33anda3rd wrote:A couple by-the-numbers ideas.G. Keenan wrote:This is what I'm trying to say. It's easy to sneer at rural people as stupid racist hicks who can be waited out in a demographic war of attrition, but how long have we been hearing that now? How well did that strategy work out in 2016? US govt. has two very conservative features in the Senate and the Electoral College that give these geographic areas disproportionate power. How will liberals overcome that? A constitutional convention? Maybe Puerto Rico a state? Adding Supreme Court justices? Good luck with all that.pioneer98 wrote:The thing is, Democrats don't have to "win" the rural areas. They just can't perform so badly there that the rural areas cancel out the cities. I mean, if Democrats could perform well enough to consistently only lose that Steve King district by 3% like they did this time, they *should* be able to win statewide elections in a place like Iowa pretty consistently, you'd think.
First, Trump won a LOT of suburban votes in 2016, not just the racist hicks in deep red states went his way. We saw him get his ass kicked this week when that suburban trend turned on him. 2018 Midterms, in a nutshell: suburbs and women turn on Trump.
By the 2010 Census, the US population is:
71.2% urbanized areas (up 2.9% from 2000)
9.5% urban clusters (down 1.2% from 2000)
19.3% rural (down 1.7% from 2000)
From 2000 to 2010 our population grew by 22 million people. In that span, our urban population grew by the same 22 million people. Rural America is literally dying off to the tune of almost 10% over a 10-year span.
If you only make up 1/5 of the population, and every 10 years you lose a point and a half of your %, you can be waited out in a few decades on a national level. Hence we see Dems overwhelmingly win popular votes (Hillary, the Congressional races this week, the Senate races this week, the Governor races this week.) To the points of the EC and the Senate, here are states in the US that are markedly below the 71.2% national rate of urbanization (everyone under 2/3 urban):
New Hampshire 60.3%
North Dakota 59.9%
South Dakota 56.7%
West Virginia 48.7%
That's 26 Senators, 6 of whom are blue--VT, NH, 1 in ME and 1 now in WV. So it's basically 20 slam dunks for the GOP from rural areas.
The states we see as traditionally red states where the urbanized areas, cities and 'burbs, make up 2/3 or more of the state are (with # of GOP senators in ( ) ):
North Carolina (2)
South Carolina (2)
Florida (1, with an undecided election)
Arizona (1, with an undecided election)
There are 32 Senators in there. The Dems need to pick off like 7-8 those. If they do the GOP cannot control the Senate, the map and math fail them. These 32 seats in the second group are where opportunity exists and are the only seats the Dems might end up with from this group are in races headed toward recounts or very late results thanks in part to this semi-Blue Wave of suburban and female rejection of the POTUS and GOP. These are the seats to go for. How? By the DNC raising a metric [expletive] ton of money and putting it into huge well-oiled machines in Phoenix in AZ, Miami/Tampa/St Pete/Jacksonville in FL, Indianapolis/Gary in IN, and so on. Get Obama and Mrs Obama and Oprah and Will Ferrell in those cities now. Have Ryan Gosling appear at a voter engagement event in a white-leaning Atlanta suburb. Start opening offices, start recruiting volunteers, start community engagement programs, start town hall meetings, start talking to the people in these areas about the things that are important. In the places where the local leadership is tired old party people who don't get anything done, replace them where you can. Get voters registered. Get same-day voter registration measures on the ballot in every one of these states where it's possible by getting petitions going now. Rally the people who can support you now, get them invested both emotionally and with their time and sweat. That's it. Do that, win the cities and suburbs by bigger margins via massive turnout and a good message for those people and their needs (educated suburbanites don't tend to fear immigrants but do fear guns) and you can forget about pandering to the racist rural redneck.
1) Millions of blue voters live in that list of red states you are totally writing off. Even the very reddest states still get like 30% of people to vote Democrat pretty consistently. There are districts within those states at the state level and even federal level that are solidly blue. If you abandon them, you may lose those areas. Also, when that next "wave" election happens, you could possibly flip some of these states. Not competing in those may limit your upside when that wave comes. Hell a Democrat just became governor of Kansas. Kansas!
2) Even in "safe" blue states, Republicans occasionally win. See: Rauner, Bruce. As in my point above about there being blue districts in red states, there are also red districts in blue states. Again, you might be able to flip those red districts in a wave election. I just feel like you need a 50 state strategy. Compete everywhere. Don't take anything for granted.
3) A lot of the stuff you list in that last paragraph as far as strategy goes is good. I don't think bringing in Oprah or Obama to rallies will make much of a difference though. There is no substitute for doing the hard work of organizing from the bottom up. To be fair, some of the stuff on your list there (such as the get-out-the-vote stuff, for example) would be part of bottom up organizing. But when I say "organize", I really mean to build an institution like a labor union to make people feel like part of a community. This is why I feel like the DSA is on the right track. They are starting renter's unions and things like that in many places, even in smaller cities. Good candidates can come out of those organizations and have a built-in constituency. People might not be sure how Oprah is going to help them, but they will absolutely remember that gal that helped them avoid getting evicted from their apartment.