The New Minority Party

Given the history of presidential elections, it appears that a Democratic candidate gets 40% of the vote for just showing up. Republicans historically did not have that kind of built-in base. GOP candidates had to reach out to Independents and continuously expand the GOP base in the face of the larger Democratic vote machine. Building on the success of Ronald Reagan’s Dixiecrats (conservative Southern Democrats), the GOP has converted large swaths of former Democrats and Independents into Republicans.

The defeat of John Kerry proves that the historic equation has reversed. Democrats now cannot win a national election without drawing from a conservative/libertarian pool in the red states. The 40% Democratic base is not enough to win – period. Winning both costs without turning some Republican states. The last two Democratic presidents who won the White House needed to capture a good percentage of that socially conservative vote and win a few Republican leaning states.

That’s what make the various liberal post mortems even more fun to watch. The emerging consensus among the lefty blogs is that the activism and liberalism have to be ratcheted up even more in 2008. Markos Moulitsas (Daily Kos) likes to point to Republican Barry Goldwater’s shellacking by Lyndon Johnson as a point from which the GOP majority was built.

Personally I’m hoping that things like Howard Dean for DNC Chairman pan out. Keep pinning your hopes on P. Diddy, Michael Moore, George Soros, et. all. If they continue down that path they’ll know exactly what Goldwater and his supporters felt like in 1964.

Update: That was fast – I found two petty and hate filled posts that agree the with my math. One from Eric Alterman and the other from Atrios.

Kos has Perfect Record
Serena's Fashion Faux Pax


  1. Hunter November 3, 2004
  2. Paul November 3, 2004
  3. oyster November 3, 2004
  4. jmaster November 3, 2004
  5. Dan November 3, 2004
  6. Jim November 3, 2004
  7. LifeTrek November 3, 2004
  8. OneDrummer November 3, 2004
  9. Steve L. November 3, 2004
  10. scott November 3, 2004
  11. Jim November 3, 2004
  12. Jim November 3, 2004
  13. Tom November 3, 2004
  14. Steve L. November 3, 2004
  15. JFH November 3, 2004
  16. mshyde November 3, 2004
  17. -S- November 3, 2004
  18. -S- November 3, 2004
  19. Dave November 4, 2004
  20. Dave November 4, 2004