Mountains, maybe turning blue someday.
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