While I’ve started my self-imposed temporary media blackout, I had to make one last post after discussing the election with my parents. Apparently, someone on the news had said that the Democratic party had lost touch with the American people. Frankly, that bullshit – the exit polls tell a very different story.
First off, Bush didn’t win in a landslide – he won the popular vote by just over 3.5 million votes which translates into a safe-but-still-narrow 3.1% victory margin. In comparison, Clinton won the first time with a 5.5% margin and the second time by 8%. Furthermore, according to the national exit poll, Kerry won both the liberal and moderate vote. The election swung to Bush becuase of the high percentage (34%) of conservative voters. I’d love to compare those percentages to actual population ideology distribution, but I have no idea what those actualy distribution numbers are. Interestingly enough, the 1996 exit polls had an almost identical heavily-conservative ideological distribution and Clinton still won easily.
Kerry lost because he’s had no connection with the conservative voters of the south and mid-west. He stengthed the democratic lead among liberals by five points and among moderates by one point over the 2000 exit polls (mostly due to the Nader non-factor this year) and yet still lost because Bush improved both the republican lead among conservatives and the conservative voter turnout by 5 points each.
You can safely say that the Democrats lost touch with conservatives in America this year, and that it cost them the election. But to say that Democrats have lost touch with America as a whole is simply not true. This electorate doesn’t look that much different than the ones that elected Clinton to two terms.