A Permanent Democratic Majority

Gallup Poll map of political party advantage

A few years ago, Hugh Hewitt wrote a book, “Painting the Map Red: The Fight to Create a Permanent Republican Majority” featuring an elephant with a paintbrush turning the lower 48 states into a solid red map.  Its for sale in the remainders rack at Barnes and Noble for about five bucks.

So the folks over at Gallup.com have compiled a list of the most Democratic and most Republican states in America.  Hugh’s elephant may have to forget about the red paint.

From Gallup’s site:

In 2008, Gallup interviewed more than 350,000 U.S. adults as part of Gallup Poll Daily tracking. That includes interviews with 1,000 or more residents of every U.S. state except Wyoming (885) and North Dakota (953), as well as the District of Columbia (689). There were more than 15,000 interviews conducted with residents of California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Florida.

More after the jump:

This large data set provides the unique ability to give reliable estimates of state-level characteristics for 2008. Each sample of state residents was weighted by demographic characteristics to ensure it is representative of the state’s population.

In order to rank the states on partisanship, Gallup analyzes “leaned” party identification by state. This measure adds partisan-leaning independents to the percentage who identify with either of the parties. Thus, the Republican total includes Republican identifiers and independents who lean Republican, and the Democratic total likewise includes Democratic identifiers and independents who lean Democratic.

Take a look at the map again and then read this:

What is immediately clear from the map is that residents of the United States were very Democratic in their political orientation last year. In fact, Gallup has earlier reported that a majority of Americans nationwide said they identified with or leaned to the Democratic Party in 2008.

All told, 29 states and the District of Columbia had Democratic party affiliation advantages of 10 points or greater last year. This includes all of the states in the Northeast, and all but Indiana in the Great Lakes region. There are even several Southern states in this grouping, including Arkansas, North Carolina, and Kentucky.

An additional six states had Democratic advantages ranging between 5 and 9 points.

In contrast, only five states had solid or leaning Republican orientations in 2008, with Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Alaska in the former group, and Nebraska in the latter.

The most balanced political states in 2008 were Texas (+2 Democratic), South Dakota (+1), Mississippi (+1), North Dakota (+1), South Carolina (even), Arizona (even), Alabama (+1 Republican), and Kansas (+2 Republican).

Bad news for our Republican friends right?  As bad as things are right now, most people are going to pin the blame on Bush for the pickle we’re in and not Obama who’s been in office for 9 days with no love from the Right side of the aisle.

Couple this bad news with this story in today’s Washington Post.  From the story, this pathetic scene:

The members linger over soup in the hotel restaurant and chat quietly in the hallway. Ron Kaufman — a committeeman who was tight with Daddy Bush — tries to sell a couple of fellow members on the virtues of Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead.” Eventually the group files behind closed doors to commiserate in secret. Beginning today it will open things up for publicly consumable speechifying.

These committeemen and committeewomen — including a bunch of new, mostly conservative members — land in a capital that used to be theirs. Oh, things were sweeeetwhen their krewe got together back in 2005, when they had both houses of Congress and the White House, and their newly minted chairman, Ken Mehlman, was making dynasty rumblings, declaring a crusade for “a durable majority.” This time, Washington is a place where Democrats seem to have the mojo and where just a few days ago the yuksters at the bars up in Adams Morgan were smashing elephant piñatas and spearing elephant dartboards.

All the Obama love in the air isn’t helping their moods, either. Jim Bopp, a committeeman from the Great State of Indiana, grumbled before coming into town that “there’s kind of a ‘Kumbaya’ feeling in the country.”

An update from CNN since I posted this.

Obama came over to Congress to meet with Republican lawmakers who got their marching instructions from Rep. John Boehner who got his marching orders from Rush Limbaugh. It’s kind of like how Republicans in the California legislature get their orders from the Flash Report. It seems that the thing Congressional Republicans and California elected legislative Republicans would all rather see the nation and the state go down the drain before taking action to fix the serious problems we face.  And the solutions to these problems have to come from a sort of compromise — both sides bend a little, give a little and a compromise emerges. 

The Republicans are in the minority in Congress and in the California legislature.  Obama doesn’t need their votes.  The Republican governor of California does.    The LA Times reported today that the Governor’s populatity was at 40 percent while the Legislature was at 15 percent. I wish they could break it down to party affiliation.

  5 comments for “A Permanent Democratic Majority

  1. RHackett
    January 29, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Gotta love the clinging to Ayn Rand. I've read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Both good works of fiction. Fiction being the operative word.

    Certainly not a philosophy upon which to run one's life.

  2. Jubal
    January 29, 2009 at 11:41 pm


    Nothing in the politics is permanent (other than government keeps getting bigger).

    I recall the "GOP electoral college lock" chatter from the 1980s, the seeming permanency of a Demcoratic House until 1994, and GOP talk just a few short years ago about creating a "permanent Republican majority."

    Sooner or later, the majority party flips into minority. the question is whether it is sooner, or later.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      January 30, 2009 at 12:05 am

      I was having fun with Hugh Hewitt's book title. And government got considerably smaller during the Clinton administration but I know your Republicans still have a hard time giving Ol' Bill credit for anything good.

  3. Flicka
    January 30, 2009 at 12:21 am

    I hate to agree with Matt on anything, but he's right on this. We Dems need to enjoy it while it lasts. Karl Rove predicted the same thing for the reps and look how that turned out.

  4. January 30, 2009 at 3:15 am

    Maybe in the next 40 years or so; younger voters are flocking to the Democratic Party and the only card Republicans have left to play is fear.

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