Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Incredible Shrinking Democratic Party

The Democratic Party is shrinking.

The news from Wisconsin is that the voters chose to recall the Occupy-style union protests rather than Republican Governor Scott Walker. The headline in the Boston Globe is "Walker survives recall election in Wisconsin." Survived? Walker got 15% more votes than when he was elected in 2010. The real question is whether the Democratic Party has survived and how it can recover in time for the Presidential election this fall.

Look at the results in Wisconsin in the 2012 Presidential race and the Governor Walker recall election in 2012.

Party President 2008   Governor 2012 Shrink
Republican McCain 1,262,393   Walker 1,334,450 -72,057
Democratic Obama 1,677,211   Barrett 1,162,785 514,426

Now it is certainly true that turnout is often lower in non-Presidential years and in special elections. However, it is also apparent that every Wisconsinite who voted for John McCain in 2012 voted for Scott Walker in 2012, plus 72,000 (negative shrinkage there). But what about Democratic voters? Over 500,000 Wisconsinites who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 were missing in the 2012 recall election. That would have been more than enough to turn out Scott Walker and put in the Democratic candidate Tom Barrett.

Where did those half million Obama voters go? How many will be back in the fall? Wisconsin is one of 50 states. Just how many Obama voters will go missing nationally?

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