the first time since before the New Deal, Republicans
are now the majority party from the top of the ballot
to the bottom. That's reality -- and we delude ourselves
if we take false comfort in the closeness of our loss.
was the second national election in a row -- 2002 was
the first -- in which Republicans won a majority of the
votes cast. That broke a string of three presidential
elections and three congressional elections in a row in
which neither party won a majority. Moreover, this election
was the latest chapter in a four-decade swing to the Republicans
that began after Lyndon Johnson's 1964 landslide victory.
dimensions of that swing -- and our decline -- are staggering.
In1964, Johnson won 60.6 percent of the popular vote and
90 percent of the electoral votes, and Democrats held
2-to-1 advantages in both the House of Representatives
and the Senate and among governors and state legislators.
Today, the Republicans not only control the White House
and both houses of Congress, but a majority of statehouses
and state legislatures. In the 10 presidential elections
since 1964, the Democratic candidate has won a majority
of the popular vote only once -- Jimmy Carter won 50.1
percent in 1976. President Clinton slowed our slide in
the 1990s, but even he never reached that magic 50 percent
mark. The trend in the vote for Congress has been the
same. After 40 straight years of domination, Democrats
have not won a majority of the cumulative national vote
for the House since 1992.
1964, according to the University of Michigan, more than
one-half of all Americans -- 52 percent -- identified
themselves as Democrats, compared with 25 percent who
identified themselves as Republicans and 24 percent as
independents. In the 2004 election, party identification
was dead even: 37 percent Democrat, 37 percent Republican,
and 26 percent independent.
cannot assume this trend will end on its own. We know
the Republicans will do everything they can to keep it
going. It is up to Democrats to stop it.
who believe changing demographics will lead to a new Democratic
majority should take a careful look at this election.
According to that theory, women and the increasing number
of minority voters will lead to an emerging Democratic
majority. In this election, the percentages of women and
minorities in the electorate indeed increased. But President
Bush made significant gains among both groups. He won
white women by 11 percentage points, 10 points more than
his 2000 margin. Among Hispanics, Bush cut a 27-point
deficit in 2000 to just 9 points this time. In the critical
battleground state of Ohio, Bush secured his victory by
winning 16 percent of the African-American vote, nearly
double what he won in 2000.
got out our base, but our base is not what it once was.
The biggest blow in this election is how badly we lost
the middle class.
no surprise for Democrats to lose white men and evangelicals.
But in this election, we also lost white women, married
people, couples with children, high school graduates,
college graduates, people over 30, and, by our estimate,
voters in every annual household income category above
$40,000. Our coalition consisted of high school dropouts
(though we won them by only 1 point) and those with postgraduate
educations. That coalition is not the foundation for building
a durable Democratic majority.