In an earlier post, I stated that the Republicans were in an extinction spiral. There’s another statement that I sometimes think of. When you really dislike someone, the statement is “If they were drowning, I’d throw them an anchor.” In the case of Republicans, it’s not necessary. Given a choice between a flotation device and an anchor, they’re not only choosing the anchor, but using several bags of concrete to make darn sure it’ll sink.
Why would I say that? There was an article over at Yahoo News a while back about the Republicans’ demographic problem. It comes with a nice interactive widget (sorry, can’t imbed it) which enables you to ‘play’ with voter turn-out and demographics. But, using the past turn-out as an indicator? They have real problems:
Just to get out ahead of the pack a little, I’m going to go ahead and call the 2020 presidential election for the Democrats.
I’m less sure about 2016, though it’s not looking good for the GOP. These forecasts are based on extremely simple math: Take the current rates of turnout and party preference for the four major racial and ethnic groups and plug them in to the Census Bureau’s population projections for the 18-and-over population for the next 50 years.
If you simply project the present into the future, then it’s pretty clear that Democrats have this thing in the bag
Yes, that’s right. Even if you use 2012’s turn-out rate and percentages, the Republicans have a real problem. Basically, what it comes down to is that not only are the demographics changing – we’re soon to become a country with no “majority” race or ethnic group, the groups which are going to show the largest increase as a percentage were strongly Democratic and they could be turning out in higher numbers.
But it’s not just with minorities that they have to worry about. It’s also this:
55 percent of women voted for Obama, while only 44 percent voted for Mitt Romney. Men preferred Romney by a margin of 52 to 45 percent, and women made up about 54 percent of the electorate. In total, the gender gap on Tuesday added up to 18 percent — a significantly wider margin than the 12-point gender gap in the 2008 election.
Those are things which have thinking Republicans panicking. Those are a path to permanent minority status as a political party, one that might elect a some members to Congress here and there, and control some states, but not one that has a hope of retaking both houses of Congress and the White House. Knowing this, what are they doing?
Let’s see. Congress just passed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Good? Well, not for Republicans.
The final legislation passed the lower chamber by a vote of 286 to 138 after a protracted battle over an expansion of the law and its impact in tribal communities. A majority of Republicans voted against the legislation, with 87 GOP members and all Democrats supporting it.
That’s after they tried watering down the bill, gutting out key protections, and in general dragging their feet on what should have been a simple vote. That’s in addition to making some rather … idiotic comments … along the way. Let’s also not forget that Republican state legislators have been busily passing vaginal ultrasound bills, and busily making statements about “a woman’s place.” They didn’t tone it down after the election, so apparently they haven’t learned.
On immigration reform, which has been identified by both parties as a “necessity,” the problem is … the Republicans. It was antagonistic enough for Hispanics when various states controlled by Republicans like Alabama, Georgia, and Arizona passed various laws, you now have a stream of comments coming out of various Republicans, despite the “make nice” noises being made by others. Let’s not forget Steve King trying to introduce a law outlawing “birthright citizenship.” None of which is making Hispanics feel … kindly … towards Republicans at the moment.
Then we jump to a case now before the Supreme Court, about the Voting Rights Act. Besides Justice Scalia’s … inflammatory … line of questioning, it’s obvious to many that the conservatives want to scrap one of the more important sections. Which resonates not just with African Americans, but also Hispanics. They don’t even have to remember the ’60’s, thanks to the Republicans. The past 4 years have been a litany of attempts by various Republicans on the state level to restrict voting, pass “voter ID” laws to combat the virtually non-existent problem of “voter fraud” (which turns out to have been mostly on the part of Republicans).
Various conservative pundits, and some in the establishment, are talking about how the party needs to change it’s tone and message, to come up with new ideas to be able to appeal to a wider range of the electorate. Heck, even a few liberals are coming up with ideas! There’s no shortage of ideas, and even statements that could make one believe that they’re serious. The Republican’s problem? Their current actions say they’re not serious about changing.
The demographics for the future, the election results for 2008 and 2012, national polls, and population changes all say that the current direction the Republicans are taking is a path to extinction. But like a drowning person who has chosen an anchor, they’re determined to go to the bottom. About the only question I have now is whether they should be offered some lead bricks to go along with the anchor and concrete.