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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Rolling Stone Features Ruy Teixeira in Election Analysis

A Nov. 17th Rolling Stone magazine roundtable on the election included Ruy Teixeira along with Peter Hart and David Gergen in a roundtable discussion with Rolling Stone editor Jan Weiner. Here are a few excerpts from Ruy’s comments during the discussion.

We should keep a bit of perspective on this. The last three elections, the Democrats got, respectively, forty-nine, forty-eight and forty-eight percent of the vote. That’s not that far off a majority. I mean, you shift a point and a half of the vote and you’re just about there. They just need to figure out a way to put their natural constituencies, and growing constituencies, together with a more respectable performance among whites of moderate income. Democrats are not in the position that the Republicans were in after Goldwater was defeated in 1964…
One of the misperceptions about the election is that young people didn’t turn out. In fact, the number of voters under the age of thirty increased substantially. And they went for Kerry by nine points in an election in which the country as a whole went for the other side by three points. That’s the biggest difference between youth and the country as a whole that we’ve seen in the last four elections — even greater than in 1996, when Bill Clinton carried the youth by nineteen points and carried the country as a whole by eight points. I think there’s real potential there for the future.