Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Are yesterday's "Reagan Democrats" now today's "9/11 Democrats"?

In the 80s there was talk about the "Reagan Democrats." Some 20 years later, I believe there's a similar group of voters who I'd coin the "9/11 Democrats."

Every four years the presidential election breaks down into fairly predictable sectors. There will always be approximately 35-40% of the electorate on both sides of the political spectrum that will always vote for the D or the R lever. Even in the biggest landslides, there have always been that 35-40% who still voted for the losing candidate no matter what.

That leaves 20% of the electorate who occupy the middle ground and who can be swayed one way or the other (or a third direction - think Ross Perot's 19% in 1992). In some closer elections, that middle ground percentage will shrink to 10%. But you can be sure that they're there. In 1980 and 1984, Reagan was able to attract what was then termed the "Reagan Democrats." They were lost to Perot in '92 & '96. And that middle ground group shrunk even further in 2000.

But, post-9/11, I believe there is a new group of 10-15% who have been awakened by the terrorists attacks on American soil, and who will ultimately realize that it is much better to keep the current Commander-in-Chief in office in order to handle the difficult and serious international issues of our day. And I think a good portion of that sector is whom I call the "9/11 Democrats & Independents."

No comments: