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The Inevitable Demographic Majority - Unless the GOP Kills It

If you read the headline and suspected this was going to be about "Hispanic voters" you're mistaken - well at least mostly...

There are two trends in national voting patterns that is strongly in favor of Republicans, no wonder that it's rarely mentioned in major media. Both trends may be rooted in the same phenomenon.

The two trends are:

1. Republican success in State Legislative elections.

2. Conservative success in "off year" elections.

These two trends are objectively verifiable. The breakdown of GOP, DEM, and split State Legislatures looks like this:


Republican-controlled Legislatures


Democratic-controlled Legislatures


Split Legislatures



The conservative success in "off year" elections is somewhat more subtle, but every bit as important. This trend began in 1994 with the Gingrich lead "Contract for America". In 94 the GOP stunned Bill Clinton and the liberal media by winning a House majority for the first time in over 40 years. 

It is a long held political theory that the Party that does not win the Presidency "normally" gains seats in an off year election. We contend this is an outdated theory that is no longer operative. Consider, for example, that in the following "off year" election (98) - Republicans only lost 5 seats in the House, and none in the Senate. The following "off year" (02) the Republicans gained in both houses - defying all conventional wisdom.

But what of O6 ? The Republicans got creamed - right?


But not by Democrats. Republicans got creamed by Conservatives. Conservatives had finally had enough of the empty rhetoric of the GOP. The big spending, large Government Republicans had worn thin on the Conservative portion of the party, and many of us sat out the election - or even cast a protest vote. Democrats capitalized on this by positioning a number of Congressional candidates as "conservative" Democrats. The result - voila - Democrat Congress. 

The basis for conservative success in off year elections is the dramatically different "Turn Out" model. The most obvious differing aspect of the off year turn out model is the diminished size. The difference in size. Graphically the past decade looks like this:

The root that may explain both of these trends is the phenomenon of the "low information voter," and the fact that most conservatives are not "low information" voters.  Conversely, the Democrat advantage in Presidential elections is largely due to the presence of around 40,000,000 generally uninformed, ignorant, voters who take their voting advice from pop culture and media icons - and show up in Presidential elections. These LI voters  have little interest if there's no national media hype, to participate in a local or State wide election. (This may explain the Democrat obsession with trying to turn Wendy Davis into a national media star.)

The pop culture icons can do a good job of creating a wave of enthusiasm for a single national candidate. Often, they also receive some additional boost to their own status because the left leaning media is far more likely to broadcast the endorsement of the Democrat candidate.  

Not so for "mid term" and State Legislature races. There's very little chance that Oprah et al, will lower herself to weigh in on a State of District race. Accordingly, the low information voter has no motivation to vote in these elections, giving conservatives a decided advantage. The contention here is that the mid term election voter model does NOT favor the "Party out of Power" - it favors "The Informed Voter" ie, "Conservative Voter."

Increasingly, Democrats must rely on the politically, and historically illiterate to win elections. Unfortunately, this is a large group. It is difficult to motivate this block, however, lacking a pop culture advocacy that brands support of candidates like Barack Obama as more of  fashion statement than a political position. Given this reality, Republicans will consistently face an uphill battle in National Elections - fortunately - there is only ONE National election. Ok, from time to time, the media can cherry pick a local election or two and change an election.  Todd Akin, comes to mind. But they just can't create waves of uninformed support for a multiplicity of candidates.

During six years that have been dominated by two decisive Democrat Presidential victories; Republicans have cleaned up in State Legislature elections, and Congressional elections. Even in losing, Mitt Romney "won" more individual congressional districts than Barack Obama. This serves to underscore the point that most of the GOP congressional majority is "safe," largely due to years of gerrymandering (by both parties) but most recently by Republican held State Houses.

Currently many Democrat Senators in conservative States hold their seats as something of a throwback to either the "old" Democrat party, or strong personal name ID.  Undoubtedly, the rotation of 6 year Senate elections to "mid term" elections will inevitably place the Senate in GOP hands as well.  

Oddly, the only thing on the political horizon that could alter the inevitability of permanent Republican Legislature - is wholesale amnesty for illegals. The presence of significant numbers of newly empowered voters could reasonably be expected to exercise more diligent voting habits. This would be especially true in States with large currently Illegal populations; like Texas, Arizona, and Nevada - even Georgia and Florida probably have enough to tip the balance of power away from conservatives in mid term elections.

So why is the GOP pushing for "Immigration Reform?"

Good question. There are lots of theories. None of which are particularly convincing. I've come to believe they believe it's their best way to maintain most of their safe seats, enjoy the trappings of power, and never have to really deal with governing. With apologies to a fine athlete, I call it the Brady Quinn syndrome.

What motivates the GOP leadership will remain a mystery to many of us; but if conservatives recognize and take advantage of their current advantage in "mid term" elections - the country may once again be The Land of the Free.