Saturday, November 13, 2004

Election Analysis, Part III - The Temporal Trends

I hope you can see the image. It is a pain doing this - I am still figuring it out. If you cannot, I will describe it. It is a picture taken from Billmon, via Law and Politics. It is a triangle/pyramid. The very tip of the top is Red and contains the top 1% richest people in America. The next layer is Blue, labelled "Professionals/Knowledge Workers". The middle is broad and Red - "Small Business/Technical/"New Collar". The broad base is Blue: "Working Class/The Poor".

Below is Publius' post, but before we get there....what do you think how this pyramid is going to change over the years?

The top 1% is top 1%. It is going to remain Republican until the big business realizes that the Bush-style economics is ruinous even for them.

The next layer is pretty safely Democratic, and is the fastest growing segment, as we are moving from manufacturing economy towards service/knowledge-based economy.

The huge Red middle is scary and very multi-faceted: This includes the Rapturists that will never be Democratic, but also many decent hard-working folks who can be reached for sure, by an economic message spoken in language they feel comfortable with, including church-style language (think Barack Obama Convention Speech).

The broad bottom Blue is usually safely Democratic. Rove has chipped away at some of the segments of this layer - notably Hispanics and some African Americans - with the "values" talk. The problem for us is that this segment is also growing very fast but is very difficult to reach, energize and get to the polls.

What do you all think?

And here's Publius:

Judis and Teixeira explain that the Republicans are strong with the top 1%
(which is the primary source of their money) and with the middle layer - which
is blue-collar or, as Billmon says, "semi-white collar." Democrats, by contrast,
are strong at the bottom and are strong with so-called knowledge workers (the
well-educated Starbucks class). David Brooks has written about this divide ( ),
which he classifies as a battle between knowledge workers (e.g., teachers,
lawyers, journalists, etc.) and managers. According to Judis and Teixeira, the
Democratic parts of this pyramid are growing faster than the Republican portions
(which is why the culture wars are so vitally important to Republicans).As
Billmon explains, the problem is that the Democrats had not, prior to Dean, been
able to tap the financial resources of the knowledge workers. Because of that,
Dems have always been at a huge financial disadvantage, which forced them to
grovel to Hollywood. The bottom of the pyramid simply doesn't have money, and
the knowledge workers were as yet unorganized.So, Billmon presents a somewhat
better articulation of the point I was trying to make below (before I had read
his post). The true genius of the Trippi/Dean/Kos efforts is that they are
tapping the knowledge workers' wallets in a systematic way. And as Kerry's
prodigious fundraising has shown, the Dems are at far less of a disadvantage
with the knowledge workers chipping in. Because the knowledge workers are
essentially in front of the Internet all day, it makes sense why Republicans are
having trouble using the same methods to tap the small business/blue collar
types in the middle. These people simply aren't as wired as the knowledge
workers.Yet another reason why the narrow-minded Republicanism espoused by Rove
is doomed to fail over the long-term. To be viable, the Republicans have to
expand beyond their current base.

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