Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Alabama Means Red States No Longer Reliably Red

Sure, this was an exceptional race with a particularly awful Republican candidate.  And 48% of Alabamans still voted for Moore.  But let's look at the demographics from the Washington Post.

Now let's look at Alaska demographics:

White:  66.7%
Black    3.6%
Asian    5.4%
American Indian or Alaskan Nativee  14.8%
Pacific Islander - 1%
Two or more races - 7.3%
Other   - 1.7%

These are 2010 stats.  Things have gotten more diverse since.  And the Alabama numbers are just people who voted today while Alaska numbers are the whole population, not just voter aged.

65% of Alabama's voters were white, and in 2010 66% of Alaska's population was white.

Anchorage is already a blue city as of the last mayoral and assembly election.

There are lots of differences between Alaska and Alabama besides the middle letters.
Alabama's non-white vote is mostly black, Alaska's is more diverse.
Roy Moore was a particularly terrible candidate.

The Post article broke the elections down by a lot of different factors.  It's worth checking.  I didn't see anything about first time voters.  But I suspect this election will provide great motivation for first time voters to see that their vote does really count.

But let's also look at age of voters - this is really telling.

But Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski better not take Alaska for granted.  Alabama proves what new voters can do, even in the reddest state in the union.  Red states are no longer reliably red.

[UPDATE 11:30 pm - We just watched Mudbound on Netflix.  An excellent way to bring meaning to the Alabama election. It takes place in Mississippi, but close enough.]


  1. Very good. And in UK Parliament last night, the house voted against government to win a process vote on Brexit enabling legislation, 309-305, with 11 Conservatives joining opposition. The vote has been hailed as a reassertion of 'democratic accountability' by opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn -- or what many pundits characterise as 'Parliament taking back control'.

    Let's just say there is another sharply divided view on this result... whatever, it feels as good to those of us in the 48pc [Brexit won by plebiscite 52-48 in June 2016] as Alabama must feel to Democrats in the USA.

    I can say it's been a good 24 hours.

  2. I think you are being a little too optimistic Steve. The Democrat was running against a pedophile and child molester I can’t think of anyone who could not win against him other than maybe Therese Obermeyer. From what I read a lot of Republicans talked the good talk about the party line but when they got into the voting booth did the right thing and voted against Moore. I don’t think you can read much more into it than that. If the Democrats want to make some headway here in Alaska they need to start running some credible candidates. They pretty much abandoned Ray Metcalfe last election and Steve Lindbeck’s campaign was pretty pathetic, those commercials he did sitting behind a desk waving papers around were painful to watch. I would like to see Forrest Dunbar run again for either Young’s or Murkowski’s seat and hope the Democratic Party would unite around him. Murkowski and Miller got around 230,000 votes out of 316,000 cast that a big gap to make up and more than changing demographics is going to have to happen.

    1. Oliver, yes, I acknowledged how bad the candidate was, but look at the numbers carefully (and there are a lot more in the NYTimes article.) 72% of white men voted for Moore; 62% of white women did. He got 48% of the vote. That's not people afraid to vote for a pedophile. Though others did stay home. This LA Times op ed gives credit to the work of black women who got blacks to vote so they were a higher percent of the total vote than even when Obama was running.

      "Jones did not win because Republicans en masse chose “country over party,” as Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona said when he donated all of $100 to Jones.
      Rather, he won because black voters turned out in unprecedented numbers for an election of this kind. According to exit polls, the 2017 Alabama electorate was 30% black. In 2012, with President Obama at the top of the ticket, it was 28% black. Some majority black counties voted at around three-quarters of their presidential turnout, while some of the largest majority white counties were closer to 55% of their presidential average, according to initial returns. This made the difference between Sen. Jones and Sen.Moore."

      I think his repulsiveness was critical, but this also shows the importance of changing demographics and getting out the vote.

    2. Sorry, I meant Washington Post article, not NYT.


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