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Texas Sen. Wendy Davis
State Sen. Wendy Davis (D), candidate for Texas Governor in 2014.

One of the recurrent themes of Election Night 2012 was one of demographics. In short, President Obama's strong performance with African-American and Hispanic voters across the country more than offset Mitt Romney's performance with white voters, thus handing the president a second term in the White House despite doing markedly worse with said white voters in 2012 than he had done in 2008.

Even before that historic re-election victory, gallons of ink had been spilled exploring the shifting demographic winds among the American electorate, and why, on the surface, a rising Democratic tide, driven by those shifts in the voting pool, seemed likely.

As we now launch into the midterm election year of 2014, a couple of key races would appear, on the surface, to hinge on those core Democratic voting blocs and their growth. Both Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, and Georgia Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn, face contests that have to be considered plausible wins, though neither would be favored to win.

These are, after all, red states at the presidential level. But these are also states that have large numbers of nonwhite voters that could make the difference in November of 2014.

But will they? A look inside the numbers below the fold reveals both the promise, and the peril, for both candidates as they look ahead eleven months.

CASE STUDY #1—GEORGIA: CAN A DEMOCRAT WIN IN THE PEACH STATE?

Georgia is one of a handful of states that drew dramatically closer between 2004 and 2008 on the presidential level. Whereas John Kerry lost the state and barely cracked the 40 percent threshold, Barack Obama lost the fast-growing state by a mere 52-47 margin.

The catalyst for that tightening margin was, quite simply, an explosion in African-American turnout. The state has three urban majority-minority districts, all centered in the Atlanta metro area (the 4th, 5th, and 13th districts). Between 2004 and 2008, that trio of heavily black, heavily Democratic districts saw a marked increase in their turnout, a spike that in raw numbers was almost 15 percent greater than the statewide average. The turnout spike not only moved Barack Obama within striking range of seizing the state's electoral votes, but it also propelled Jim Martin, outspent by a greater than 2-to-1 ratio, into a runoff against incumbent Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss (more on this race later).

On paper, this would seem to give Democrats a pretty solid reason to be optimistic about their future prospects in Georgia. After all, Democrats had won there statewide in the past, with Roy Barnes seizing the governorship in a competitive election in 1998, and Max Cleland winning a Senate seat in a tight race in 1996 (both, as it happened, faced the same challenger: wealthy self-funder Guy Millner). Both of those elections occurred in far whiter electorates than were developing in the Obama era.

When Cleland won a Senate seat in the presidential year of 1996, he won 37 percent of the white vote, and cleaned house among nonwhite voters (which made up 26 percent of the electorate in that year).

The exit poll consortium inexplicably kept Georgia off of both their 2010 and 2012 lists of states to poll (but included Kansas ... go figure). But if we go back to 2008, we see that the electorate there was 32 percent nonwhite.

Given this data, shouldn't Michelle Nunn (and, also, likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jason Carter) be enthused about their prospects for victory?

Forgive the indecisive answer, but the Magic 8 Ball on this one is pretty inconclusive.

Yes, demographically, the composition of the state is better suited for Democratic candidates now than they were back when Cleland and Barnes scored their statewide wins.

Having said that, however, there are three reasons why Democrats have to temper their optimism. Challenges exist, particularly in a midterm electorate, that make for a greater challenge for these two Democratic candidates.

Challenge number one is the fact that the behavior of white voters in Georgia seems to have changed markedly. Though Cleland and Martin were only three percent apart in their overall performances in the state, Martin in 2008 did eleven points worse with white voters. Martin, even as he got 46 percent statewide, polled at just 26 percent of the white vote. What kept him from getting smashed, as it happened, was the change in the demographic composition of the state.

In that sense, even though Georgia is more "new South" than "deep South," over the last 15 years it has started to show real signs of being a "deep South" state in terms of its racially divided voting habits. It's not as absurdly stratified as ... say ... Mississippi, but the gap is large, and widening.

One thing playing in the Democrat's favor here: both of their statewide major candidates (assuming both win their respective primaries) are famous names in the state, which might soften this impact on white voters.

Challenge number two is the most commonly cited concern with relying on nonwhite voters, which is their tendency to fade into the woodwork in non-presidential elections. Here, the Chambliss-Martin election is an instructive one. On Election Night 2008, Martin forced Chambliss into a runoff. Georgia is the rare state that mandates a runoff if no candidate earns a majority of the statewide vote, and Chambliss topped out just shy of 50 percent of the vote.

But when the runoff was held four weeks later, Chambliss won in a landslide. After leading Martin on Election Night by just 110,000 votes out of nearly four million cast, Chambliss won the runoff with ease, scoring 57 percent of the vote and a victory margin of more than 300,000 votes. What had changed? Well, as the Almanac of American Politics noted at the time:

This [runoff] was a battle of turnout, and the signs for Democrats were ominous. While 35 percent of early voters before the November election were black, only 23 percent of early voters for the December runoff were. Overall, turnoff in the runoff was only 57 percent of that for the general election, and all indications were that the drop-off was greater than average among African-Americans, left-leaning students, and other Democratic constituencies.
This isn't just a Georgia problem, of course. This is a national problem for Democrats, and one that is highlighted by the fact that it could be argued that the Democrats have only had one "good" midterm election year in the past two decades: 2006. This is a tricky, but essential, electoral dilemma for the Democrats to solve if they want to thrive in 2014.

Challenge number three is an impact that is, admittedly, unknowable at this point. But Democratic strategists have to be more than a tad wary as they ponder this question: is the surge in African-American voting patterns a transient event that only has utility as long as Barack Obama is on the ballot? That surge has solidified some states at the presidential level, and moved others from wholly noncompetitive pre-Obama to purple state status today. But will it continue onward beyond his presidency?

There is a small point of evidence, in Georgia, that there could be a cause for concern. In 2012, the two districts that saw the biggest dropoff in voter turnout were the majority-black 4th and 5th districts, both of which saw turnout that was more than three percent lower than it had been in 2008. Only one other district (the uber-conservative 14th district, which might have had some distaste for Mitt Romney) was even close in shedding as many voters.

On this case, though, the GOP's virulent obsession with fighting all things Obama might be an ironic savior for the Democrats as it might harden resolve among African-American voters to stay in the process, not just to support Obama, but to fight those that have become vicious political enemies of a president that still has near universal support in the African-American community.

CASE STUDY #2—TEXAS: CAN THE LATINO VOTE TURN TEXAS PURPLE?

Meanwhile, several hundred miles to the West, the demographic story is of an entirely different voting bloc. In Texas, there has been a steady and pronounced rise of the Latino population. In 1990, about a quarter of the population was labeled as Hispanic or Latino. By 2010, that figure was close to two-fifths of the population.

Latinos, once thought to be a swing (though probably Democratic-leaning) constituency, have become a reliably Democratic swath of the electorate. In 2012 on a national level, Latino voters went 71-27 for Barack Obama.

Those two statistics, in concert with each other, would appear to be a reason for immense optimism for Texas Democrats. Indeed, it might well be so: most discussion about the political competitiveness of Texas center on when, rather than if, the state will inch toward partisan parity.

Here, as in Georgia, however, there are some data points which should temper that optimism.

For one thing, the population of Texas is changing rapidly, but the change in the electorate is coming at a much, much slower clip. Compare the exit polling data in the Lone Star State between 1996 and 2008. We will use these for comparison because, as in Georgia, Texas was left out of the rotation in 2012, an idiotic decision that I managed to rant and rave about at the time.

In 1996, Latinos made up 16 percent of the electorate. In 2008, they made up 20 percent of the electorate. An increase, but not one that kept pace with the boom in Latino population. The Latino share of the electorate crept forward a net of four percent, whereas the population increase came in at greater than 13 percent.

For another, if electoral dropoff is a problem in the African-American community in non-presidential years, it is practically a crisis in Latino voting areas. That turnout dilemma gave rise to what was arguably the biggest electoral upset of 2010.

In what was then the reliably Democratic 27th district (a 73 percent Latino district in South Texas), lightly regarded Republican Blake Farenthold seized a seat that had been held for fourteen terms by Democrat Solomon Ortiz. It was one of several "holy shit" electoral outcomes on what was, of course, an awful night for Democratic candidates.

Fueling the upset was sparse turnout in a district that already had mediocre participation to begin with. Only 106,000 voters participated on Election Night 2010, barely more than half of the electorate that had shown up in the 27th district on Election Night 2008, when almost 181,000 voters showed up at the polls.

A statewide candidate with a chance to be competitive, like Wendy Davis, is going to need little erosion in turnout. But there is scant historical evidence that she can count on that. This is one of the things that has hamstrung Democrats in Texas, where one has to go back nearly 20 years to locate a Democrat elected to either a Senate seat or the governorship.

Therefore, Davis is either going to need a demographic turnout boost for which there is no recent precedent, or she is going to need to do far better with Anglo voters than other Democrats have as of late. The latter is certainly a possibility—she won election in a large district (Texas state Senate districts are enormous—bigger than their Congressional districts) that was swing territory, if not a slight shade of red.

In Texas, the remedies appear to be time and concerted voter registration efforts. It is more than plausible that those two items will move Texas into competitive territory. But will it take years, rather than months? Likely so.

However, both Davis in Texas and Carter/Nunn in Georgia do have something going for them besides demographic shifts that might be pulling their states, inexorably if slowly, in their direction. They are facing opponents that could put any rational voter, white, black, Latino, or Inuit, into a pure face-palm moment. For those who do not know what is being referenced here, meet Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia Senate candidate Jack Kingston.

(Psst ... he's considered the moderate, electable one.)

And, even though I doubt he wins the GOP nomination, no discussion of the Texas gubernatorial election is complete without mentioning this dude.

So, ultimately, even if demographics alone are highly unlikely to be the salvation for these Democratic candidates, there is always the persistent (and not unreasonable) hope that the Republicans will continue to be the salvation for aspiring Democratic candidates. Just ask Sen. Claire McCaskill. And Sen. Joe Donnelly. And Sen. Chris Coons. And Sen. Michael ...

Well, you get the point.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 09:29 AM PST.

Also republished by Turning Texas: Election Digest, Houston Area Kossacks, TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Three hopes (and they are only hopes). (12+ / 0-)

    It is an established fact that once citizens actually go to the polls they tend to become repeat voters.

    So all of the electorate that voted in 2008 and 2012 might turn out in 2014.

    Maybe the older voter is starting to get turned off by the insanity of the GOP and their attack on "entitlements" -- aka Medicare and Social Security.

    Maybe the "tea party" faction will be turned off by the "GOP Civil War" enough to just not show up.

    The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

    by NCJim on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 09:51:07 AM PST

    •  I think it will take a change of political culture (7+ / 0-)

      Republicans are motivated to vote through fear. They come out in numbers because they fear a black president and all Christians are going to be persecuted in gubment labor camps. They fear gays and women with choices (and money and authority), they fear black helicopters, gun confiscation etc. etc. etc.

      To some extent we have things to be fearful of like a plutocracy, neo fascism, some war on science and rational thinking ( and reality itself). Yet while these are crucial motivators which need to be expressed, running campaigns only on fear leads to Tea Partys and such. But we could have a two promged approach. For we also have real change to offer. We have a blueprint explored from the 30's through the late 60's of Democratic governance which could restore economic equality and expansion in ways greater than what we had back then. And succeeding with those policies would create their own motivation. And perhaps back to a time of American exceptionalism, which was largely due to Democratic governance.

      But most Democrats aren't even aware in large part about progressive policies and how different they are to what they feel are their only choices.

      •  Women need to realize the peril from the GOP (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ichibon, Noodles, PDiddie, Maverick80229

        To reproductive rights, and therefore women's  ability to control their own lives.  Greg Abbott in TX is a right-wing idiot like Rick Perry and the 4 clowns in the GOP Senate primary in GA are crazy as well.  (Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, Jack Kingsron and Karen Handel, who wrecked the Komen foundation.) If enough women pay attention to what is happening and come out and vote, Wendy Davis and especially Michelle Nunn can be elected.

        Don't bet your future on 97% of climate scientists being wrong. Take action on climate now!

        by Mimikatz on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 04:01:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Women may be the 'minority' to count on (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Maverick80229

          Although census figures, as far as I know, dispute women as a minority. Women can overlap a number of groups to be trampled under neoconservative 'values'. You are right, they are probably the most important group who needs to understand the voting booth in 2014 could be a huge game changer if we can take more seats. Between the GOP meltdown and more progressive arguments being aired lately we have a good chance of a long term dislodging of the Republican Party from driving the national discussion and out of Washington if we can get enough outraged Democrats to the polls in November.

      •  I don't know... (0+ / 0-)

        ...about that.

        For starters you'd have to convince neo-liberals like say, the president, that things like plutocracy and wall street and unfettered free trade where the rich get the profits are bad things.

        Second, there are major fundamental changes since the 30s-60s, especially in terms of automation. Those blueprints might need major major revision to be relevant.

        •  Yes, we must convince many Democrats as well (0+ / 0-)

          And a substantial number of them in office. Especially from redder regions of the country. But it's really our job to insistently put these questions to them so that they go on the public record on a position. We need to make it an issue. It also means taking another Republican tactic of keeping primary challenges waiting in the wings for those who stray too far from liberal governance, at least the parts which demonstrably work.

          The basic blueprint I think of is aggressive progressive taxation on the wealthy to at least at 49% at the very top or above that percentage. We also used to have about 25 tax brackets you could fall into, especially above, say, $100K. I'd prefer a lower 49-ish% tax rate with an extremely limited range of loopholes available to everyone.

          The blueprint is raising wages and fortifying not safety nets, but rather, a floor for everyone. And reforming laws which restrict unions or at least put corporate money under equal restriction (where is that challenge for the Supreme Court?) so that unions have a fighting chance at reclaiming their good name. In the 30's through 60's we used that large amount of tax revenue  for a push on education, infrastructure and rebuilding Europe. Showing Europe and Japan, I believe, how to run nations with liberal policies by our  own example of such governance from that time.

      •  Compulsory Voting (0+ / 0-)

        We have compulsory car insurance and compulsory health insurance. Why not have compulsory voting like 22 other countries do in the world?

        The first time voter should be required to show up at the poll (to learn the ways of it.) After that, if they choose to vote by mail-in ballot they can but vote they must.

        We are supposed to have a 'representative' government but poor and uneducated people don't feel they matter and so they don't vote. This is a mistake and wrong.

        Also, anyone going to jail should not lose their right to vote. They don't become non-citizens because of a run-in with the law; they are still Americans, and thus have a duty to participate and vote. Most people in jail are blue collar workers. Removing their right to vote only further underscores low self-esteem; thus voting would help in returning them to society as participating citizens.

        I fully support compulsory voting.

    •  Voting Info (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell
      Scroll down. ✌✌✌✌✌

      I Predict A Renewed Wave Of Political Activism In 2014 ♥ A Very Busy New Year

      Occupy Spectra NYC Aug 11, 2012 Occupy and NYC residents out in force to oppose the construction of an explosive pipeline that proposes to deliver radon-infested fracked gas from the Marcellus.

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 12:26:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Young voters? (8+ / 0-)

    There was another post here recently about how heavily young voters supported Obama. A big problem in 2010 is that they didn't show up to vote. I can't blame them since most Congressional candidates ignored them and their issues, as usual. It looks like that mistake is going to be made again. The DC establishment consultants still aren't getting it.

    Or, does what's true nationally not apply in red states? Do young people there not lean that heavily toward Obama and Democrats?

    It's encouraging to see the focus on long term organizing efforts. It used to be standard that voter registration and turning out unlikely voters were considered a waste of time by campaigns. Those were party building activities that the parties were always too weak to do. The shift in attitude is another consequence of Obama's groundbreaking campaigns.

    •  We are seeing an evolution in the Democratic Party (14+ / 0-)

      under severe selection pressure. If you don't organize to turn out your voters and give them real reasons to vote for you, you lose to the well-funded, well-organized Right. Compare Martha Coakley's dismal campaign against Scott Brown with Elizabeth Warren's for Senator from Massachusetts.

      It takes a number of election cycles for this to work itself out, but we have lost a number of high-profile Blue Dogs in recent years, and Joe Lieberman, who was worse than a Blue Dog. We have a few more Progressives in office, and more beyond them running.

      We have seen some Blue Dogs personally evolve. Pro-Life Sen. Donnelly of Indiana has not moved on women's rights, but has evolved substantially on LGBT rights and guns. We are also seeing slow but substantial evolution on Marriage Equality among Republicans in Indiana, coming to oppose the proposed constitutional amendment to ban it on the November ballot. The polls indicate that the ban will fail if voters turn out, so we know what we have to do.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 10:12:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't know nuthin 'bout Indiana politics, but (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude, stevenaxelrod, Redfire

        In Maryland both the Republican Party and the NRA opposed a grass roots drive to put gun control enacted by our Democratic legislature after Newtown on the ballot, because both the NRA and the Repub Party (which I guess are two branches of the same thing) knew that the gun restrictions would be ratified by the voters.  Couldn't the same thought be driving the Republicans to oppose taking a ban on marriage equality to the electorate?

        "Corporations exist not for themselves, but for the people." Ida Tarbell 1908.

        by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 10:41:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, there is definitely the purely political (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Redfire, Angie in WA State

          thought, and there is also evolution of actual opinion. It can be difficult to tell which is which sometimes, as when previously ultra-segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace turned around and campaigned for integration.

          In the late 1970s, Wallace announced that he was a born-again Christian and apologized to black civil rights leaders for his past actions as a segregationist. He said that while he had once sought power and glory, he realized he needed to seek love and forgiveness. In 1979, Wallace said of his stand in the schoolhouse door: "I was wrong. Those days are over, and they ought to be over."
          Conversion can happen. See slave ship Captain John Newton, who became a Christian and then an Anglican priest, wrote the hymn Amazing Grace, and later became a leading figure in the fight to end slavery in the British Empire.

          Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

          by Mokurai on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 01:07:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's Awful (0+ / 0-)

      I live in Florida. Here they teach the children to be militant; they are like robots; nothing kind, nothing sweet, nothing you'd want to take home. It's awful.

  •  Thanks, Steve! (5+ / 0-)

    I agree so much with what you say.

    We have much work to do...

    Both states hold the potential voters to turn the states blue.

    Fire up the Freedom Buses; we're coming!

    Enagaged activism wins elections. 100 million words on liberal/progressive websites gets beat by one new GOP voter casting their vote.

    by Nebraska68847Dem on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 10:01:57 AM PST

  •  Georgia is closer to winnable than Texas, but... (13+ / 0-)

    ...you are correct Steve that just because Nunn and Carter have legacy names and (especially with Michelle) are VERY likely to raise enough money to fund a potent "ground game" is no reason for anyone to put those races in the "win" column at this point.

    But I really do like our chances in Georgia, and I will not discount the chances of Wendy Davis "catching a wave" currently unforeseeable by the Pollsters or the Punditry.

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 10:09:09 AM PST

  •  remote parts of Texas (22+ / 0-)

    I live in a very remote village in west Texas that voted 51-49 for Obama last election. That's right, 100 voters in a town of 400.
    There are some problems getting Dems out in rural Texas.
    For one, young Hispanic men don't usually vote and have been sucked into the oil patch- they won't be home on election day.
    For another, we don't have reliable broadcast TV, so where should the national DNC spend it's money? Mailbox stuffers? Ads in the few newspapers?
    Actually in person candidate visits and meet-the-candidate events can do more good here than other places.
    Spanish speaking workers door to door PLEASE!!
    I sure hope rural Texas doesn't get written off by the National Dems- we aren't all gun wielding snake handling religious cult members by any means, despite what DC thinks...
    I want my town to vote for Wendy- first time I ever put a bumper sticker on my hay truck- but rural Texans can't do it alone.

    I buy and sell well trained riding mules and American Mammoth Jack Stock.

    by old mule on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 10:10:57 AM PST

  •  Look at the brighter side ... (12+ / 0-)

    A weaker Barak Obama won 332 EV's in 2012. Therefore, in order to recapture the WH, the GOP must recapture at least 63 (FL + OH + VA + NH = 64), and keep NC and IN in their fold.
    But here we are talking about TX and GA turning blue!
    The recent vote in VA is deafening. Dems won the triple crown in a red state with just 42% turnout.
    And you know that Latinos are growing fast in FL. etc, etc.
    I believe the GOP is already past the critical point, as far as the WH is concerned. And eight years of HRC will provide the final mercy bullet.
    Unless, of course, they change their DNA, but don't hold your breath.

    •  Hillary Clinton would put a state like GA in play (0+ / 0-)

      By 2016. I laugh at other Dems like Brain Schweitzer for example, after he royally f*** Dems in holding that Senate seat in Montana, by playing us like a fiddle, and then declining. Now has the audacity to criticize other Dems from the sideline, while thinking he could be presidential material in 16. Child please, all those states we worked hard to turn purple at the presidential level in the South (FL, NC, VA) he would give those states right back to the GOP because he'll be a horrible candidate, who will not be attractive to the core constituents of Democrats.

      So I agree hold heartily that HRC will play well in that part of the country, and will be the "mercy bullet" like you say.

      NY-9/NJ-10; Russians can give you arms but only the United States can give you a solution. -- Anwar Sadat

      by BKGyptian89 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 12:50:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think Schweitzer's populist message (0+ / 0-)

        would play well among most Democratic demographics. But he's not going to be our nominee, so its moot.

        ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

        by James Allen on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 01:07:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That populism is going to sound even better (0+ / 0-)

          Coming from HRC, as I will expect her going that route. As you see the the Democratic Party as a whole going in that direction. You even see our beloved President talking populist every other day. Given that the party is going in that direction than ever before, HRC is going to tout that in '16. I strongly dislike Schweitzer, and I think he's a a-hole

          NY-9/NJ-10; Russians can give you arms but only the United States can give you a solution. -- Anwar Sadat

          by BKGyptian89 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 01:23:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  After 8 years of Dems in the WH, the same OLD (4+ / 0-)

        thing may not be such a winner.  Do Americans like the way things are going?  If they don't, I'm not so sure that they're going to think replaying the Clinton years is what they want.  It will be an irony if the screwed up rollout of Obamacare makes competence an issue for Democrats and even more so if Iraq goes to hell.  HRC needs folks to believe that age brings wisdom, competence, experience.  If people aren't feeling that, she's going to lose support on both left and right.  

        Democrats still can't figure out where they left their core values.  Harry Reid couldn't even bring himself to say Democrats would defend Obamacare in the 2014 cycle today.  Oh, he was running against Republicans but for what?

        I could see the electorate being volatile by 2016 and splintering every which way because both parties have a restless base not convinced that their party is serving their interests.  

  •  Prospective Dem voters need to be reminded (10+ / 0-)

    that the power of their vote is so potent that the GOP has done everything it could to keep them from voting.  The new "Don't taze me, bro" should be "Don't d-f-chise me, bro."  Having something to fight for should get most folks out to vote, and what more fundamental than the very act of casting a ballot.  The ground game teams need to keep reminding voters of the forces at play that want to make voting an option of the elite alone.  

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 10:32:19 AM PST

  •  I think it's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, janmtairy, MetroGnome

    difficult to extrapolate conclusions on voter turnout based almost solely on the 2010 election. Our voter base was dispirited, discouraged, and frankly pessimistic. The fact that everyone was proclaiming doom for the Democrats further hurt turnout - the narrative is everything.

    This election, they won't be. They'll be fired up and pissed off because they were lied to about Obamacare - not by Obama, but by the Republicans. While this may just be wishful thinking... I think we'll see a lot of surprises of the Solomon Ortiz variety, but for our side instead of theirs.

  •  I left Texas in 1984. (4+ / 0-)

    Lived there from 1974 - 1984, left a few relatives, and many good librul friends. Luckily, I was living in Austin at the time.

    You can bet I will be contributing to Wendy's campaign.

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. Frank Zappa

    by Da Rock on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 10:41:28 AM PST

  •  It is interesting in Georgia that those who (7+ / 0-)

    are not native to the state and who come there following college ( and especially from northeastern states) tend to be more likely to be Democrats but not always.
    I have a relative who moved there 30 yrs ago and noticed how in the past decade especially, people just assume all the white people are Republicans and all minorities are Democrats. People are often shocked to meet a black Republican or a white Democrat. But she said that can happen because there are a lot of non native Georgians, people who moved there from other states for jobs.

    But we noticed depending on how many right wing Evangelical churches are in a particular area can have a big impact on white voters in areas of Georgia too....as she is meeting more and more independents who are non Evangelical and also a lot more northeasterner liberals as people move from states like PA, OH and states like Michigan moving south for jobs.  It has been going on for sometime now.

    It all depends on GOTV as there are young Democrats out there , especially the non Evangelical northeastern transplants who are moving to states like GA, NC

    Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

    by wishingwell on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 11:01:51 AM PST

    •  GOTV being important as in states like GA, Fundies (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, Sherri in TX, TofG

      from the Mega churches show up for elections as often as they show up for church. They consider it a mission from God to vote for conservatives. They will show up and some churches take people to the polls on buses to vote.

      The Evangelical mega church turnout can be key and how motivated they are vs how motivated the Democrats are and it is all about GOTV

      Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

      by wishingwell on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 11:04:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As someone who works... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TXdem, wishingwell, Vetwife, Maverick80229

      in the film industry in California, it sucks to see the recent trend of our state losing film jobs to places like Georgia...but the silver lining to that is that there are now more Californians moving to places like Georgia. :-)

      God speed, new Georgia Democrats!

      Wendy Davis for TX Governor, 2014!

      by GleninCA on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 11:15:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes the good thing about liberals moving to red (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GleninCA

        states is that more liberals will vote in red states and influence others to vote for Democrats in those states. The newcomers can join ranks with the liberals in those red states and strengthen progressive influence and Democrats in those states.

        And in time and with a lot of GOTV and registration of new voters, those red states can turn purple and someday, blue.

        Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

        by wishingwell on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 12:54:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That is a silver lining !!!! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, GleninCA

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:01:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Look at my comment above about the church (0+ / 0-)

      and Ga,  Huge impact.  These people are more afraid of Hell than any job loss.  They believe in literal teachings and for sure they have concentrated areas of progressives but the street preacher and the principal holding the paddle, along with Fox New blaring on every restaurant or bar is not helping.  It is GOTV with a lot of education.
      They from my experience do not realize that reproductive rights is not just about abortion.  They think that is all it is because that is all they are told.
      Many of these right wingers believe in invetro and that will be gone along with their strong belief in birth control.  They literally do not know it is not just about abortion.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:00:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  empires (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Maverick80229

    Empires never recover once they start their decline but they can be helped and slowed down from their  decline. history tells us this but who pays attention to history or karma in America?

    A nation that hires mercenaries to fight in its wars and and has a gov controlled by the selfish and fearful rich and powerful is a nation that  has lost its morality. simple really to see if one can look beyond patriotism and nationalism. ie few do.

  •  time is on our side (5+ / 0-)

    The Goppers have lost the younger generation.  That means they are doomed.

    I don't hold out much hope for 2014---off-Prez years are generally bad for us, as turnout is always low.

    2016 may even be too soon.  

    But it is as inevitable as snow in wintertime.  The pendulum is swinging back. The Reagan Revolution is over.

    It remains to be seen whether the Dem leadership will lead, follow, or get out of the way.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 11:08:43 AM PST

  •  Worth mentioning a possible 'Pope Francis effect'? (6+ / 0-)

    In these and other 2014 races, is it worth mentioning a potential 'Pope Francis effect'?  Although difficult to predict - it certainly should help democratic candidates' chances with the Catholic voting bloc that the Pope is strongly emphasizing economic justice and taking care of the poor (while also taking softer stances on other issues, such as abortion).

    •  Yes as we get closer to the election, I would love (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      golden75, Vetwife, demreplib33

      to see polling and also hear from those GOTV volunteers about if they are seeing a Pope Francis effect especially with some swing catholic voters or catholic voters who once voted for Republicans but are not considering voting for Democrats.

      Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

      by wishingwell on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 12:57:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How are young white Southerners voting? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FogCityJohn, wishingwell, demreplib33

    I see a lot of analysis showing Millennials are very left leaning. Even if we removed the larger than national average minority component, young white voters lean left.

    The issue I have is these numbers are always on a national level, never on a regional level. In 2008 because there were better exit polling I could see younger white voters in West Virginia were more to the right than the national average of younger voters. But I'm curious about young white voters in places like Texas and Georgia especially.

    Can PPP please do a poll about this. Pretty please!  

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 11:26:51 AM PST

  •  You forgot to mention Paul Broun (5+ / 0-)

    Unless I missed his name in the diary, has a good chance to be the nominee for Republicans. If that happens, then Nunn I believe will win.

    NY-9/NJ-10; Russians can give you arms but only the United States can give you a solution. -- Anwar Sadat

    by BKGyptian89 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 11:35:34 AM PST

  •  Good insights. (0+ / 0-)

    I think Wendy Davis would want to do both:

    Therefore, Davis is either going to need a demographic turnout boost for which there is no recent precedent, or she is going to need to do far better with Anglo voters than other Democrats have as of late.
    My question is, how is the latter accomplished, i.e. doing better with Anglo voters?  If Democrats in general can accomplish this we will win more elections.  The steps to accomplish that are contained in the answer to the question of why Democrats do less well with white voters.  Wish someone could diary that.

    "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." -- JC, Matthew 6:24

    by Chi on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 11:38:36 AM PST

  •  Lieutenant Governor (8+ / 0-)

    It should be mentioned that State Senator Leticia Van de Putte is running for the Lieutenant Governor seat. She is a very popular experienced Hispanic Latina who will hopefully rally more Hispanics to vote this year.

    The Lieutenant Governor is an important seat in Texas politics. He or she presides over the State Senate and has the capability of suspending certain rules including the decision on whether to have a 2/3rd majority for passage of bills. That is how the Republicans were able to push through redistricting in 2010.

    Very good diary.

  •  getting out the vote (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    golden75, Maverick80229

    Glad to see someone doing some serious thinking about the 2014 elections (I've been beginning to wonder)...

    The conclusion that everyone always comes to is that the outcome is going to depend on getting out the vote.  So, how do we get out the vote?  

    What organizations should we be donating money and time to, to get people registered?  I've heard two suggestions thus far: MoveOn and the League of Women Voters.  Is that about right?

    How about a fund-raising campaign here to send some money in this direction?

  •  I've said before with Texas... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Maverick80229

    ...and south Texas where my family came from, you have to give voters a reason to think their votes matter.

  •  Just had to get it off my chest (0+ / 0-)

    Why when you mention the minimum wage do Republicans suggest they look for other work. Have yo seen the trend since 1980'?Tthe wages of Americans haven't even kept up with a third of the cost of living while the upper crust has increased 30%. Mind you most of these people claim to be good Christians. Most companies could pay $15 minimum and only lose 5% of profits. It's time for decent American companies to post what they pay at the front door, then you make the decision if you want to do business with a company paying a living wage knowing your bill will be 5 to 8% more. What decent person wouldn't and I think that if you were to start a fast food chain letting people know that your people have benefits and make a living wage you'd out do the McDonald's next door if the meals were identical? We certainly can no longer think the rich will decide they have enough money already, or our government will decide it will be just fine for America to turn into India or China!

  •  An Irrefutable Campaign Slogan for Dems in 2014 (0+ / 0-)

    "Thinking about voting #Republican? Always remember, the same guys that brought you #GeorgeBush brought you the #TeaParty. Then vote for a #Democrat."

    I know this wasn't exactly the topic of this diary but I saw the title and had a thought. Peace and good luck

    @iSenseChange!

    "If that's what Fallujah is, then what's that band with all the Mexican kids in it?"

    by iSenseChange on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 12:25:16 AM PST

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