Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Guest Opinion: Red to Purple to Blue -- The Collapse of the Republican Electoral College Base

“As America is riveted on the 2012 presidential election, a more significant long term phenomenon continues to inexorably reshape American politics.

Over the last two political generations the reliable, traditional and predictable state by state Electoral College map of the Republican Party has steadily and dramatically shifted from Red to Purple to Blue.

The shift is one dimensional away from the Republican Party. A large chunk of the Republican state base is now either competitive or has turned Blue. If demography is destiny, it would seem that the national Republican Party may be heading off a cliff.

No one can predict what the next six months will bring. The recovery could stall or even reverse. Unemployment figures could again start to rise. An Israeli attack on Iran could have enormously negative economic repercussions on an already faltering world economy. The Eurozone could come apart after the electoral upheavals in France and Greece. Under these conditions, no incumbent anywhere in the world can feel secure, including Barack Obama.

Yet in terms of long term political trends, receiving 270 Republican Electoral College votes is becoming increasingly difficult, with enormous hurdles of demography and ideology threatening to make the Republican Party a regional fixture of the South, and an ideological prisoner to an increasingly extreme political base. If elections are won on the margins, this is a Republican formula for disaster -- if not for 2012, then certainly more and more as we move toward the purple-ization of Texas and Georgia.

A Democratic Party that in the past could only win if it had a Southern presidential candidate, may soon be able to count on a Southern base of 111 Electoral College votes (Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas and Georgia) irrespective of its presidential candidate's region, race or ethnicity.

The Republican Party may wish to consider these factors in determining its core and message, remembering what happens to systems that cannot adapt. With the "blue-ing" and " purple-ing" of America, the elephant may soon become a dinosaur.”   (Read the whole article here)

– By Mark Siegel, Partner, Locke Lord Strategies; Former Executive Director, DNC

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to comment on anything you see and read here. This is an open forum.
Please keep it clean.