Virginia Turning Blue: Great Sign For Democratic Party Future!

Virginia, the home of more Presidents than any other state, has been seen as a bellwether state, as it holds its state elections in the year after the Presidential election.

For the first time since 1969, Virginia now has a Democratic Governor, Terry McAuliffe, along with a Democratic Lieutenant Governor, a Democratic Attorney General (although a recount is going on as the victory was razor thin), and two Democratic Senators (Mark Warner and Tim Kaine).

Assuming the recount for Attorney General keeps the Democrat as the winner, it is a sign that the right wing Republican Party in Virginia has lost its bearings, and that the state of Virginia, while still officially seen as purple, is really becoming a Democratic state, largely due to the growing influence of federal government workers, a large portion of the population in the Northern Virginia counties.

It is also seen as a great moment for Hillary Clinton, who is closely associated with new Governor Terry McAuliffe, a prodigious fund raiser for her husband, Bill Clinton, when he was in office.

With Virginia in the Democratic camp, the future of the party is in good shape for Presidential races (with Barack Obama winning the state twice), and Virginia’s trend may soon be seen in Georgia and Texas.

7 comments on “Virginia Turning Blue: Great Sign For Democratic Party Future!

  1. Engineer Of Knowledge November 28, 2013 8:29 am

    Hello Professor,
    This is the time of the year we take pause, and reflect on all those things we’re can be thankful for.

    I want to take this time to say that you and the regular “Progressive Minds” on this site are at the top of the list of things that I can give thanks to. Thank you for all your kindness.

  2. Ronald November 28, 2013 9:36 am

    Engineer, I want to thank you for your contributions to this blog, and to discussion of progressive ideas, and I deeply appreciate you, as much as the others who contribute to this blog discussion on a regular basis. It gives me hope for the future of this nation, as long as we have tolerant, open minded, intelligent people ready to do what must be done to advance America for all, not just a privileged few.

  3. Jane Doe November 28, 2013 6:38 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving all!

  4. Princess Leia November 28, 2013 6:39 pm

    I also wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Rustbelt Democrat November 28, 2013 6:40 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving to the Professor and all other progressives here!

  6. D November 29, 2013 9:05 am

    When Democrats are winning the presidency these days, they are getting select states from the area that is not their party’s base: the Old Confederacy. The last two-term Republican who did this—while it was the Democrats who had their base in the confederacy—was 34th president Dwight Eisenhower. Ike was the only Republican elected during the realigning presidential period of 1932 to 1964 for the Democrats. Forty years after him, Bill Clinton became the only two-term Democratic-party president during the realigning presidential period of 1968 to 2004 for the Republicans.

    The only Old Confederacy states Bill Clinton carried between his two elections which never once carried for Eisenhower were Georgia (won in 1992 but not held in 1996) and the 42nd president’s home state Arkansas. (Ike did not win Louisiana in his first election but did flip it with re-election in 1956.) This is worth noting because the map was gradually becoming realigned, due to gradual changes in states’ electorate party ideology, for a transitional period that ran during parts of the 1960s and 1970s but was especially fruitful—as we now recognize—during the 1980s with its counter-realignment in the 1990s.

    The only state 44th president Barack Obama carried in any of his elections which were never once in the column for Dwight Eisenhower was North Carolina. (With re-election in 1956, Ike missed winning over N.C. by a margin of 1.32 percent. He received 49.32 percent of the vote there to the 50.66 that gave carriage to his Democratic opponent Adlai Stevenson.)

    Looking back at the presidential-election cycles won by those whose party base states were/are not in the Old Confederacy, ranging in time from Dwight Eisenhower to Barack Obama, I find that typically between 10 to 15 percent of electoral votes came from this area of the United States. This means, in elections won back then by the Republican and in the current era by the Democratic parties will, indeed, boast victories somewhere in the Old Confederacy. A losing Republican these days will not hold onto all eleven states of the Old Confederacy. That, yes, they are not completely immune.

    • 1952: 442 electoral votes
    • Old Confederacy States Carried: 57 electoral votes (Republican pickup with Texas, 24; Republican pickup with Virginia, 12; Republican pickup with Tennessee, 11; Republican pickup with Florida, 10)
    • 1952 Old Confederacy Electoral Votes Percentage: 12.89

    • 1956: 457 electoral votes
    • Old Confederacy States Carried: 67 electoral votes (Texas, 24, Virginia, 12; Tennessee, 11; Florida, 10; Republican pickup with Louisiana, 10)
    • 1956 Old Confederacy Electoral Votes Percentage: 14.66

    • 1964: 486 electoral votes
    • Old Confederacy States Carried: 81 electoral votes (Texas, 25; Democratic pickup with Florida, 14; North Carolina, 13; Democratic pickup with Virginia, 12; Democratic pickup with Tennessee, 11; Arkansas, 6)
    • 1964 Old Confederacy Electoral Votes Percentage: 16.66
    (Johnson is included because he won with a deviation. Except for Barry Goldwater’s home state Arizona, all of the U.S. senator’s five other states were from the Old Confederacy while Johnson carried so many of today’s Democratic base states by margins in excess of his national defeat of Goldwater by D+22.58. For example, while Goldwater won shocking high margins in Alabama and Mississippi, Johnson countered with winning Vermont by a likewise shocking margin. The Deep South duo and the Northeasterner are historically and electorally in opposition.)

    • 1992: 370 electoral votes
    • Old Confederacy States Carried: 39 electoral votes (Democratic pickup with Georgia, 13; Democratic pickup with Al Gore’s home state Tennessee, 11; Democratic pickup with Louisiana, 9; Democratic pickup with Clinton’s home state Arkansas, 6)
    • 1992 Old Confederacy Electoral Votes Percentage: 10.54

    1996: 379 electoral votes
    • Old Confederacy States Carried: 51 electoral votes (Democratic pickup with Florida, 25; Tennessee, 11; Louisiana, 9; Arkansas, 6)
    • 1992 Old Confederacy Electoral Votes Percentage: 13.45

    • 2008: 365 electoral votes
    • Old Confederacy States Carried: 55 electoral votes (Democratic pickup with Florida, 27; Democratic pickup with North Carolina, 15; Democratic pickup with Virginia, 13)
    • 2008 Old Confederacy Electoral Votes Percentage: 15.06

    • 2012: 332 electoral votes
    • Old Confederacy States Carried: 42 electoral votes (Florida, 29; Virginia, 13)
    • 2012 Old Confederacy Electoral Votes Percentage: 12.65

    Let’s Review:

    • 1952 Eisenhower: 12.89
    • 1956 Eisenhower: 14.66
    • 1964 Johnson: 16.66
    • 1992 Clinton: 10.54
    • 1996 Clinton: 13.45
    • 2008 Obama: 15.06
    • 2012 Obama: 12.65

    Totals: 95.91
    Cycles: 7
    Average: 13.70

    Nowadays when the Democrats win the presidency, we can count on between 11 to 15 percent of the total electoral votes—no matter what that final map looks like—will be represented by select Old Confederacy states which will end up getting carried.

    Right now, Florida and Virginia are bellwethers. Fla. has gone to the winner in all elections since 1928, except the Democratic pickup winners of 1960 and 1992. (And the margins were narrow in both cycles when they turned out to be bare Republican holds.) Va. has been the No. 1 state in both 2008 and 2012 with best reflecting the U.S. popular vote [“margin”]. In 2008, Obama won over Va. in a Democratic pickup by D+6.30 as he defeated John McCain, in a likewise Democratic pickup of the presidency, by a national margin of D+7.26. (That was a spread of just of 0.96 percent.) In 2012, Obama carried Va. with re-election by D+3.88 while he won the popular vote, over losing Republican challenger Mitt Romney, by D+3.85. (That was a spread of just 0.03 percent.) These two states are on pace to continue being bellwethers. (Florida, like the most reputable bellwether Ohio, lately performs no greater than five percentage points from the national margin.) If a Republican wins over the presidency, in a party pickup in 2016, there will be likewise Republican pickups in Florida and Virginia. If the Democrats hold with winning the presidency, for a third consecutive election cycle in 2016, Florida and Virginia will emerge as likewise Democratic holds. They are, indeed, trending with the nation.

    A third Old Confederacy state is about to arrive. North Carolina carried Democratic, first time since 1976, for electing Barack Obama in 2008. He pulled it in, for the flip, by a margin of D+0.33. (That was a spread of 6.93 percent from his national D+7.26.) When Romney flipped the state, in a 2012 Republican pickup as Obama nationally underperformed his 2008-vs.-2012 numbers, N.C. carried for Romney by R+2.04. (That was a spread of 5.89.) Since 2000, a trendline has becoming gradually established where Republican strength with carrying N.C. has diminished. That state has been transforming from Strong Republican to Lean Republican to…well, since Obama proved a Democratic presidential candidate can win over and carry N.C., as he did in 2008, the Tar Heel State has now become “Competitive.” The developing demographics are helping to diminish that partisan-identification which used to be so strong for Team Red at the presidential level in N.C. (Had President Obama been re-elected along traditional lines of increased popular-vote margin and electoral-vote score, he would have carried North Carolina along with his re-election.)

    Given that prevailing Democrats have averaged around 12 electoral votes of all states carried since Bill Clinton in 1992—and with 13 electoral votes in elections not won at any point in the last 20 years (referring to Elections 2000 and 2004)—it is no wonder North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes and, more conspicuously, Virginia’s 13 electoral votes are now a part of prevailing electoral maps in this current period of presidential politics.

  7. Ronald November 29, 2013 10:11 am

    Thanks again, D, for your perceptive analysis, which adds so much to this blog! 🙂

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