Minorities now the Majority in Key States in the US

No wonder our "Xenophobe in Chief" Lou Dobbs is looking more worried each day. While we Democrats talk of turning red states blue, the demographic map  of the rainbow of people who make up the diverse population of the US is shifting, and in many areas of the US, "minorities" (a euphemism for people  of color; blacks, latinos, asians and Native Americans) are now the majority.

The US Census Bureau's  recent report shows interesting shifts in racial/ethnic demographics.

The NY Times reports:
Minorities Often a Majority of the Population Under 20


Foreshadowing the nation's changing makeup, one in four American counties have passed or are approaching the tipping point where black, Hispanic and Asian children constitute a majority of the under-20 population, according to analyses of census figures released Thursday.

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US Shifting Blue

The New York Times has a new piece on the national trends away from the GOP, both registration-wise and at a local electoral level. What's most interesting to me is that there's absolutely no attempt at forced balance in the article. There's not one "GOP consultants say..." to be found, which is refreshing. It's content to report the facts, even if they are all bad for the Republican Party.

Check out these registration statistics:

In several states, including the traditional battlegrounds of Nevada and Iowa, Democrats have surprised their own party officials with significant gains in registration. In both of those states, there are now more registered Democrats than Republicans, a flip from 2004. No states have switched to the Republicans over the same period, according to data from 26 of the 29 states in which voters register by party. (Three of the states did not have complete data.)

In six states, including Iowa, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, the Democratic piece of the registration pie grew more than three percentage points, while the Republican share declined. In only three states -- Kentucky, Louisiana and Oklahoma -- did Republican registration rise while Democratic registration fell, but the Republican increase was less than a percentage point in Kentucky and Oklahoma. Louisiana was the only state to register a gain of more than one percentage point for Republicans as Democratic numbers declined. [...]

Among the 26 states with registration data, the percentage of those who have signed on with Democrats has risen in 15 states since 2004, and the percentage for Republicans has risen in six, according to state data. The number of registered Democrats fell in 11 states, compared with 20 states where Republican registration numbers fell.

In the 26 states and the District of Columbia where registration data were available, the total number of registered Democrats increased by 214,656, while the number of Republicans fell by 1,407,971.

What's interesting is that this shift is not seen as merely a function of the enthusiasm generated by the presidential primary. In fact, it's been a trend that's been evident for several years, which in itself speaks to the likelihood that the shifts we're seeing are sustainable in the longterm.

"This is very suggestive that there is a fundamental change going on in the electorate," said Michael P. McDonald, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and an associate professor of political science at George Mason University who has studied voting patterns.

Mr. McDonald added that, more typically, voting and registration patterns tended to even out or revert to the opposing party between elections. [...]

But for a shift away from one party to sustain itself -- the current registration trend is now in its fourth year -- is remarkable, researchers who study voting patterns say.

As the piece makes clear, the voter registration numbers are just a product of underlying shifts taking place, a perfect storm that has included profound disillusionment with Bush, changes in the demographic landscape ("including the rise in the number of younger voters and the urbanization of suburbs") as well as the adoption of a more pragmatic approach by the Democratic Party to run more conservative candidates in conservative districts and states. The big questions are whether this movement toward the Democrats is sustainable and whether it will manifest in a wave election in November that sweeps Barack Obama into the presidency along with larger congressional majorities.

"Major political realignment is not just controlling the branches of government," said Mr. McDonald of the Brookings Institution. "It is when you decisively do it. We haven't seen that in modern generations."

For it is only with decisive victories that the sort of shifts in demographics, voter registration and voting behavior we're already seeing throughout the country can lead to the sort of transformative policy shifts we've been working toward for years.

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Is Obama's glass 7/8 full or 1/2 empty?

There's little doubt that this is looking like a Democratic year. Obama has a number of impressive things going for him:

1) Advantage in Democratic registration. Rasmussen currently has it at 41.4 D, 31.7 R, 26.9 I...the largest gap since they began tracking party I.D. six years ago. [Nov. 04: 38.8D, 37.1 R, 24.1 I; Nov. 06 37.5 D, 31.4 R, 31.2 D. ]

2) The right track/wrong track number is 17/79. [Rasmussen]

3) Bush's approval rating is at a new low, 31 percent. [Rasmussen]

More beneath the fold.  Cross-posted from:  http://outsidetheechosphere.wordpress.co m/

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Why Did Obama LOSE Indiana?

Excuse me.  Could the inflated talking heads -- and that includes you Mr. Russert and you Ms. Brazile -- shut up for two seconds?

No?

Ok, just press mute and tune out the Pundit Choir (plus, embarassingly, the voices of some progressive bloggers) singing Clinton's swan song at the top of their lungs.  Because I would appreciate a serious response to a serious question:

Why couldn't Barack Obama win the state of Indiana?

Let me re-phrase that:

Why did Barack Obama lose the state of Indiana, a state his own campaign predicted he would win in February, a state he declared would be a "tie breaker," a state in which 25% of the electorate lives in Obama's hometown media market?

The headlines this morning are so predictably anti-Clinton, and once again resemble a bulleted list from barackobamadotcom::

Hillary loses support of white women!
Obama cuts into Hillary's base!
Obama was cheated in Indiana!
It's over for Hillary!
Obama landslide in North Carolina!

Honest headlines written by professionals who still give a damn about objectivity -- you know, that extinct breed -- might read:

Clintons Pulls Off Upset in Indiana
Obama wins North Carolina, as Expected
Obama Loses White Vote by 26 Points in NC

That's right.  Here is a Fact Check for anyone still interested in unbiased election reports:

1.  Obama was favored to win Indiana all along.  Both campaigns had internal predictions that Obama would carry Indiana by approximately 7 points.  Only recently did Clinton begin polling favorably there and once Obama started spending outrageous sums of money on negative ads, Clinton's double-digit lead returned to earth.

2.  25% of the Indiana electorate lives in the Chicago media market, Obama's hometown!  On the day before the primary, the Obama campaign spent $300,000 advertising in that neighboring market.

3. Clinton's share of white women did go down in Indiana, compared to Ohio and Pennsylvania, which one might expect given Obama's aggressive advertising campaign targeted at that demographic, but she still won over 60% of the white vote in Indiana, which means she picked up some white men (is that being reported? no).  Somehow, though, this is being cast as "Clinton lost white women" in support of the meme that Clinton lost support among her white base yesterday.  It's simply false.  She has been gaining white support since February 5th.  

4. Indiana is the only state neighboring Illinois that Obama has lost.

And, although this post is about Indiana...

5. Clinton also improved her share of the white vote in North Carolina (over 60% compared to 50% in Virginia).  And again.. it's not being widely reported.  Obama's share of the African American vote increased in North Carolina as well.

Cliff notes for the weary:  Clinton is the one who out-performed expectations yesterday.  Clinton's core base grew, and Obama did not cut into it.  Obama lost ground in Indiana.  A big Rezko-sized lot full of ground.  A net 9-point loss from his own projections. Despite massive advertising expenditures and a hometown advantage with 25% of the electorate, Obama could not close the deal in Indiana.

On April 11, Obama himself predicted that Indiana would be a tie-breaker:

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- On the second day of his Indiana bus tour, Obama said the state could be a potential "tiebreaker" in the lengthy nomination process.

"I think Indiana is very important," Obama said. "We've got three contests coming up in pretty big states -- Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Indiana. They all have significant numbers of delegates, and they are states where Sen. Clinton and I are actively campaigning."

"You know, Sen. Clinton is more favored in Pennsylvania," he added, "and I'm right now a little more favored in North Carolina, so Indiana right now may end up being the tiebreaker. So we want to work very hard in Indiana. While Sen. Clinton has some advantages here, I benefit coming from an adjoining state." MSNBC.com

Senator Obama was correct.  They both campaigned actively in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Indiana.  He was also right in predicting that she would win Pennsylvania and he would win North Carolina.

And Indiana is the tie-breaker. Now, Senator Obama is a smart guy.  I don't think he would have said this had he expected to lose Indiana.  So what happened?

It wasn't Rev. Wright, of course, many analysts have already concluded (including myDD's own Jonathan Singer).  But how do they know?  50% of voters told CNN that Rev. Wright made a difference in their vote, and Obama lost ground with white voters.  Maybe it was Rev. Wright.  Or William Ayres, the Weather Underground friend standing on top of the American flag. Or Obama's unguarded characterization of bitter small-town Americans. Or maybe it was just the slow-motion epiphany that Sen. Obama is not yet ready for the most trusted job in the world.

(The Obama campaign, by the way, is blaming his Indiana loss on Rush Limbaugh, but that's not supported by exit polls, which indicate that the percentage of Republicans who voted for Clinton was consistent with the share of Democrats who voted for her.)

I am sick and fed up of the mainstream media, in particular Obama-drooling Cable TV weaklings such as Tim Russert who dominate prime-time airwaves, distorting facts and misusing the public's trust in order to spin Hillary Clinton out of the race.

Another example:  there are a growing number of articles suggesting that African Americans will "abandon" the Democratic Party en masse in November if Obama is not the nominee.  But I don't hear anyone pointing out that white Democrats might do the same if Clinton is not the nominee, despite the exit-poll data on race and despite that up to 50% of Clinton voters now state that they would never vote for Obama.  

Why would anyone (such as a Superdelegate) assume that white Democrats will ultimately be more loyal to the Party than black Democrats?  Isn't that racist?

Barack Obama lost Indiana.  And I just beg someone more visible and important than an anonymous citizen blogger such as myself, someone like Wolf Blitzer or Britt Hume for instance, to pose the question:  Why did Barack Obama LOSE Indiana, a state he had every reason to win? And what does his loss mean for the Democrats in November if Obama is the nominee?

Note: Exit poll data from CNN.com for Indiana and North Carolina.

TexasDarlin, all rights reserved.

Cross posted at TexasDarlin

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Clinton the Populist Beats McCain [Updated]

[See Update on new national polls from USA Today/Gallup and CBS/NY Times at bottom]

General Election polls continue to demonstrate that Clinton is the far stronger candidate against McCain than Obama.

Real Clear Politics has data from 6 recent national General Election polls.  In a Clinton v. McCain match-up, Clinton beats McCain in FIVE of the 6 polls. In an Obama v. McCain match-up, McCain beats Obama in 3 of the polls and ties him in one.

More importantly, in key battleground states, Clinton beats McCain in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, while Obama loses to McCain in all 3 states. And RCP highlights a recent McClathy article about Obama's likely loss in Indiana to McCain. A new Rasmussen poll for New Hampshire claims "Clinton gains on McCain...Obama heads in opposite direction."

Obama's problems with working class voters have worsened, according to a story posted yesterday by the AP:

In an Associated Press-Yahoo News poll...53 percent of whites who have not completed college viewed Obama unfavorably, up a dozen percentage points from November. During that period, the numbers viewing Clinton and Republican candidate John McCain negatively have stayed about even.

In contrast, Hillary Clinton's strength among seniors, women, and key demographic groups such as Catholics improves with each election, as most recently seen in Pennsylvania.

*CLINTON, THE POPULIST*
Hillary Clinton is a candidate of the people, successfully delivering a populist message across American towns,  cities, and suburbs.  As the Washington Post said recently, "Clinton Is In Her Element:"

Clinton attacks the rope line with more gusto than her husband, who invented the genre in modern campaigns.

~snip~

Clinton has found a home -- and a potentially receptive audience -- among rural Democrats...Small towns. Middle-class and working-class. Older voters. Women.

~snip~

The rope line in Terre Haute late Thursday was dominated by women of all ages, who are as passionate in their support of Clinton as Obama supporters are for their candidate


UPDATE ON TWO NEW POLLS:

A USA Today/Gallup poll released on 5/5/08 gives Clinton a 7 point lead over Obama,"the first time in 3 months she has been ahead." USA Today writes:

Barack Obama's national standing has been significantly damaged by the controversy over his former pastor, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, raising questions for some voters about the Illinois senator's values, credibility and electability.

The USA Today/Gallup poll also demonstrates Clinton's strength on a number of variables:

Clinton Obama Advantage

Is a strong and decisive leader 53 37: Clinton +16

Has the best chance of beating John McCain in November 48 43: Clinton +5

Shares your values 47 42: Clinton +5

Cares about the needs of people like you 47 43: Clinton +4

A CBS/NYT poll released on 5/4/08 is being publicized by many news sources as showing a 12-pt. lead for Obama over Clinton, but this is among those who have voted or plan to vote in a Democratic primary.

However, Clinton actually leads Obama by 1 point when the question is asked of "registered voters who identify themselves as Democrats, regardless of whether they have voted or plan to vote in a Democratic primary".

This means that Obama has lost substantial support among people who have already voted for him.

In other good news for Clinton, the CBS/NYT pollster's report states:

For the first time since October 2007, more registered voters overall have a favorable impression of Clinton than an unfavorable one.

and...

When asked who is "tough enough to make hard choices," Clinton gets 70%, McCain 71%, and Obama 58%.

See related post 2 New Polls: MORE HILLARY MOMENTUM.

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Diaries

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