Politics: White House

White House Counterterrorism Adviser: There’s a ‘Real Cancer Within Pakistan’

Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
June 29, 2011, 10:58 a.m.

Sen. Chuck Schu­mer (D) has “re­ceived the most fin­an­cial sup­port from the com­mu­nic­a­tions and elec­tron­ics sec­tor this elec­tion cycle” by “rak­ing in” nearly $1M.

Want More On This Race? Check out the Hot­line Dash­board for a com­pre­hens­ive run­down of this race, in­clud­ing stor­ies, polls, ads, FEC num­bers, and more!

The com­puters/in­ter­net in­dustry “gave most gen­er­ously to Schu­mer” by “filling his cof­fers” with $240K. Schu­mer “took in” an­oth­er $425K “from firms grouped in the TV/movies/mu­sic cat­egory.” That tops their “list” of cong. re­cip­i­ents “this cycle” (Krig­man, Con­gress Daily, 10/7).

In 1984, Ron­ald Re­agan won the most de­cis­ive pres­id­en­tial land­slide of the past three dec­ades. It’s a meas­ure of the chal­lenge fa­cing Re­pub­lic­ans that to beat Barack Obama, even nar­rowly, Mitt Rom­ney may need to equal Re­agan’s tower­ing per­form­ance in one key re­spect. It’s a meas­ure of the chal­lenge fa­cing Obama that it’s not in­con­ceiv­able Rom­ney will do just that.

Re­agan won 58.8 per­cent of the vote, 49 states, and an un­matched 525 Elect­or­al Col­lege votes. But he did so in a coun­try demo­graph­ic­ally very dif­fer­ent from today’s Amer­ica. Those changes may be the most im­port­ant as­set avail­able to Obama as he struggles against an in­tensi­fy­ing eco­nom­ic un­der­tow. Yet even that might not save the pres­id­ent.

For an up­com­ing Na­tion­al Journ­al re­port il­lu­min­at­ing voter trends over the past eight pres­id­en­tial elec­tions, Emory Uni­versity polit­ic­al sci­ent­ist Alan Ab­ramow­itz con­duc­ted a de­tailed ana­lys­is of exit polls from the 1984 race. That ex­er­cise cap­tures the mag­nitude of the cul­tur­al and demo­graph­ic changes that have re­made the na­tion since then.

When Re­agan routed Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ee Wal­ter Mondale in 1984, the white work­ing class dom­in­ated the elect­or­ate. White voters without a four-year col­lege de­gree cast 61 per­cent of all bal­lots that year, and they gave Re­agan 66 per­cent of their votes, the NJ ana­lys­is found. White voters with at least a four-year col­lege de­gree cast an ad­di­tion­al 27 per­cent of the vote, and 62 per­cent of them went for Re­agan. Eighty-one per­cent of minor­it­ies backed Mondale, but they rep­res­en­ted just 12 per­cent of all voters then.

By 2008, minor­it­ies had more than doubled their vote share to 26 per­cent. Col­lege-edu­cated whites had in­creased their share to 35 per­cent. The big losers were whites without a col­lege de­gree, who dropped from 61 per­cent of all voters to 39 per­cent — a de­cline of more than one-third from their level in 1984. That is so­cial change at break­neck speed.

By it­self, this evol­u­tion in Amer­ica’s so­cial struc­ture goes a long way to­ward ex­plain­ing why Demo­crats have won the pop­u­lar vote in four of the five pres­id­en­tial con­tests since 1992 after los­ing (usu­ally em­phat­ic­ally) five of the six races from 1968 to 1988. Mondale in 1984 car­ried only 40.6 per­cent of the pop­u­lar vote. But if col­lege-edu­cated whites, non­col­lege whites, and minor­it­ies all voted as they did in 1984, but were present in the same pro­por­tions they rep­res­en­ted in 2008, Mondale would have taken nearly 48 per­cent of the vote. Con­versely, if those three groups voted as they did in 2008, but were present in their 1984 pro­por­tions, Obama would have lost con­vin­cingly.

Since Re­agan’s day, Demo­crats have be­nefited from not only the grow­ing minor­ity pres­ence but also the shift­ing com­pos­i­tion of the white vote. While non­col­lege white men and wo­men each sub­stan­tially de­clined as a share of voters, and col­lege-edu­cated white men grew only slightly, col­lege-edu­cated white wo­men in­creased their share by more than half. Those wo­men, most of whom are so­cially lib­er­al and re­cept­ive to act­iv­ist gov­ern­ment, con­sist­ently sup­port Demo­crats more than oth­er whites, and their rise frames the Re­aganesque chal­lenge fa­cing Rom­ney.

Most polls this spring show Obama run­ning near the 52 per­cent he won among those up­scale white wo­men in 2008, and also re­main­ing very close to his 80 per­cent show­ing among all minor­it­ies. If Obama can hold that level of sup­port from those two groups, Rom­ney could amass a na­tion­al ma­jor­ity only by win­ning nearly two-thirds of all oth­er whites — the men with col­lege de­grees, and the men and wo­men without them. To put that chal­lenge in per­spect­ive, Re­agan, while win­ning his his­tor­ic land­slide, car­ried a com­bined 66.5 per­cent of those three groups. To de­feat Obama, in oth­er words, Rom­ney may need to equal Re­agan.

That com­par­is­on un­der­scores how im­port­ant it is for Re­pub­lic­ans to even­tu­ally loosen the Demo­crat­ic hold on minor­ity voters (and, to a less­er ex­tent, up­scale white wo­men): It’s un­real­ist­ic to be­lieve that GOP nom­in­ees can routinely match Re­agan’s his­tor­ic per­form­ance with all oth­er whites. But all evid­ence sug­gests that it’s not bey­ond Rom­ney’s reach this year. Even near­ing Re­agan’s level would be enough for Rom­ney if Obama slips slightly with minor­it­ies or well-edu­cated white wo­men and lowers the bar that the GOP must clear with the re­main­ing whites.

In 2010, House Re­pub­lic­ans fell just short of win­ning a com­bined two-thirds of the vote from work­ing-class whites and col­lege-edu­cated white men. Polls this year show Obama at­tract­ing only about one-third of non­col­lege whites, as few as Mondale. Obama’s sup­port among col­lege-edu­cated white men rarely pokes much above 40 per­cent. And even these num­bers could erode fur­ther if the eco­nom­ic stall per­sists. “In terms of the white vote, those num­bers have been in dan­ger­ous ter­rit­ory for over a year,” says vet­er­an Demo­crat­ic poll­ster Peter Hart, who ad­vised Mondale. “You can’t read the num­bers I read and be op­tim­ist­ic.”

Among whites, Obama faces a per­fect storm: eco­nom­ic dis­con­tent, ideo­lo­gic­al ali­en­a­tion, and, in some in­stances, ra­cial un­ease. With more minor­it­ies and up­scale white wo­men vot­ing, Obama has a much stur­di­er base than Mondale did. But a Re­agan-level stam­pede to Rom­ney among all oth­er whites would still over­run it. 

What We're Following See More »
HEALTH IN QUESTION
Sen. Cochran Back to Washington Tuesday
7 hours ago
THE LATEST
THIRD VERSION OF THE BAN
Federal Judge Temporarily Stops Trump’s Travel Ban
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A federal district court in Hawaii has temporarily blocked the third iteration of President Trump's travel ban. Judge Derrick Watson said the new targeted restrictions on travel from eight countries Trump issued on Sept. 24 suffers the same problems as the previous order."

Source:
FORMER ELI LILLY EXEC
Trump Leaning Towards Alex Azar for HHS
8 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"President Donald Trump is leaning toward nominating Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical industry executive and George W. Bush administration official, to serve as Health and Human Services secretary, according to two White House officials...Azar is a veteran of HHS. He served as the department’s general counsel and deputy secretary during the Bush administration." He led Eli Lilly's U.S. operations from 2012-17.

Source:
ENOUGH SUPPORT TO PASS?
Senators Reach Bipartisan ACA Deal
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Sen. Lamar Alexander says he and Sen. Patty Murray have reached a deal to fund the Affordable Care Act's cost-sharing subsidies in exchange for giving states more regulatory flexibility with the law." Axios is watching to see if the deal will gather support.

Source:
INDEX UP MORE THAN 20% SINCE ELECTION
Dow Jones Hits 23,000 Threshold
11 hours ago
THE DETAILS
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login