Saturday, November 03, 2012

The 2008 Realignment, Phase 2

Nine more maps, ALL lookin' good for the president, all with Iowa looking blue. Remember last Saturday night, when the Des Moines Register endorsement was supposed to seal the Iowa deal for Mitt? Howard Fineman eats crow for that one.

These maps, and Team Obama's strategy, are more evidence that 2008 was a realignment year:
Obama is likely to get blown out among white voters on Election Day, narrowly lose independents nationwide and may yet still win, based on historic margins among groups that often lean Democratic, but don’t necessarily vote at high rates: Latinos, African-Americans, young people and unmarried women.

“The Romney campaign believes the electorate still looks like it did in 2004. It doesn’t. American voters are more diverse than ever,” national field director Jeremy Bird wrote in a memo this week.
Ever since the 1968 Wallace-Nixon Southern strategy realignment and the 1971 26th Amendment (when you're 18 you're an adult, unless beer is involved I guess), Democrats wished and prayed and  for a Change The Electorate election.

I'm old enough to remember the 1980's "Electoral College Lock" for Republicans, when California was safely "red" (though the red-blue convention was a product of 2000). Democrats had to work hard to compete in places like, say, Illinois or Michigan. Look at the paths to victory now, with this interactive tool. Despite Romney's late feint in Michigan, it's not a real enough option to include.

My whole adult political life we waited in vain for the Non-Voters to show up. And in 2008 they finally did. Look at the map now. Places like Florida, North Carolina and especially Virginia are competitive, as well as the mountain west. Within the decade look for Arizona and Texas to turn blue. Look at the landscape precinct by precinct here with another interactive tool (WARNING: massive time sink)

And with any realignment there are countertrends, with no better example than West Virginia: Dukakis `88, McCain `08. Also, apparantly, Missouri is counter-trend. Your vote matters a whole lot more across the street in Lineville, Iowa.

Not only does you vote matter less in South Lineville, it's also harder to cast, as Moe is one of 15 states without early voting. Which begs the question, why Election Day?

Here, we have early voting. Unlike 2008, no second Hy-Vee day this weekend; no Coralville Library either (stop by for the book sale anyway). But we do have the auditor's office till 5, the Iowa City library till 6 and again noon to 5 Sunday, and the office 8 to 6 on Monday.

One last thing that I can't find a way to link into the rambling narrative: Steve King makes a list of Vote the Bums Out: The Eight Worst Congressmen Mostly Republicans, though the oft-absent Jesse Jackson Jr. is listed. ("Should" be voted out ≠ "Likely to" be voted out.)

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