Joe Conason has a piece at Salon repeating a piece of conventional wisdom that has been floating around since the 2008 election: even if Democrats suffer losses in the upcoming elections, unstoppable demographic trends (the rise of the ‘minority majority’ nation and the growth of the college-educated workforce) will ensure that Democrats have significant successes over the next twenty years. The continuing decline of the percentage of the country that is white, Christian, and lacks a college education will doom the Republicans- whatever their short-term gains- to demographic irrelevancy as a regional party representing portions of the rural South and Midwest.
This line of reasoning takes for granted that demographic categories that currently favor Democrats over Republicans- such as Hispanic/Latino voters, African-Americans, and Asians- will continue to vote for Democrats. Conason points out that failures to achieve Democratic goals over the next couple years could threaten the party’s mid-term dominance, but the argument seems to assume that if Democratic legislators can pass the legislation that they want, voters that are currently voting Democrat will continue to do so. But is their hold on their voters as strong as the pundits think? Continue reading