Will 5 Southwest states and 2 key demographic groups be blue in 2020?

I don’t want to be that guy who can’t stop writing about the next election, even when there are still votes being counted from the last one. (There is still one U.S. House race in California in which Republican David Valadao has not conceded to Democrat T.J. Cox, although most observers have called the race for Cox.)

But New York Times columnist Thomas Edsall’s piece this morning is too interesting not to pass along.

The headline: “Donald Trump’s Dimming Prospects,” makes clear that even the careful Edsall can’t resist looking toward 2020.

The good news for Trump, according to one of the Ohio-based analysts that Edsall quotes, is that Ohio, which for many cycles has been one of the two key swing states, has become redder. He writes:

Herb Asher, professor emeritus of political science at Ohio State and a longtime observer of local politics, was not optimistic about Democratic chances in the state in 2020. In an email, Asher wrote: ‘In statewide contests in Ohio, including for president, in a balanced political environment, the G.O.P. enjoys a 3 to 5 percent advantage from the outset.’

There is disagreement within the column, about Ohio. But the idea that Ohio and Florida are the key swing states in presidential elections has been fundamental to political analysts for a long time, so I had to pass along the possibility that we might need to update our thinking.

(In 13 out of the last 14 presidential elections, the winner has carried both Ohio and Florida. In 1992, the winner, Bill Clinton, carried Ohio but lost Florida.)

But if Ohio is turning redder, Edsall offers a significant offset. He suggests that Democrats may be in the process of turning five of the six states that take up our nation’s southwest corner into bastions of blue strength. If that happens, it would add to Democratic confidence going into future elections to the party’s existing regional strength in much of the Northeast.

California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado are the five to which Edsall and his sources refer. Utah is the exception. (And, of course, California has been a solid blue state in national elections for a while, but not the others.)

Edsall also cites polling (admittedly from a Democratic research firm called “Catalist”), comparing the last two midterms, and suggesting big changes among key demographic groups in favor of Democrats. And by “key,” I especially mean groups of younger voters, because they are the future, and whites, because Republicans rely on a big majority among whites to offset Democratic strength among nonwhites. If the next generation of white is heading blue, that should be very scary to Republicans. From Edsall’s column:

Catalist found that between 2014 and 2018 white voters aged 18 to 44 shifted sharply in favor of the Democrats. In 2014, whites 18 to 29 supported Democrat candidates by one percentage point; in 2018, these young white voters backed Democrats by 26 points, a substantial 25-point swing.

Whites 30 to 44 went from voting Republican by 21 points in 2014 to backing Democrats by 9 points in 2018, an even larger 30-point shift.

Comments (39)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/29/2018 - 03:51 pm.

    Now, if all votes counted equally…..

    • Submitted by Theo Kozel on 11/30/2018 - 09:43 am.

      Hence the strenuous efforts on the right to prevent just that.

    • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 11/30/2018 - 10:34 am.

      When will leftists realize whining about the Electoral College is the definition of Tilting at Windmills? It’s in the Constitution. Leftists need to learn to deal with it, or mount a campaign to amend the Constitution. Tear stained commentary and gnashing of teeth will get them nowhere.

      • Submitted by Marc Post on 11/30/2018 - 11:07 am.

        No amendment to the Constitution is necessary:
        https://www.nationalpopularvote.com/

        • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 11/30/2018 - 11:37 am.

          Yes, I’ve seen the apportionment of Electoral vote deal before.

          And yes, states are free to decide how they will use their votes. But as with many leftist schemes y’all might not like the new rules. For instance, HRC got all of California’s EC votes in 2016. If the votes were apportioned, Trump would have gotten 9 of them.

          Maine and Nebraska allocate by congressional district, and Colorado was on the edge a couple of years ago, but backed out when they realized apportioning their votes would make their state irrelevant in national politics.

          It’s not going anywhere.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/30/2018 - 03:43 pm.

        The term ‘elector’ is in the Constitution.
        There’s no mention of an ‘Electoral College’. That entity is a later invention.

        • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 12/03/2018 - 07:58 am.

          The Electoral college is merely a way to describe a group of electors. It’s not a deviation from what is prescribed by the constitution.

          • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/03/2018 - 10:22 am.

            But what you said was:
            “When will leftists realize whining about the Electoral College is the definition of Tilting at Windmills? It’s in the Constitution.”

  2. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 11/29/2018 - 04:26 pm.

    The next election will truly be about Trump and there will be deep fractures by that time in the GOP between those that recognize a dumpster fire now that that they’ve been burned by it and those who still savor the piquant flavor that that fire brings to their life. The ongoing decline of the late-cycle economy, rising deficits, instability in the world and at home, and the transition to the ap economy will all wear badly on the GOP. A damaged dinosaur like Trump will kill the GOP hopes.

    As for permanent changes who knows–the GOP was once the party of Lincoln and the Democratic party was once the party of Bull Connor.

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 11/29/2018 - 09:06 pm.

      Contrary to popular belief, Trump isn’t as bad as you keep claiming. He’s continued many of Obama’s policies. (of course Obama continued most of Bush’s etc). An honest media would cover that. They both have nearly the same immigration policies.. they’ve both done the exact same things. The only differences really were the tax cut and the trade deals.

      Republicans just have the bad luck of getting hit by economic bubbles bursting. Clinton just scraped by as one burst in 2000 as he was almost out of office. Obama skated by on one that burst just before he got in and got out before the next one (which is coming soon). Reagan had one just as he was leaving office as well (which Bush41 inherited). None of that is really the fault of the President though.

      If I’m wrong on a collapse coming before 2020, then Trump will likely win easily because Democrats won’t have anything to run on to hold against him.

      • Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/30/2018 - 11:16 am.

        Au ContraIre, Mr. Barnes. Dems will have the loathsome Mr. Trump to run against, and if current trends and behavior continue, there may be a Republican debacle in the works, since the mid-term election just concluded was, at least to a degree, a referendum on the Trump presidency. It didn’t go well for the GOP…

      • Submitted by Mike Chrun on 11/30/2018 - 12:29 pm.

        Oh, good grief. Only differences were “the tax cuts and trade policies?” How about the pandering to racists; or the blatant lies day after day; or the alienation of our traditional allies; or the choices made based on what somebody on Fox News said versus scientists, economists, psychologists, etc.; or the stance that that the DOJ and the courts are to do this Trump’s beckoning? I could go on and on but won’t.

        It’s interesting how the Trump’s media is attempting to shift the perception post-election. On some issues, it’s no longer the stark contrast between Trump and Obama, which is what he ran on and what has determined much of his policy. Now, whenever possible, it’s “Well, we’re just doing what Obama and the Democrats did.”

      • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 11/30/2018 - 12:31 pm.

        Hmm, so you’re saying that despite all of the Trumpeting on “his” “best economy evahhh..” it’s still Obama’s economy ? Interesting–perhaps its a sign of the impotence of the GOP party–even with control of House, Senate and Executive that they have accomplished little to rescue the economy from “Obama’s” coming recession ? Seriously, are you saying the Republicans are the hapless victims of history ?

        … You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it. It was you, [Obama]…

        Thanks to “On the Waterfront” for the appropriate excuse

      • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 12/01/2018 - 10:14 am.

        ….Trump will likely win easily because Democrats won’t have anything to run on to hold against him….

        To answer that, I would just peruse a site…www.emptywheel.net

        A full meal of possibilities there.

        And then for a little bit of fresh side salad, look at the events such as Mr. Broidy who was apparently paid millions (and promised more) for his influence of Trump to make the 1MDB scandal go away….

        ….A draft agreement called for a $75 million “success fee” to be paid to Mr. Broidy if the investigation was resolved within 180 days, or $50 million if it was resolved within 365 days…..https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/30/us/politics/broidy-trump-foreign-money.html

        Nothingburger or a very full smorgasbord to consume ?

        Smoke/fire…..dogs/fleas, eh?

        A President to be proud of.

  3. Submitted by Curtis Senker on 11/30/2018 - 10:31 am.

    California leftists continue to flee the disaster they created in their home state, it’s true. It’s also true that they are greatly resented by natives of the states they drag their baggage to. Backlash is growing.

    These facts explain both the candidacy of Beto O’Rourke’s candidacy, and the drubbing he received.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/01/2018 - 09:58 pm.

      O’Rourke ran in Texas, not California.
      And considering the Republican’s recent political dominance in Texas, O’Rourke did quite well.

      • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 12/03/2018 - 08:03 am.

        Yes, well I’m discussing the dispersal of Californians, aren’t I?

        Beto got trounced, but he wouldn’t have even registered at all if not for the aforementioned dispersal.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/03/2018 - 09:46 pm.

          Of course, the population of California is still increasing (its average IQ is probably doing the same ;-).

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/04/2018 - 09:16 am.

          O’Rourke got 48% of the vote, and Cruz got a little over 50%. This is a state regarded as deep red, in an election involving an entrenched incumbent.

          O’Rourke was defeated, but he was not “trounced.”

          As a side note, one could wonder about the integrity of Ted Cruz campaigning enthusiastically with the man who accused his father of murder. I guess shame is a luxury Republicans are denying themselves in the Age of Trump.

  4. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/30/2018 - 11:29 am.

    For a change, I agree with Mr. Senker about at least one thing – the electoral college. Dems should just get over it. A constitutional convention simply isn’t going to happen – at least not one originating from this issue. Democrats can count as well as Republicans, and if they run good candidates, win enough elections, and win those elections in the right states, the whole controversy will be moot. For maybe a generation.

    On the other hand, Mr. Senker’s conclusions regarding the exodus from California are suspect. California has one of the world’s largest and wealthiest economies, and it seems unfair, to say the least, to hold tech workers in the Bay area or farmers in the central valley responsible for recent wildfires. Other sorts of disasters outside wildfires are no more common in California than they are elsewhere. Emigrants from California are disliked in Colorado, it’s true, but there’s nothing special about that. Coloradans have the same negative feelings about emigrants from Texas who flee to the Rockies to escape the oppressive climate of south and southwestern Texas.

    • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 11/30/2018 - 02:11 pm.

      Californians are disliked everywhere but California; I know, I was one of ’em. I saw what was coming in the late 80’s, left and never looked back. I left before the state turned into the leftist loony bin it is today, and I wasn’t dragging the proceeds of an inflated home sale with me, so I avoided the stigma.

      When leftists say “California has the 5th largest economy in the world”, what they leave out is, it’s also on the brink of financial disaster. Several large cities have already declared bankruptcy, and many others are on the bubble.

      They also don’t mention the deplorable conditions in large cities. Descriptions I hear from family members who remained there are like something out of the Dark Ages; and they’re getting worse.

      What no one can figure out is, why would anyone pull up stakes to escape an unfit environment, and bring the political ideology that caused it, with them.

      Finally, I’m sure Texans are disliked by the denizens of Denver and Boulder, but they fit right in with the folks working and living in the heartland.

      • Submitted by Patrick Tice on 12/01/2018 - 12:23 pm.

        California does better than red state backwaters in almost every metric. Californians live longer than the residents of every other state except Minnesota. Incomes there are high, and many goods and services bought on the world market are thus more affordable there in spite of higher taxes and housing expenses. Californians are generally happier than residents of red states, too. A ranking by Wallethub using 31 metrics (google it) shows Minnesota & California in the top five, while red states cluster at the bottom. Up until 1980, when the USA saw the Reagan Revolution and the gaming of the system that started the process of concentrating wealth at the top, we had the highest life expectancy in the developed world. Now we are at the bottom, and for the last couple of years USA life expectancy has actually declined. It is this inequality that has hollowed out the middle class and created the tension in American society, even though many don’t realize it.

        Say what you will about California, but we had all better hope the Golden State can continue to do well – states like it and MN are carrying the burden of keeping the United States afloat.

        • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 12/03/2018 - 08:12 am.

          If California is the utopia you describe, why are so many utopians fleeing?

          And if Red states are the disaster you posit, why is Texas growing so fast?

          https://www.sacbee.com/site-services/databases/article69054977.html

          Your talking points lack context. You’d need a pretty high mean income in a place where houses cost >$500,000 wouldn’t you?

          Enjoying cheap Chinese electronics can’t be much fun when you’re living in someone’s garage.

          • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/03/2018 - 09:52 pm.

            Texas is growing at least in part because some people prefer low taxes to quality education.
            And at a growth rate of 1.4% in 2017, it’s hardly exploding.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/01/2018 - 02:49 pm.

        California’s financial problems started with Proposition 13 — a right wing initiative that limited the state’s ability to raise funds.

        • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 12/03/2018 - 08:15 am.

          The problem with Prop 13 is, it didn’t set spending limits.

          • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/03/2018 - 10:25 am.

            Because everyone wanted someone else to give up something, but weren’t will to make a sacrifice themselves.

            • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 12/03/2018 - 12:00 pm.

              And there you have it. The problem with “the commons” or “the common good” in a nutshell. When a population gets to a certain size, the standard deviation on what “common good” grows large enough to make the whole idea moot.

  5. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 11/30/2018 - 02:06 pm.

    Let’s not fall into the trap set by Republicans who would like the unfairness of the Electoral College determining the presidency be framed as a partisan issue–“The Dems ” want to change it, etc.

    What’s at stake for many of us is equalizing the power of the individual human being’s vote, from state to state. All we have to counter the immense power of corporations that now have a Right to Free Speech (in the Citizens United judgement that Money Equals Speech) is our Right to Vote. With all votes counting somehow nearly the same from state to state, which they don’t at present, and without gerrymandering.

    Americans will only abide for so long repeated electoral results that have Democrats outpolling Republicans by many millions (this time it was about 9 million more Democratic votes nationally than Republican votes; Clinton got about 3 million more votes than Trump in 2016) . The country is increasingly Democratic, just as it’s increasingly urban.

    If each state’s Congressional districts all have approximately the same number of people in them, awarding a state’s Electoral College votes on the basis of each district’s majority vote is ultimately fairer than our system today that awards all a state’s Electoral College numbers based on one state-wide total. The idea is: it’s fairer. Not precise (we could go to a nation-wide popular vote total, but there’s the Constitution to prohibit that). Just fairer.

    Fairer is better.

    Weighing my vote more nearly as heavily as a vote from Wyoming or Montana, is better.So Hillary would lose California’s big Electoral College total–who really cares? The point is, Hillary should have had about as many Electoral College votes in 2016 as her surplus of national votes indicated. Then, Trump’s tiny vote advantages in four states (fewer than 77,000 total votes more than Clinton among them) wouldn’t have had the outsize impact they had.

    • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 11/30/2018 - 02:23 pm.

      “Democrats will only abide for so long repeated electoral results that have Democrats outpolling Republicans by many millions”

      FTFY; let’s be honest with one another, shall we?

      What leftists refuse to learn and accept is the fact that without the EC, there would be no United States today. And the reasons it was created are as relevant today as they were during the founding…maybe more so.

      But by all means, mount a campaign for a Constitutional convention.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/01/2018 - 09:59 pm.

        Or at least no Republican party.

        • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 12/03/2018 - 11:25 am.

          There was no Republican Party in 1787. There were small states that refused to tie their wagons to larger states without an equitable distribution of power.

          That situation remains just as true today as it did when the Constitution was signed.

  6. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 12/03/2018 - 01:15 pm.

    There are apparently two views of of the constitution–those who believe it is a weaselly set of “get out of jail free” cards to evade accountability and those who believe it is an aspirational document that lays out the guidelines for improving society.

  7. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 12/03/2018 - 02:18 pm.

    Blue States? Red States? I agree with Mr. Black – no one knows?

    However – It will depend who is running. If the Dems choose another Hillary type – they will loose.

    If the Dems choose a candidate who is specific in what they want to do, how much it will cost, how much more they will raise taxes on those who pay federal income taxes – they could win.

    Either way – it is sad that the almost 50% of the electorate who do not pay federal income taxes will choose the next President.

    They easiest thing for the Dems to do is spend other peoples money. They are good at that.

    The electoral college is just one minor safeguard against mob rule.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 12/03/2018 - 03:24 pm.

      “They easiest thing for the Dems to do is spend other peoples money. They are good at that. ”

      Don’t look, but the GOP just blew a huge hole in the budget, and it will only get bigger.

      The idea that conservatives are fiscally responsible is a joke.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/03/2018 - 03:36 pm.

      “Either way – it is sad that the almost 50% of the electorate who do not pay federal income taxes will choose the next President.”

      Yes, but Jared Kushner is a citizen, too. We may not like it, but there’s nothing we can do about it.

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