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Can the GOP Be a National Party?

I have just spent some time doing calculations on the distribution of electoral votes between the two parties, and with the exception of elections where we run a complete dud of a candidate (e.g., Hillary Clinton) or the other side runs someone who is all things to everyone (e.g., Ronald Reagan), I don’t see how the GOP can ever win a national election again.

What the Presidential election gets down to, when all is said and done, is how many electoral votes does either party start off with, and how many electoral votes does either party need to pull it off.

Now the problem in trying to figure this out is that only 31 of the 50 states require party registration, and as opposed to parliamentary systems in the rest of the OECD, we don’t have party memberships or any other formal political attachments like that.

So, what we end up doing is calling up a whole bunch of likely voters and ask them how they tend to vote. Which is what the Pew Research Center has done, and the result is hardly what the GOP would like to hear.

What Pew did was contact voters who represent roughly 1% of the population of every state and asked the respondents whether they considered themselves to be ‘affiliated’ or ‘leaning’ towards either the Republican or Democrat(ic) Party, although Pews doesn’t tell us what he word ‘affiliated’ actually means.

But let’s assume that someone who tells Pew they are an ‘affiliated’ Democrat will start off a political campaign more or less planning to vote for the Democrat(ic) candidate, ditto someone who says that he/she is ‘affiliated’ with the GOP.

Ditto someone who says he/she ‘leans’ towards one party or the other, although obviously leaning is not quite as strong or committed as someone who claims to be an affiliated voter come election time.

Now let’s begin by remembering that 270 electoral votes are what you need, okay? And in that regard, the Democrats start off with – ready? – 266 electoral votes from states where ‘affiliated’ Democrats represent a solid majority of the people who responded to Pew.

The GOP starts the national campaign with 4 more states containing a majority of their affiliated voters, but their affiliated electoral total is 141 electoral votes. That’s because the GOP has a monopoly on states which have more cows than people (i.e., the mountain and western states) but cows still can’t vote.

Here’s the bottom line. In order to win a Presidential election, the Democrats have to get all their people to show up at the polls (or mail in a ballot) in their real blue states, plus win a couple of states where they don’t have a majority of ‘affiliated’ voters, states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which together give them another 46 electoral votes, and that’s the end of that.

On the other hand, the GOP needs to win all the red states, all the in-between states and grab a couple of blue states as well. Which is exactly what Trump-o did in 2016 because Hillary was not only disliked by a lot of Democrats but ran the shittiest Presidential campaign of all time.

If I can do this math, then all the people who get paid the bug bucks to manage political campaigns can do it too. Which is why I don’t understand how the GOP can actually believe that it can remain a viable national party if its leadership continues to wage a cultural war against gays, lesbians, transgenders, blacks, Muslims, and everyone else who isn’t Christian and white.

Those solid-red states which currently can be counted on to deliver 141 electoral votes can be counted on to deliver those votes no matter what a GOP candidate says or doesn’t say. But picking up the other 129 EV’s will be increasingly difficult unless the blue team goes into a national election headed by another Hillary Clinton-type or worse.

In 2005, we drove across the country and stopped for a coffee break in Fargo, ND. In the window of the deli where we got our coffee was a poster advertising the upcoming gay rights parade. This was 2005 – in Fargo! Get it?

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