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Author Topic: What happened to California between 1988 and 1992?  (Read 1346 times)
cope1989
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« on: May 07, 2012, 05:33:10 pm »
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So it's finals week. Should I be studying for finals? yes
Would I rather be doing this? Absolutely

So my question is, by 1988, California had voted for the GOP nominee for President for six cycles. They voted dem in 1992 and have voted accordingly for the past 5 cycles and almost certainly this next one too.

Was there some major demographic trend that didn't manifest itself until the Bush I years?
Did a lot of California suburbanites swing dem in 1992 like a lot of NE suburban voters have done as well?
Did the GOP finally become to conservative for Cali?
ALL OF THE ABOVE??
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Cathcon
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2012, 06:57:05 pm »
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In part, & this is just in part & in no way comes close to answering the question, between 1952 & 1984, the GOP had a Californian on the ticket 7 times. (but then again! How did they get elected!)
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Snowstalker
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2012, 05:54:05 am »
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Remember that California was close in 1988.
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Antonio V
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2012, 06:18:33 am »
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It's not like California was a GOP State in 1988 anymore. The transition had begun long before 1992.
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2012, 04:11:55 am »
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A Democrat won nationally by a solid margin instead of a Republican.
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morgieb
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 08:09:31 am »
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The realignment had happened in the 1980's, but the big Republicans win clouded it.
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freepcrusher
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2012, 11:17:14 am »
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here is the PVI of California each year since 1912

1912 N/A (No GOP Nominee on Ballot)
1916 R+1.4
1920 R+9.3
1924 R+22.2
1928 R+6.6
1932 D+1.9
1936 D+5.4
1940 D+3.1
1944 D+3
1948 R+2.2
1952 R+1.8
1956 D+2.2
1960 R+.4
1964 R+2.1
1968 R+1.3
1972 D+4.8
1976 R+2
1980 R+4.3
1984 D+1
1988 D+2.1
1992 D+5
1996 D+2.5
2000 D+5.9
2004 D+6.2
2008 D+8.6

As you can pretty much see, the state has always been rather schizophrenic in its swings. The state was a pretty solid GOP state initially and then shifted to FDR in the 30s. It trended republican with Dewey (the governor was the vp pick) but gave Stevenson a higher % than his national average in 1956, possibly due to the central valley's dislike of ETB. Then in 1960, it trended slightly democrat again due to Nixon being on the ballot.

In 1964, it voted 2 points more republican than the national average because the republicans probably had a higher ceiling back then as Goldwater managed to win a lot of the suburban areas in southern California. 1968 was almost a uniform swing from 1964. 1972 is an interesting election because Nixon, a hometown son, received almost lukewarm support from his home state. California in the early 1970s was in a bad recession and in the early 70s it was the first time since the 19th century that there was net outmigration from CA to other states.

In the early 1970s, it was thought that CA was going to become a safely democrat state. Reagan's approval ratings were fairly subpar, and the state had recently elected two new democrat senators. This was further evidence in 1974 when Jerry Brown was elected governor, the democrats got legislative super majorities and Alan Cranston was re-elected with 60%. But in 1976, the state voted for Ford, probably because the state still preferred a republican in the mold of Earl Warren then someone like Carter who was probably viewed as a white trash messiah. Carter on the ballot probably hurt John Tunney as he was unseated that year.

Another thing that delayed the state's leftward shift was that the state economy picked up steam in the late 1970s and there was an influx of right wing ideas like prop 13. It also helped that Ronald Reagan, a favorite son, was on the ballot in 1980 and many democrat voters presumably didn't vote after 7 PM. This was probably why James Corman, a SFV congressman, lost re-election. The state did give Reagan and Bush a smaller winning margin than its national average but the reason the state still was considered a battleground was because the state had a huge population growth and the aerospace industry was still booming.

The big change happened in the early 90s when the aerospace industry collapsed with the end of the cold war and unemployment was approaching ten percent. In the early 90s, there was a net outmigration from the state and there were other events such as the Rodney King riots and the Northridge earthquake that caused people to GTFO. California Governor Pete Wilson had Taftian approval ratings. 1994 however was sort of the last major victory for the California republican party. The issue of prop 187 helped Pete Wilson win re-election with 55 percent of the vote, helped the gop sweep the state house and nearly win the state senate and split the congressional delegation. Dianne Feinstein also nearly lost that year.

But after 1994, the state began a sustained leftward shift.
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PulaskiSkywayDriver
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2012, 11:08:21 pm »
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Very interesting analysis!
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Christus Victor
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2012, 06:21:58 pm »
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The suburban moderates who voted Republican for President in the 80s fell in love with Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party in 1992 and never came back.  California back in the 60s and 70s was a pretty conservative state as I understand, but Clinton changed all that.
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cope1989
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2012, 09:29:02 pm »
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The suburban moderates who voted Republican for President in the 80s fell in love with Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party in 1992 and never came back.  California back in the 60s and 70s was a pretty conservative state as I understand, but Clinton changed all that.

I think the Democratic party owes Clinton a huge debt of gratitude for their resurgence at the presidential level over the last 20 years when compared to the 70s and 80s.

Even though Clinton was a southerner, suburbanites in California, the West Coast and NE loved him and remained loyal to the Democratic party even after he left office. When Clinton came into office, states like California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and especially New Jersey became strong D thanks to the increased support from their suburban voters.

And the above analysis is amazing! I learned a lot from it. To be honest, it looks like a lot of the shift can be explained simply from white voters moving out of California. The state went from 57% white in 1990 to 40% white in 2010. The census also projects that the state will become majority Hispanic next year.

So how can California go Republican when the white vote is decreasing while minorities like Hispanics and Asians vote in larger numbers and consistently vote Democrat?
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Christus Victor
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2012, 01:45:28 pm »
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Actually, I would argue that Pennsylvania is a swing state, although there seems to be some preference to Democrats there.  In the words of James Carville, it's "Pittsburgh in the west, Philadelphia in the east, and Alabama in the middle."  If that's not a swing state, then I don't know what is.  But aside from that, your analysis is exactly right.  I would contend that Reagan's election in 1980 was a realignment, but so was Clinton's in 1992, at least a regional one.  Oh, and Asian Americans don't vote as strongly Democrat as most racial minorities, and neither do Latinos (although I think Latinos are more Democrat than Asian Americans).
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 01:48:38 pm by Oldiesfreak1854 »Logged

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There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens cannot cure.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." -Luke 23:42
Dan the Roman
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« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2012, 08:31:45 pm »
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The suburban moderates who voted Republican for President in the 80s fell in love with Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party in 1992 and never came back.  California back in the 60s and 70s was a pretty conservative state as I understand, but Clinton changed all that.

Same thing happened in Massachusetts, which was only about D+1 in 1988.
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Christus Victor
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« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2012, 12:08:09 pm »
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The suburban moderates who voted Republican for President in the 80s fell in love with Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party in 1992 and never came back.  California back in the 60s and 70s was a pretty conservative state as I understand, but Clinton changed all that.

Same thing happened in Massachusetts, which was only about D+1 in 1988.
And Illinois too, which was still a swing state in the 80s and early 90s.
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There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens cannot cure.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." -Luke 23:42
Carlos Danger
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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2012, 12:11:08 pm »
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The suburban moderates who voted Republican for President in the 80s fell in love with Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party in 1992 and never came back.  California back in the 60s and 70s was a pretty conservative state as I understand, but Clinton changed all that.

Same thing happened in Massachusetts, which was only about D+1 in 1988.

Massachusetts's PVI going into the 1988 election was D+6.75.  Coming out was D+7.75.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 12:13:01 pm by 'cool,' the term 'cool,' could in some ways be deemed racial »Logged

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