Democrats may lose Congress thanks to apathetic voters, gerrymandering, and acting too much like Republicans, but we’ve pretty much got the White House secure for the foreseeable future. Here’s why:
1. The Electoral College. As much as I want to get rid of it, it certainly works to the Democrats’ favor. You need 270 electoral votes to win, and Democrats start with 252 that are pretty much guaranteed, in states that haven’t voted Republican since Bill Clinton was elected.
If you add to that group Virginia and New Mexico (states that have been reliably blue the past few elections) then bang, you’re at 270, and that doesn’t even count the possibilities of winning Nevada, Ohio, Florida, and Colorado, all of which have gone Democratic in the past two elections (even North Carolina and Indiana went Democratic in 2008, so don’t necessarily count them out either).
Republicans, meanwhile, start with maybe 167 guaranteed electoral votes. That’s a huge burden to overcome.
Look at that map again. See how the Democrats only need to get Florida to win? If not Florida, then only two states (for example, Virginia and Nevada). For the Republicans to win, they will need pretty much every single gray state on this map. And even if they took every single gray state, that would only be 280. If as few as one state goes the other way (Florida or Virginia, for instance), they lose.
2. Numbers. There are more of us than there are of them. If we’d vote in equal percentages, we’d always hold Congress, too, but we don’t — except in Presidential years. More people voted for Democrats in 5 of the last 6 Presidential elections (and in that last one — GWB’s re-election — there are those who question that). There’s no reason to assume that will change, especially because of…
3. Demographics. Republicans are predominately older white men. It’s true. Young people, women, minorities — all securely Democrats. And as the country becomes less and less white, and as women become more and more independent, those numbers keep changing to the Democrat’s favor. Further, fewer people identify themselves as conservative these days. It’s a trend that has reasonable Republicans rightly worried.
4. Candidates. Let’s face it, the Republicans do not have a shining star on the horizon — there is no one with the personality of Ronald Reagan who can charm America into voting for him. Instead, we get Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Mitt Romney (again), and a bunch of others who, in the last poll, could not get past 10%.
The Republicans know this. And that is why they so desperately are trying to suppress the vote and get rid of campaign finance laws. “If you can’t win by getting the most votes, then cheat and buy the election” is their motto.