Friday, January 30, 2009

Mormon Country last holdout of republicanism

Excerpts from an article by Just Five Red States Left?

Gallup is in the midst of releasing a series of data from the more than 350,000 interviews that it conducted over the course of its daily tracking in 2008. The first data they've released, on partisan affiliation, contains some sobering news for Republicans:

That's right: just five states, collectively containing about 2 percent of the American population, have statistically significant pluralities of adults identifying themselves as Republicans. These are the "Mormon Belt" states of Utah, Idaho and Wyoming, plus Nebraska, plus Alaska. By contrast, 35 states are plurality Democratic, and 10 states are too close to call.

Still, for things like gubernatorial elections and elections to the Congress, the Democrats' upside is very high, particularly if the party is smart enough to tolerate and accommodate a diversity of opinions within its umbrella. If party affiliation stays close to what it was in 2008, then giving the seats that are up for election, Democrats could very easily pick up another another 5-7 Senate seats in 2010, giving them not just a filibuster-proof majority but also a nearly veto-proof one. Party affiliation probably will not remain that way -- there is typically a shift back to the non-incumbent party after the Presidency changes hands -- but if it does we'll have a very blue Senate. In the House, by contrast, Democratic upside is limited by the presence of hugely Democratic urban and majority-minority districts, which suck up Democrats from the surrounding areas. The real fight in the House may be the redistricting that takes place after 2010 and not the 2010 election itself.

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