The Unlikely Coalition

A good reason why the Democrats have a real chance this year comes from an observation made by Blake over at American Footprint, when he said the following about the Republican press and editorial crowd:

They wake up every morning knowing full well that their job is to pretend that an alignment between religious fundamentalists, business executives, gun nuts, and libertarians makes any kind of logical sense.

After reading Judis and Teixiera’s Emerging Democratic Majority, I think Blake has a good point here.  The coalition between religious fundamentalism, economic conservatives, and other aspects of the “right wing” has proven to be a persistent but only meta-stable grouping.  Reagan flirted with this coalition in 1980, as did Bush 41 in 1988, but it seems like the “weak” aspect to this coalition is keeping the interests of economic centrists and conservatives and the interests of religious fundamentalists aligned at the same time.  And I’m coming to believe that Bush 43 is starting to falter.  Of course, he hasn’t really started campaigning in earnest yet, but in a sense he campaigns all the time, since there’s little evidence that his administration does anything without an eye towards “the base.”  

As I wrote last night about layoff numbers and in particular, the situation in Ohio, I started to think that the real chink in the armor here is going to be manufacturing states.  There’s a strong case to be made that the coalition could fall apart in Ohio purely over the economy, and that would possibly give Kerry 20 electoral votes.  Combined with the 2000 electoral map, if Ohio goes to the Democrats, it’s game over.  If I were Kerry, I’d seriously consider planning my campaign travel straight out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports every month.    



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