Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Some Demographics

(compiled by author from Google)

Obama won in 2008 and 2012 with Minorities, Millenials, Unmarried Women and Professionals (what Ruy Texeira and John Judis call the "Rising American Electorate"). In 2010, these folks stayed home, and Democrats were clobbered. What can we learn from Virginia, comparing yesterday to the race for Governor in 2009 about who might show up next November? Here's what the comparative demographics suggest to me:
  • Minorities, and to a lesser extent Millenials, can show up for an off year election (i.e., non presidential elections). They turned up yesterday in Virginia, but not in 2009. They actually did not show up in New Jersey (per Ed Kilgore at The Washington Monthly), where Minority/Millenial turnout was similar to 2010, not 2012.
  • Why did Minorities turn out so strongly in Virginia but not in New Jersey yesterday? My guess: Christie is not Tea Party; worked with Obama on Hurricane Sandy relief; and is not fighting Obamacare. Cucinelli in Virginia was full-throated Tea Party and called his campaign a referendum on Obamacare, which the Black community legitimately takes as an effort to destroy their leader's legacy. If 2014 becomes, like Virginia, a referendum on Obamacare, and thus Obama, Minorities (and Millenials, to a lesser extent) will show up, and that will make the difference.
  • Seniors showed up in the same way they did in 2009, but it wasn't enough. Dems can win, even with the high midterm turnout from Seniors.
My conclusion: Make 2014 about Obamacare and Immigration (even if, by some miracle, serious Immigration reform is done before election day). If we do, Minorities will show up and Dems will win - not everywhere, but in enough places to retake the House.

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