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The ’60s Candidate

Not only is Kerry the ’60s candidate, but he also apparently employed a campaign strategy that would have given the election in the ’60s. If Kerry had won the same bundle of states that gave him 252 electoral votes in this election, but the states were still valued according to the Congressional apportionment based on the Census of 1960, he would have won the election, 270 electoral votes to 268. The trend since then:

1960 census (1964, 68 elections) – Kerry 270, Bush 268
1970 census (1972, 76, 80 elections) – Kerry 270, Bush 268
1980 census (1984, 88 elections) – Bush 276, Kerry 262
1990 census (1992, 96, 2000 elections) – Bush 279, Kerry 259
2000 census (2004, 08 elections) – Bush 286, Kerry 252

This is indicative of a potential long-term problem for the Democrats: they are strongest in the parts of the country that aren’t growing anymore. Even since the 2000 election (which was still based on the 1990 Census) the states Kerry won this time around are worth seven fewer electoral votes than they were worth last time.

On the other hand, maybe I should not bring up any of this, out of fear that someone will accuse Bush of stealing the election through the Census. Bush 2004: enumerated, not acclamated!

(Source for old electoral college apportionments: Statistical Abstract of the United States Table #402 – this link opens a .pdf file.)

21 comments to The ’60s Candidate

  • D Anghelone

    This is indicative of a potential long-term problem for the Democrats: they are strongest in the parts of the country that aren’t growing anymore.

    If Kerry is more representative of Democrats than of the Northeastern US. The Northeast has a traditional but waning political clout. Can’t think of a Northeastern politician with national stature and it may be a first for the area to lack such. Maybe Hillary.

  • Thomas J. Jackson

    The Democratic Party in many ways is a reactionary party. They hate growth. They dislike change in terms of altering economics, the social structure in ways they do not control, hence their mistrust of the free market. Their embrace of environmentalism borders on a mania, disregarding the cost benefit ratio going so far as to restrict acyvities on military bases impacting on the military’s readiness and operational effectiveness.

    What is forgotten is that the core of the Democratic Party, the FDR supporters are dying. The Democrats hope to replace them with the hordes of illegal aliens flooding the nation (10-13 million). But most of these people are in the US to follow the American dream and not be wards of some nanny state. Its no accident that the South has grown by over 33% in population since 1960 embraces change while the Democrats rely on bastions that will not change-the Northeast and MidWest. The West coast remains a land of fruits and nuts, natural recruits for a party that peddles snake oil by the boat load.

  • P.M.Boylan

    On the topic of not growing more voters – have you read about the “Roe Effect” theory promulgated by James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal On-Line? The claim is that since liberal/Democrat women are more likely to get an abortion, they are having fewer kids to succeed them in voting Democrat. He computes some interesting figures on the number of potential 18 year olds who were aborted and therefore couldn’t vote for Kerry in this election.

  • Ken

    I have a feeling though, that as certain states become more urbanized, they may eventually reach a tipping point and become Democratic.
    The example I can think of is Virginia. Yeah the exit polls were totally bogus, and the state went reliably to Bush as it always has for some thirty plus years. But the population in the northern part of the state (i.e near D.C.) is booming and former suburbs are becoming cities in their own right. As a result, they are moving culturally away from the South and toward the Northeast. Areas like these are already Democratic in terms of local and U.S. congressional elections. If this area and Hampton Roads (the urban area of southeastern Virginia) get to vote on a credible Democratic candidate, (i.e. one with a consistent strong defense record – Norfolk, VA contains the largest American Navy base) the state could be in play for either party.

  • If you look at the map of the vote by US county then some other stats jump out at you. The democrats are a patchy, urban party.

    More related commentary chez moi: http://www.di2.nu/blog.htm?20041104

  • Pessimist

    According to the US Census Bureau, by midcentury the USA will be 50% white, 25% black, 25% ‘Hispanic’. The latter two races still vote overwhelmingly Democrat, based on welfare dependency and public sector employment. Attempts to wean them off the taxpayer’s tit by appealing to their so-called social conservatism are trumped by the dangled dollar. A large number of whites in the working class are also state-dependent. The Democrats retain overwhelming leads among opinion formers in the bourgeois, such as academics, lawyers and showbiz riffraff.

    Unless the Republicans continue to trim to welfarism at home (No Child Left Behind, Medicare for oldies, farm subsidies) and pander to Latino immigrants by allowing porous borders, they will lose the small arithmetical advantage they had in 2004. Moreover, their lead in several Red states depends on continuing to prop up the military industrial complex which generates so much employment and land use there. Hence whichever party wins elections, the USA goes on getting more and more statist. How to break out of this downward spiral?

  • Dale Amon

    First please understand, I am not attacking the previous poster, just using a couple words of his as a jumping off point for a statement on a pet peeve.

    Hispanic is not a race. It is actually a rather meaningless term that sort of refers to people who speak Spanish or whose parents or great grandparents spoke Spanish. For example, if a son of the Peruvian el-Presidente of Japanese ancestry were to move to the USA, he would be classed ‘Hispanic’.

    It’s an utterly ridiculous term unless used in the limited way of meaning ‘a person whose primary or only language is Spanish’

    One can make some arguments for cultural traits, but does anyone really believe that Mesoamerican indians in Belize are of the same culture as a resident of Mexico City? Again, it shows a lack of a great deal more than nuance by the left.

  • It struck me that, state by state, the votes were all closer than I would expect. The US actually seems more homogenous than the UK, where there is much more of an urban/rural political divide. This is borne out by the size of the electoral college majorities achieved by more popular candidates: 379-159 to Clinton in ’96, 525-13 to Reagan in ’84.

    This map (from boingboing) is perhaps a better depiction of the red/blue divide.

  • I agree, according to the Democrats, Cuban-Americans are not hispanic. Can you guess why? Maybe because they tend to vote Republican maybe?

    They had Jesse on the Daily Politics today. It will surprise no one here that Jesse said that the Republicans are a mostly white party and the election was all about race. He seemed to forget to mention that there were several black Republican candidates, including Alan Keyes, who ran for Senate in the rust belt (alas he lost).

  • Dylan T. Lainhart

    Francis: Good observation.

    Notice that in my state, New York, a state that goes Democratic every year, the only areas that actually went Democrat were Ithaca, Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, Plattsburg, Albany, and New York City. (That’s Tompkins; Onondaga, Cayuga; Monroe; Niagara; Broome; Albany, Schnectady, and Renssalaer counties; and NYC/LI). Note that in my county (Broome, the small blue county at the armpit of New York), the urban municipalities were the ones who went Kerry, while the rural towns all went Bush. (So did the suburbs in the adjacent counties.) This phenomenon holds for the rest of the country, obviously.

    (Note how NYC tipped the scales for the entire state. This holds true in NYS politics as well. No wonder the NYS legislature is the most dysfunctional in the entire US.)

    Area-wise, most of New York State voted Bush. Same for Pennsylvania, and for the rest of the country.

  • DC

    “…If Kerry is more representative of Democrats than of the Northeastern US. The Northeast has a traditional but waning political clout. Can’t think of a Northeastern politician with national stature and it may be a first for the area to lack such. Maybe Hillary.”


    Actually I think Ed Koch or Rudy Giuliani are better representatives of the northeast than Hillary Clinton. I think she will be an even more divisive candidate in 2008 simply because “she’s Hillary”. If Kerry didn’t resonate with middle America, she’ll rebound off them like a superball off a wall.

    Just a thought – would any of you lump New England politically in with the rest of the northeast?

  • Re “hispanics are not a race”. Well, anyone who actually met at least some of those hispanics knows that most of them (especially the ones who come to the US illegally) are South American Indians (being the poorest and overall the most disadvantaged in their native countries). This is not true with regard to Cubans, who are either white, black or mixed.

  • Pessimist

    Dale: It’s true that ‘Hispanic’ is a PC term which embraces rich Cuban entrepreneurs running the GOP in Miami as well as Mexican mestizos and Indians, PRs, Haitians etc. But the bulk of those encompassed by the term (alternatively ‘Latino’ or ‘Chico’) are poor, non-white and heavily dependent on Uncle Sam, and those are the kind whose numbers will be growing inexorably as the result of Bush II’s near-open borders immigration policy.

    We are already seeing gang warfare where the barrio overlaps the ghetto, and there’s a lot more spoils-system clashing down the road unless some much more vigorous assimilationist and integrating drive is undertaken– which would be another excuse for tax-financed statist intervention anyhow.

    What we *don’t* see in the modern USA of ethnic interests is the quiet, gradual assimilation of the old melting-pot kind which made most differences between Irish, Swedes, Italians, Jews etc irrelevant in time. The sociological evidence is that La Raza in the SW United States is becoming more, not less, segregated (by language as well as class and income), helped by Mexico’s proximity. Meantime residential re-segregation of whites and blacks in, say, Pennsylvania is almost as complete as if Jim Crow were in force.

  • I have a few categories about immigration if anyone’s interested. Let’s just say the last comment by Pessimist sugercoats the problem.

  • D Anghelone

    Just a thought – would any of you lump New England politically in with the rest of the northeast?

    I meant to refer to the economic and political stature of New York and Massachusetts from the colonial days onward and the attendant men of stature. I can’t today think of any such men or women.

    Actually I think Ed Koch or Rudy Giuliani are better representatives of the northeast than Hillary Clinton.

    I don’t think Koch was ever a national figure or that Guiliani was more than a fleeting one.

  • The claim is that since liberal/Democrat women are more likely to get an abortion, they are having fewer kids to succeed them in voting Democrat.

    You’d think, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong, though…

    There’s a fascinating study that came out in 1997, entitled Misplaced Blame, that addresses the issue of teenage pregnancy in the Pacific Northwest.

    One of the really striking findings was this: the number of per-capita pregnancies among teenage girls has effectively no correlation with either economic status or geography (read: parental political alignment). The number of abortions correlates negatively with economic status—poor girls are more likely to have their babies than abort—but not with geography.

    In other words, Conservative Mom and Republican Dad may rail against abortion in church every Sunday, but they appear every bit as likely as the liberals down the street to head for the abotion clinic when their little girl gets knocked up.

    So, for what it’s worth, Taranto’s “Roe Effect” is probably just a myth.

  • Okay guys, I write about the electoral college and we get comments on whether “Hispanic” is a race?

    Ken, I live in northern Virginia, and yes, it’s growing like crazy. But the areas that are stagant or packed to the gills (Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax County) are pro-Kerry and the areas that are growing explosively (Loudoun and Prince William Counties) went for Bush.

  • Ignore the Man Behind The Curtain

    Joe “copy boy” Biden is about as close as you’ll come–I realize the “standard” u set would exclude the TOTAL moonbats, like the Kennedy clan, extant in toto–I (personally would put Hillary on “their” far right coast, btw)

    Plagarize joe can still present on air with some degree of “gravitas”–but, if you link regular exposure with relevance, well there ya go–point, game, and match

  • GunGeek

    I went ahead and did the math all the way back to 1900 instead of stopping at 1960. The trend gets interesting.

    As it turns out, the same states would have given Bush an overwhelming victory in 1900, but the numbers go down every single time until they level out in the 60’s and 70’s at which time they start to climb back up. Here are the numbers:

    Election years Dem Rep
    —————— —— ——
    1904,1908 239 299
    1912,1916,1920 252 288
    1924,1928 252 288
    1932,1936,1940 263 277
    1944,1948 264 276
    1952,1956 268 272
    1960,1964,1968 270 268
    1972,1976,1980 270 268
    1984,1988 262 276
    1992,1996,2000 259 279
    2004,2008 252 286

    You can clearly see a steady decline, the valley, and then the rise up we are experiencing now. When will this plateau out and start to drop? Don’t know that it will, but it’s an interesting trend to follow.

    Notes: the reason the numbers didn’t change in the teens and twenties is because there was no reapportionment done after the 1920 census. Also, I went ahead and counted states before they were admitted to the union and factored the actual numbers from earlier years up to today’s electoral college count in order to make them consistent.

  • Yes, we Republicans are elated over President Bush’s win and our gains in both houses of Congress, but be advised we had better not push the envelope like Newt Gingrich tried to do after 1994. We must be willing to reach out to Democrats and build our base more firmly. In fact, instead of holding on to what base we have, we should work dilligently to break into those states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illiniois that could make us stronger. Republicans have a lot in common with those states and with a little work we can have them in our column and really become the true majority party in this country for generations.

  • Superstud

    Hey seaslutfred, no one cares about your homerisms on politics either. You hate Bush, not just our president Bush, but that of your wife, since you love to spend your time posting on websites on your anniversary of all days. Get a life you silly bastard and go lay some pipe to your wife Linda for a change. You old goof. Do these people know you got your butt kicked all over a high school election in Arcadia? Google it folks, this man is a complete fraud.