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Todd C

What about the 2010 voter split? I notice you don't reference that. It could be argued that because GOP enthusiasm is markedly higher than Democratic enthusiasm, and the enthusiasm among younger voters has declined precipitously, the electorate should look more like 2010 than 2008.

Jim

2008 - 33% of the VA electorate was GOP. Even if the voter intensity were the same as that year and "old white Republicans" have died off, that still wouldn't translate into only 24% of the electorate being Republican as the WashPo, NYT and other polls have been predicting in their sampling. At worst it would be around 30%. Nice try.

Notlarrysabato

Todd C- midterm federal splits (2010, 2006, etc) are similar to the offyear Governor splits in terms of turnout in VA.

Jim- The Democratic numbers declined also in this poll in terms of raw party ID, and Independents were up. That might be more voters not wanting to call themselves a partisan, and not meaningful at all to the results.

notjohnsmosby

Republicans are increasingly self-segregating. It doesn't surprise me that they think there are more teabaggers and libertarians and the like out there than there really are.

The higher-ups in the Republican hierarchy do understand, which is why you have all of the voter suppression efforts underway. I don't think it will help them this year, and will only hurt them in the long run.

They've never wanted to face the demographic time bomb that they've been ignoring for over a decade, and now that it's starting to go off, their first - and only - plan is to reduce the number of minority voters. They don't even want to pretend to try and win them over, or put forth moderate candidates that minorities may vote for. That's their biggest failure - a new generation of voters is starting to hit the poles who despise the Republican brand.

notroberthurt

One thing that I think a lot on the right don't understand is how many Tea Party supporters no longer identify themselves as Republicans.

I have a friend who works at a marketing firm. She says this is a growing phenomenon. A number of Tea Party supporters now identify themselves as "independent."

I also note that Fox News has a state poll out for Virginia that shows Obama 50, Romney 43. Let's be honest, there's really not a lot of variance in the polls....PPP 51-46, Rasmussen 49-48, WaPo 52-44, Fox News 50-43. The truth is that Obama is at 50 percent. Unless something drastic changes, I'd put Obama's chances of winning Virginia at 98%. Perhaps all these polls are wrong, but I just don't believe everyone is incorrect that Obama is close or above 50 percent.

As to the "demographic time bomb", I notice that no one seems to be talking about Asians. Why? I believe they're 5% of the population in the state and a much larger % in NoVa localities.

Spock

I think Romney was a throw away candidate from the start that the Repubs never expected to win, but, to galvanize their direct mail lists 4 $'s.

Romney is basically Bob Dole in magic underwear....

Notlarrysabato

Not Robert- the same thing is going on with the far left that has sympathies with Occupy Wall Street, etc. They are identifying as I's.

Spock

NLS- yes, but I think you might have more Occupy activists voting for Obama than TP people coming out for Romney.

I could not set that in stone, but it is just a hunch.

notjohnsmosby

Teabaggers have been identifying as I's for a few years, when very few have voted Republican for many years. I think it's to add credence to their rants that "it's not just Republicans but everybody" supporting their crazy causes.

Spock, I've also always thought that Romney was the guy for Republicans this year because he wasn't expected to win. Put up the rich, handsome white guy, and he'll run a close race and help raise pots of cash for the downballot races. It was a decent plan, except that Romney is being received exactly how a day-old turd would be - poorly.

At this point, if Romney does not settle down, he'll cost Republicans the House and Dems may actually have a net gain of a seat or two in the Senate. If he solves the bad case of headupassitis that he's suffering from, then he'll just lose by a few points and Republicans will keep the House and pick up a net of 1 or 2 seats in the Senate.

Someone on Politico wrote that wonks will know when the Republican hierarchy has thrown in the towel on Mittens pretty easily. When the barrage of Republican superPAC ads start focusing more on Kaine and other Senate candidates than on Obama.

Polls come and go, but Mittens has had mostly bad news the last few weeks, and especially in swing states. If anyone thinks Mitt will lose Virginia and Ohio but win Colorado, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Iowa, they are smoking something and smoking a lot.

Thomas

NJM has it right!

Spock

NJM- I agree, and you know it's over for Mittens when Breitbart.com has stopped gunning for him too!

And about the states who will vote for him...they are drinking the "OMG THERE IS A BLACK GUY IN THE W.H." bong water.

Pvogel

call me crazy, but if you use the 08 and 10 elections, you must look at the trend. And the trend tonight is for a landslide of mcgovern like proportions.

www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkP4VTIDmCSggVUTKMtKSw8tnxTeH6OgR0

If you lived through the 1980 election and remember what it was like, psychologically on long-time Democrats to cross the aisle, then I think you can appreciate the sea change that may be taking place in the Republican party right now.

In 1980, people who had, for decades, never even considered voting for a Republican voted for Reagan. Some were really anguished about it. Families fought about it (including mine.) Union rank and file fought over it (my husband's parents were both heavily involved in their unions). It broke up friendships. It coined the phrase "Union Democrat." Children who had been raised in Democratic households suddenly turned around and no longer voted "the right way."

But 1984, after Mondale thrashing, a lot of people were completely demoralized. No one really knew what direction the party was heading, and a lot of people who still believed in the general ideals of the party didn't want the party label. Suddenly, in 1988, you started to see the rise of the "Independent" who was most often a disenchanted Democrat. This remained true in 1992, when I was doing a lot of recruiting for volunteers for the Clinton campaign, and in 1996. It really wasn't until 2004, after the Nader fiasco, that you started to see the solidification for party identification -- it took Democrats about 25 years to recover from the "Reagan Democrat" break -- a full generation, in other words.

Now, when I talk to people, an Independent is almost always a disillusioned Republican. Sometimes it's a moderate Republican who is disheartened by the Tea Party aspect. Sometimes it's a traditional Republican disheartened by the borrow and spend policies of the last few Republican administrations, but particularly the Bush years. Sometimes it's a libertarian who feels the attacks of 9/11 cut too deeply into our civil rights. But it's rarely a disillusioned Democrat anymore.

This doesn't mean that there aren't people out there who aren't unhappy with Democrats -- I'm unhappy with Democrats a lot of the time. But the first question you have to ask is were these people actually voting in the first place, and the second question is if they were voting, were they likely to be susceptible to voting for Republicans just to teach Democrats a lesson? And the answer to that is, pretty much, no. Democrats/liberals/leftists/Occupy/progressives/insert label here have spent their time in the national political wilderness, and for at least a little while, these often internally contentious coalitions will hang together rather than hang separately.

Now, if we could just get better about state and local off year elections....especially during census years.....but what goes around does come around. It's nice having lived long enough to know that.

Gretchenmlaskas

And I don't know what is up with my Google account, but I wrote the above post (and meant to write "Reagan Democrat" in the second paragraph) but I'm signing in through FB this time so you'll know it's me.

Thomas

I'm still checking the daily obituaries.

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