Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Brownstein Speculates on New Democratic South

In his latest column (May 26, 2020) on the presidential campaign, Ron Brownstein’s commentary for CNN offers the view that demographic changes in the Southwest could lead to a realignment in which Democrats dominate all eight senate seats – Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada – and Joe Biden wins all the electoral votes. This hasn’t happened for more than 70 years.

The key shift is the growing population of young, educated Anglo voters with an increase in non-White, mostly Latino, voters. The populations are concentrated in the metro areas, such as Denver, Las Vegas and Phoenix. In Colorado, those new voters are especially concentrated in the Denver metro region and the North Front Range, and they are giving Democrats huge increases in their vote, up more than 10 points since 2000.

In this column, Brownstein quotes Dick Wadhams explaining his hope that focusing on the economic recovery can help President Trump:

In Colorado, Richard Wadhams, the former state GOP chair, acknowledges that Trump has alienated many of the young professionals swarming into Denver for well-paying information-age jobs. But he holds out hope that Republicans can regain at least some of those voters by focusing their attention on the prosperity that they enjoyed before the outbreak.

“They don't like Trump,” he says. “But when they really have to choose in November, who is really going to get this economy going again, they know what it was like for three years when Trump was President before all this broke. Those young professionals who moved here might be a little skeptical of a Biden presidency with a Democratic-controlled Congress.” (CNN, May 26, 2020)

In his earlier article, Brownstein focused on the relationship between presidential vote and down ballot decisions by voters creating a huge challenge for Senator Gardner. He titled it: “Why Trump’s Shadow Over the Race for Senate Control is So Long.”

Republican incumbents Collins in Maine and Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado face the challenge of holding seats in states where Trump lost last time and now stands as an underdog again. Gardner's odds appear especially bleak given Trump's decline in the state. "Gardner is one of the best politicians the Republicans have produced in that state since" the 1990s, says Floyd Ciruli, director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Denver. "But I just don't think being the best Senate candidate the Republicans have produced and lots of money can deal with ... just what looks like [a] wave against Trump in terms of Colorado." (CNN, May 5, 2020)

John Hickenlooper and Joe Biden

Cory Gardner and Donald Trump

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