From Reagan-Schweiker to a Shrinking Tent

(Cross-posted from Think it Through)

Senator Arlen Specter, the former headline-chasing prosecutor from Philadelphia turned United States Senator from Pennsylvania is known as a loner in a club that values camaraderie above all else. But now Senator Specter has joined the largest political movement in the country in the last 12 months, the exodus from the Republican Party.  According to all the recentnationalpolls, from April 2008 to April 2009 over 17 million Americans left the Republican party.  Specter makes it 17 million plus one.

How many have joined the Democrats?  There has been no net increase in those calling themselves Democrats, according to most of the national surveys.  Democratic identification, depending on which poll you use, has either remained the same or even decreased slightly since last April.

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Launching Bi-weekly Public Opinion Roundup

As President Barack Obama was assuming office in January, 93% of Americans said that restoring public trust in government should be a top priority (63%) or an important but lower priority (30%) for the new President. Take it as an absolute value, this is a stunningly high percentage; put it in comparison with the other seventeen (widely discussed) issues tested in an AP-Gfk survey, and you will find out that only improving the economy, creating more jobs, making the government more efficient and increasing the country’s independence scored higher.

It’s good to be reminded that people crave trust in government — despite well coordinated efforts that tell a different story. I won’t debate here the relationship of the individual to the “state” (an Aristotelian term in loan) but, in my bi-weekly visits to The Opportunity Agenda blog, I will translate the latest findings on public attitudes on public policy issues, voting patterns and trends, elections and elected officials.

Without an ideological lens, I will help understand Americans’ opinions on issues of public interest such as health care, immigration, the economy, and human rights; and explore how these opinions relate to people’s experience of a deeply held American value: the promise of opportunity. People’s outlook to the President's economic stimulus package can tell a true story about their perception of security,equality, mobility, voice, redemption, or community which make up opportunity, as explained in our newly released report The State of Opportunity in America.

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Ronald Reagan cuts ad for Obama - Airs in FL, PA, OH & more

I feel like Nancy K, doubling up these diaries.  I'll leave that alone now & return to content...

John McCain's beloved hero, Ronald Reagan has cut an ad for Barack Obama.

Not just any ad, the definitive Reagan ad.  Not embeddable, go here & watch it first.  Then follow me after the jump for the details.  I promise you will not be disappointed.   http://www.betteroff08.com/

[editor's note, by January 20]The title of this diary has been changed from the crude "Ronald Reagan just gave me an orgasm!"

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Keep Fighting! We're On The Cusp of a Landslide.

Cross-posted at Daily Kos and TPM

I believe this election is on the cusp of becoming a landslide for Obama, and I believe that's why the McCain campaign panicked and chose Palin at the last minute without vetting her.

We keep seeing diaries with the latest Gallup, Rasmussen, CBS, etc polling showing a tightening or expanding race. But one thing I have not seen anyone do yet is put this in historical perspective.

Once you do that, you see just how strong Obama is in this election cycle, and why the republicans are so dispirited and downtrodden.

This, more than any other election in my 31 years, is ours to lose. We MUST keep fighting, not only to win, but to utterly decimate the republican party nationwide.

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The Myth of the Reagan Revolution

If there is one thing that we have learned from an ever-consolidated corporate media, it is that, once a narrative gets established, it is very hard to get people to walk away from it. Unfortunately, most of the time, these narratives are incredibly destructive for our national dialog. One of the most destructive of these is the assumption that with Reagan's "landslide" election in 1980 represented a massive realignment of voters toward the Republican Party, that there was a "revolution". This assumption is based primarily on the fact that Reagan was able to capture about a quarter of people who affiliated themselves with the Democratic Party at exit polls, diminishing Carter's Democratic support from 77% in 1976 to 66% in 1980. But even the most cursory look at the 1980 election and elections afterward completely dispel any notion that Reagan ushered in generations of conservative rule. What did happen was that the media's obsession with the "Reagan Revolution" turned our national debate on its head and gave away the terms and framing to the Republicans.

In 2006, Democrats split the national electorate 53-47 -- not a huge margin -- but picked up the biggest House shift in 12 years and the biggest Senate shift in 26 years. By the end of the Reagan Administration, the 10-15% of Democrats that had defected from Carter and Mondale went to Dukakis, not Bush Sr., and although he won the electoral college 426-111, Bush Sr. only beat Dukakis 53%-46%, nearly identical to the Democrats 2006 win. The electoral system in the United States is set up for "landslide" elections, where even the slightest shift in the electorate can have significant consequences. By 1992, the so-called "Reagan Revolution" had fractured significantly -- It was the first time that any political party since the foundation of modern politics had received less total votes than they had in the previous election cycle. If that is what we are calling a "revolution" in politics today, then 2006 was a liberal revolution.

We are likely to see huge demographic shifts in the 2008 elections. Kerry won 41% of the white vote in 2004, and I expect that Obama won't get much higher than that but certainly won't get lower. But Bush captured 11% of the black vote in 2004... Obama will get 92%+. Kerry won the hispanic demographic only 53%-44% over Bush in 2004... polls are showing Obama starting off with a 62-35 lead over McCain among hispanics, and that is right after the end of a very polarizing primary campaign where hispanics found their home with Clinton. Obama is also likely to improve the national share of protestants, those making above $75,000 a year, college graduates, non-union households and -- most devestatingly for hte GOP -- the Midwest and West. We're not likely to see a Reagan-like electoral college landslide for Obama, but I think it is safe to predict he'll come in above 340. Democrats will likely blow the GOP out in the congressional electorate. Will Republicans admit there has been an Obama Revolution following hte 08 elections? I don't think so.

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