Sunday, August 15, 2010

Republicans Increasingly A Southern Party

According to a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, the Republicans are basically becoming a Southern party–and in other sections of the country, they appeal to the same constituency that favors them in the South:

The poll contains this interesting finding: The GOP has a HUGE generic-ballot edge in the South (52%-31%), but it doesn’t lead anywhere else. In the Northeast, Dems have a 55%-30% edge; in the Midwest, they lead 49%-38%; and in the West, it’s 44%-43%. Yet do keep this caveat in mind: Many of the congressional districts Republicans are targeting outside of the South resemble some of those Southern districts they’re hoping to win back in November -- where you have whiter and older voters. Think Stephanie Herseth's seat in South Dakota; Tim Walz' seat in Minnesota; Leonard Boswell's seat in Iowa; and Ike Skelton's in Missouri.

The Republicans stand to pick up seats in November, though a Congressional overhaul is questionable. In the long run, however, the Republicans are threatened by demographic trends projecting that the white population will be a minority in coming decades while the Hispanic population will triple. The growing Hispanic population, alienated by Republican stances on immigration that include Arizona's law SB 1070, is significantly moving toward the Democrats. From an NBC/MSNBC/Telemundo poll in May:

For the Republican Party, politically, there's good news and bad news in our new NBC/MSNBC/Telemundo poll on the subject of immigration. Let's start with the good news: The Arizona anti-illegal immigration law, passed by a GOP-led legislature and signed by a GOP governor, has been a short-term political winner. The poll shows that 61% of the public supports the law, and a Republican congressional candidate who backs the law beats a Democratic candidate who opposes it, 40%-26%. But here's the bad news: Latinos, once a semi-swing group of voters, now have swung overwhelmingly for President Obama and the Democratic Party, and younger Hispanics are moving to the Democrats in even greater numbers.

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