November 11, 2008

Has U.S. politics changed forever?

Posted in Economics, Environment, History, Philosophy, Politics, USA politics tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 1:25 am by randallbutisingh

HAS U.S. POLITICS CHANGED FOREVER?

By Steve Schifferes
BBC News, Washington

Barack Obama’s victory in the US presidential election has left many euphoric Democrats with a feeling that the landscape of American politics has shifted – but is it true or is it an illusion?

Democratic strategist, Simon Rosenberg, director of the New Democrat Network, is one of those who argues that the pattern of the last four decades has been broken.

Since the the 1960s, when the Democrats passed civil rights legislation, the southern states have mostly voted Republican in presidential elections. This has given them an in-built advantage, and only two Democrats, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton (both southerners), have won the White House in the last 40 years.

Now Mr Rosenberg argues the Democrats have created a new paradigm that means they could dominate politics for a generation.

He gives three reasons:

  • Demographics: The Democrats are appealing to the fastest-growing groups in the electorate
  • Technology: The Democrats have mastered the new digital technologies, enabling them to fund raise and mobilise their supporters more effectively than their opponents
  • Issues: The Democrats are better equipped to deal with the new issues, like global warming, immigration, and the global financial crisis, which go beyond traditional left and right divisions

He also argues that the Republican brand has been irrevocably damaged.

At the same time, he recognises that the main issue for many voters in this election was an old-fashioned one – falling living standards – and this will represent a major challenge for President Obama.

For complete article showing maps and graphics go to this BBC NEWS link:-

< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/americas/us_elections_2008/7716671.stm >
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