[FoRK] Shooting dice with Zogby, or, Poll-less pollstering

J.Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Thu Nov 4 22:46:20 PST 2004

On Nov 4, 2004, at 6:17 PM, Jeff Bone wrote:
> The really unfortunate thing is that 2008 is EVEN MORE likely to be 
> more of the same than this year was re: 2000 --- UNLESS the Dems can 
> acquire the memetic engineering competency that the GOP has acquired 
> at great cost over the last 15 years.

I pretty much agree with Jeff here.  2008 is going to be a blood bath.

It is a little more severe than that, as the Democrat Party appears to 
mostly be a husk of political party.  All the meat and substance has 
been leaving for a number of years now and the infighting has gotten 
ugly and bitter.  I expect 2006 and 2008 to be even more shrill, with 
the Democrats marginalized even more as they retreat to the left fringe 
and their core becomes thin.  They might actually manage to reinvent 
themselves, but the people that need to take over and do that are not 
the people that currently control and fund that party.  I would put the 
probability on them being severely marginalized rather than them 
reinventing themselves to something healthy and politically solvent.

The insides of the Republican party, on the other hand, is as healthy 
looking as it has since I've paid attention.    And I mean "healthy" in 
an institutional and organizational sense.  While there is some 
internal competition between the libertarian factions and the religious 
right, they are not eating their own and they have grown somewhat 
comfortable working together.  This was a coalition of convenience, 
formed a long time ago when the Democrats used to control everything, 
but it is only recently that they've really started to function well 
together and be organized.  One only has to look at the last couple 
election cycles to see how effective they've managed to become.

My bold predictions:

In 2006 and 2008 the Democrat Party will continue to implode and cede 
territory to the Republicans.  After 2008, I think the Republican Party 
will become sufficiently large and powerful that the internal coalition 
will start to fission and you will end up with a libertarian-ish party 
and a social conservative party.  With the Democrats sufficiently 
marginalized, there will be no reason for the Republican coalition to 
stay together.  There is also some very interesting demographic trends 
that should come into play around the 2012 election cycle that will add 
fuel to this fire and bolster the position of a nascent 
quasi-libertarian party.

Don't ask me exactly how that will play out, but I'm seeing 2012 as 
ripe for a new party of a libertarian bent with enough power out of the 
gate to last.  What is left of the Democrats may have effectively 
merged with the Greens and Nader politically at that point.

As an aside, I think the "morals/values" issue is being somewhat 
misinterpreted.  It looks more like a case that people could not figure 
out what the morals/values of Kerry actually were more than having a 
moral objection to him, and the obvious New England elitist way about 
him is not generally endearing to blue collar folks.  Not my 
interpretation -- I've heard a couple life-long Democrats (of the blue 
collar variety) state this as being the reason they voted for Bush.

I also think they gay marriage issue is being badly misinterpreted.  
Those ballot issues also failed by huge margins in liberal states and 
liberal areas without a "religious conservative" in sight.  How does 
one explain that away?  One either concludes that liberals are right 
wing bigots, or that there is a very broken assumption in there 
somewhere.  If the Democrats cannot make gay marriage measures fly in 
gay-friendly California in liberal counties, it seems disingenuous to 
call the people in "red states" anti-gay bigots (even if they are) 
based purely on this result.

j. andrew rogers

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