Who are their core voters? 2008 Presidential election results The standard presidential map shows the “Democratic” states in blue and the “Republican” states in red It is misleading in two ways. Firstly a candidate can win a state narrowly (as Obama did in North Carolina, getting 49.9% of the vote to McCain’s 45.5%) and get all the state coloured in their colour. Secondly, it would appear from a first glance the Republicans won the election as there is more red on the map than blue. But, Obama won the states with the biggest Electoral College Votes and ECVs are based on a state’s population, not its geographical size. The Purple Map The Purple Map shows the percentage of votes each candidate won in each state. This gives a more accurate account of how popular each party/candidate was. In total Obama won 66,882,230 (53%) votes to McCain’s 58,343,671 (46%), not the overwhelming defeat for the Republicans many made it out to be. The Demographics How America Voted 2008 Obama (Dem) McCain (Rep) Whites 43% 55% Hispanics 66 31 African Americans 95 4 Women 56 43 Men 49 49 Under 30s 66 31 White Evangelicals 25 73 Roman Catholics 54 46 Those earning above $200,000 53 45 Congress 2008 The Democrats currently hold a majority in both houses of Congress. But, the mid-term elections will be held on 2 November 2010. All 435 seats in the House and 36 in the Senate are up for grabs. The polls suggest that the Democrats will get a thumping, perhaps as big as the defeat suffered by Bill Clinton in 1994’s midterms. Republican voters are angry and motivated. Democrat voters are disillusioned. Who are the Republicans? In 2008 the Republicans lost control of the presidency and both houses of Congress. Obamamania partly explains the Presidential defeat. But the state of the economy and the unpopularity of the war in Iraq were also factors. Voters also rejected the Karl Rove agenda of Guns, God and Gays which had been so successful in clobbering the Democrats in the past. Long term demographic problems for the Republicans Support Base: White Christians Republicans have a strong support base among White Christian voters who disapprove of “liberal” causes such as abortion rights and gay marriage . Christian activists have also campaigned against the teaching of evolution in schools and have lobbied Republican politicians to support them in these causes. In 2008, Presidential candidate John McCain won the support of Christian groups, but their support was not as strong as for previous Republican candidates for the Presidency. McCain was seen by many Christian activists as too liberal. Support Base: The Tea Party The Tea Party was created in 2009. It began as a protest at federal government bail-outs for banks and the car industry. The Tea Party Movement It is a grass roots group within the Republican Party which attempts to mobilise voters behind “Tea Party” Republicans. Support base: Corporate America Traditionally the Republican Party is supported by big business. The Republicans are opposed to “big Government” and support issues such as low taxes and free trade. The problem is taxes have been cut, worker protections have been reduced, and the free market has been given a freer hand. After the banking crisis and the credit crunch, many ordinary Americans are sceptical about big business running America. They are also distrustful of the Government! Support Base: “Angry White Men” Able bodied white men are the only group in the USA who do not benefit from affirmative action programmes, which Republicans tend to oppose. Republicans, in general, are opposed to “political correctness”, for example minority rights, something white males are more likely to oppose too. Angry White Male: Falling Down Support Base: The South The Democrats haven’t won Southern states at presidential elections since the party supported the civil rights movement in the 1960s. It is claimed that there is a new cultural war between the God Fearing “Jesusland” Southern states and the rest of the USA which is more liberal. Southern Road Trip USA White voters in the South are more likely to feel the Republicans are the party which best represents them. The Republican Med Neal Boortz on Obama’s tax plans Rush Limbaugh America prides itself on the 1st amendment freedom of speech. There are a massive variety of talk show and shockjock shows where Republican minded talk show hosts can voice conservative viewpoints. Often these shows are syndicated across the entire nation. Naturally, they have websites too. Who are the Democrats? Nancy Pelosi, Democrat leader in House of Representatives. The Democrats enjoy a majority in both Houses of Congress as well as, of course, having the Presidency. Democrats, in general, tend to be more liberal on social issues and believe in a bigger role for government in the economy, for example, in providing health insurance. Support Base: Labor Unions The trade unions in America are a strong base of support for the Democrats. The Democrats are much more likely to support workers rights and issues such as the national minimum wage. Obama: I believe in Unions Support Base: Ethnic Minorities Racial minorities, especially African Americans are strong supporters of the Democrats Traditionally, they have been more likely to be poor and therefore more likely to depend on the government support which Democratic politicians are more likely to support Support Base: Liberals Those Americans who are environmentalists, anti-war, support a woman’s right to choose abortion or support gay marriage are termed “liberals”. They are highly unlikely to vote Republican and the Democrats is their normal political home. Barack Obama on Gay Marriage The Democratic Media Al Franken on Letterman The Future for the Republicans? The Republican Party has bounced back from it’s defeat at the 2008 Presidential and Congressional elections. All Republicans are trying to convince the American people that they are on the side of “Joe the Plumber”, who came to prominence in 2008. Joe the Plumber works hard, pays his taxes, obeys the law and doesn’t rely on Government. The November mid terms are a big opportunity for the Republicans to win back control of the House of representatives. Voters are unhappy at President Obama’s performance; the cost of health care, high unemployment, negative home equity and the size of the Government deficit. Joe the Plumber Looking further ahead, Sarah Palin could be the party’s choice in 2012. For others, Louisiana’s Governor, Bobby Jindal can be the Republican’s Obama.