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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Dems Gaining in Swing States

For an insightful analysis of current congressional campaigns in key swing states, read “Mood Indigo: A Democratic Revival” by John B. Judis in the New Republic Online. Judis, NR senior editor, author and visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, has recently returned from swing states Colorado and Ohio, where he interviewed voters and candidates. His report has a lot for Dems to be encouraged about, including:

…this year, Democrats could unseat as many as five House Republicans in Ohio and win a Senate seat and the governor’s mansion. In Colorado, Democrats are very likely to win the governorship and both state legislatures, and to take as many as three House seats from the Republicans. And, in both states, it’s not just a sudden and fleeting reaction to Bush, but the resumption of a movement among upscale suburban voters and working-class Reagan Democrats. America may not turn blue this year, but it looks as if it is definitely becoming purple.

Judis says there are two general types of districts that are morphing Democratic:

The first is suburbs of older manufacturing regions in the East, Midwest, and West that have shifted to producing high-tech information services. These areas are heavily populated by professionals–from scientists and software programmers to teachers and nurses–who began voting Democratic in the late ’80s and early ’90s in response to the GOP’s embrace of the religious right and adoption of a deregulatory, anti-New Deal business agenda. Democratic support in these areas was particularly high among women voters and voters with a postgraduate education.
…The second kind of district where Democrats have a chance of unseating Republicans is white, working-class, and located in or near a mid-sized city like South Bend or Louisville. Voters in these districts tend to be less affluent, less educated, and more socially conservative.

Judis has a lot more interesting detail and analysis about this trend and the political dynamics of the campaigns — particularly the role of women voters. His article is highly reccommended for everyone interested in Democratic political strategy.