From the NYT
Hillary Clinton Traces Friendly Path, Troubling Party
By JONATHAN MARTIN and MAGGIE HABERMAN JUNE 6, 2015
PhotoWASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton appears to be dispensing with the nationwide electoral strategy that won her husband two terms in the White House and brought white working-class voters and great stretches of what is now red-state America back to Democrats.Instead, she is poised to retrace Barack Obama’s far narrower path to the presidency: a campaign focused more on mobilizing supporters in the Great Lakes states
The North Central region is really the main battleground. On November 12, 2012
I wrote in VDARE
Romney could have won the Electoral College in what can be called the Big Ten states (after the college football conference of the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest: remember, Illinois and Michigan each have two teams in the Big Ten). He did win Indiana, and he lost Obama’s home state of Illinois badly. The other six states in this region, however, all slipped through his fingers: Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.In each of these Slippery Six states, Romney won at least 45 percent of the vote. But he still wound up a cumulative 0 for 80 in Electoral Votes. …The Slippery Six are states with old-fashioned white and black voting demographics, still with a smattering of old time unionized factory workers. Hispanics, much less Asians, are, for the moment, still a minor matter politically..According to Reuters, Romney lost the Slippery Six states because … he did badly there among white voters—winning only 52 percent, six points worse than nationally.Most notably, Romney did terribly among the white working class in these six states. Thus he did only two points worse among whites with college degrees in the Slippery Six than he did nationally. But among the white “some college” component, he came in six points worse than nationally. And among the white “no college” voters, he performed 11 points worse than across the country—finishing tied with Obama.In fact (although sample sizes are getting small), Romney even appears to have suffered the ignominy of a reverse gender gap among no-college whites in the Slippery Six—winning 51.4 percent of the women, but only 48 percent of the white working class men.
The NYT continues:
and in parts of the West and South than on persuading undecided voters.Mrs. Clinton’s aides say it is the only way to win in an era of heightened polarization, when a declining pool of voters is truly up for grabs. Her liberal policy positions, they say, will fire up Democrats, a less difficult task than trying to win over independents in more hostile territory — even though a broader strategy could help lift the party with her. …When Bill Clinton reclaimed the presidency for Democrats in 1992, his road to the White House ran through Southern and Southern-border states filled with what were then a precious commodity: swing voters.
The red-blue maps of the 1992 and 1996 elections don’t look much at all like the affordable family formation-driven red-blue maps of 2000 through 2012
. If you go back to 1988, you can see the vague rudiments of the 21st Century dynamic driven by years married among white women that I figured out right after the 2004 election
. However, it was disrupted by the 1992-96 elections, which was a big reason why I was able to get so far ahead of veteran electoral analysts after the 2004 election: I was doing other things in 1992 and 1996, so I simply developed a theory that worked for both 2000 and 2004 (and, as it has turned out, 2008 and, especially, 2012) and didn’t worry much about making it retroactively apply to 92-96
My guess is that 1992 and 1996 are outliers because third party candidate Ross Perot was a genuine wild card.
Twenty years later, Mr. Obama convincingly won a second term without competing in states like Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee or West Virginia that powered Mr. Clinton. And because of his strong appeal among liberals, Mr. Obama did so even while losing among independent voters.As Mrs. Clinton intensifies her campaign for the Democratic nomination, it is clear from her left-leaning policy stances, her hiring and her focus on data-driven organizing that her strategy is modeled on Mr. Obama’s, not her husband’s.If she won, it would suggest that the so-called Obama coalition of young, nonwhite and female voters is transferable to another Democrat.
In reality, of course, the Gender Gap is less important than the Marriage Gap
. I suspect Mrs. Clinton, at least, knows that, since the Clintons have long employed Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg
, who has been emphasizing that Democrats do better among singles at least as long as I have.
It’s fascinating, however, how long it is taking for this realization to sink in.
And it would validate the idea that energizing core supporters is more important in presidential contests than persuading those still undecided. …Mrs. Clinton and her husband expressed concern last year when Democratic turnout fell precipitously. Recognizing that Democrats had to be galvanized to show up at the polls, Mrs. Clinton’s advisers used surveys and focus groups to assess the risks of running a strongly liberal campaign. They concluded that there were few.So she is embracing the central lesson of the Obama school: that voters turn out when they believe that an election makes a difference and that their party’s standard-bearer is a champion on issues important to them.By emphatically staking out liberal positions on gay rights, immigration, criminal justice, voting rights and pay equity for women, Mrs. Clinton is showing core Democratic constituencies that she intends to give them a reason to support her.The stoke-the-base approach is a hallmark of Mrs. Clinton’s young campaign manager, Mr. Mook. …“The highest-premium voter in ’92 was a voter who would vote for one party some and for another party some,” said James Carville, Mr. Clinton’s chief strategist in 1992. “Now the highest-premium voter is somebody with a high probability to vote for you and low probability to turn out. That’s the golden list. And that’s a humongous change in basic strategic doctrine.”
I think this may help explain how glacial has been the the growth in pundit awareness that my 2004 insights explain 21st Century Electoral College results better than the conventional wisdom: there are a lot of people left over who became media stars on 24 hour cable in the 1990s, but we can now see that 1992 and 1996 were anomalous elections (mostly due to Perot).