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  Political future of Alaska and Kansas?
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Question: Which state would flip Democratic first?
#1
Alaska
 
#2
Kansas
 
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Total Voters: 48

Author Topic: Political future of Alaska and Kansas?  (Read 1592 times)
MT Treasurer
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« on: September 02, 2019, 03:34:47 pm »

Both Alaska and Kansas have been trending Democratic over the past years (KS more recently), but both are still fairly Republican states at the presidential level, even if less so than during the Bush years. How do you think they will trend down the road?
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Elitists for Bloomberg
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2019, 03:38:26 pm »

Alaska would probably flip first. A big part of Kansas' trend was due to Brownback's unpopularity (the state trended Republican in 2004 and 2012 and was long term trending R before 2016).
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bagelman
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2019, 07:33:53 pm »

AK because climate change will have a far greater impact on it compared to the lower 48. People will have their homes destroyed in superwildfires and their livelihoods destroyed as salmon suffocate in very slightly warmer water.
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jake_arlington
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2019, 03:48:00 pm »

I think both are underrated D targets for a cycle or two from now, but we'll have to wait and see just how ripe for the picking they are juicy (as with anything, don't get too excited however).

Overall, I think AK just barely gets my vote. But again, still quite uncertain imo
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adrac
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2019, 08:24:25 pm »

Picking Alaska because it is much more elastic.
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Southern Speaker Punxsutawney Phil
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2019, 08:27:05 pm »

I doubt Kansas will ever be D-leaning. Alaska is a much more viable target.
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Grassr00ts
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2019, 11:02:29 am »

Kansas goes first, I doubt Alaska goes anywhere.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2019, 04:56:07 pm »

Alaska would probably flip first. A big part of Kansas' trend was due to Brownback's unpopularity (the state trended Republican in 2004 and 2012 and was long term trending R before 2016).

This same thing happened in the 1990's until early 2000s, culminating in Democrats winning KS-03 in 1998 and the Governorship in 2002. Once the Republicans were out of the Governorship, the state trended back to the right, though that will probably require Trump to vacate the WH as well to achieve.

Republicans just aren't going to be popular in running these states because these states aren't "conservative" in the mold of Paul Ryan. They are conservative on issues like guns (for the most part) and abortion, but they are commodity heavy, which means supply side fiscal conservatism just doesn't work. They are also more communitarian oriented, so when you gut education to fund tax cuts to nowhere, it harms the party. It is just safer to have the Democrats run these places.

This is not uncommon, to have someone economically out of touch use other issues as a wedge to get nominated/elected and then proceed to do things economically that are unpopular. In the Jim Crow era, bourbon Democrats would "out-seg" populist/Progressive Democrats to get elected and then pursue policies favorable to the financial elite of a given state while leaving the poor farmers to wither on the vine.

In the same way, Brownback used his social issues to dominate state politics and then his policies turned out to not be very popular. Only here it is the suburbs revolting because 1) they aren't as socially conservative and 2) they don't like their schools being gutted.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2019, 05:24:42 pm »

As for Alaska, Democrats have lost votes in every election since 2008, getting 123,000; 122,000 and 116,000 in 2008, 2012 and 2016 respectively.

Republicans get the same 164,000 votes they got in 2000, 2012 and 2016.

The Libertarians more than doubled their numbers in 2016 though and a good question will be where will those 11,000 extra voters go in the future.

Alaska's population is falling last I checked, so there isn't a massive in-migration though some people have moved in and that has helped Democrats to some extent, it is hard to see this shifting things in the macro level.
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Cory Booker
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2019, 10:57:03 pm »

AK can vote Dem in a wave and out with Sullivan. It is one of those Andrew Lang states that gives 1 K a month to residents.  This exactly why Murkowsi has shifted leftward and Walker and Begich did so well.
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Skill and Chance
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2019, 09:32:16 pm »

Kansas: Continues to move toward Democrats, competitive in close presidential elections by 2028ish.  Johnson county is likely going the way of Fairfax, VA and it has almost 1/4th of the statewide vote.

Alaska: Probably doesn't get much more liberal than it currently is.  Very dependent on resource extraction industries and Democrats are very dependent on the rural native vote which could move right over time.  Murkowski could switch parties or become a left leaning independent and get reelected, but that's about it in the short/medium term.  Dunleavy still won pretty a majority in 2018, in a de facto GOP pickup. 

Now, if we are talking about the very long run, i.e. Anchorage is taking on throngs of Millennial retirees due to the warming climate, then yes, the state could flip.
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Cassandra
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« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2019, 12:39:25 pm »

Interesting selections. These states are on the front lines of climate change; Alaska with the extreme polar heat and declining sea ice, Kansas with its prairies soon to turn to desert as the plains dry out. As climate change batters the extractive and agricultural industries these states rely on, their populations will dwindle. Perhaps what communities remain behind will fall prey to the politics of white identity. Or maybe these depopulated areas will swing left as the ecological realities break through into the political consciousness.
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2019, 05:52:31 am »

Picking Alaska because it is much more elastic.
Certainly. In fact, Alaska is after the much more significant states of Texas, Georgia and Arizona the fourth most likely state Obama never won to vote D if their be an anti-Republican reaction.

Marxist-Gnosticist, I donít see climate change as likely to affect politics in these two states, because natural climate (winter temperature) variability being so high means that it becomes much easier to deny it than in areas of naturally less variable climate. This is (partially) why climate change denial rules so overwhelmingly in Australia, where streamflow is naturally three or more times more variable than in comparable climates in the northern and western hemispheres.
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Cory Booker
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2019, 06:13:04 pm »

AK is changing and in a wave like in 2008, AK can vote for Al Gross. I dont know about the presidential election, but as I stated above, AK gives 1K a mnth extra to its residents, a socialistic program. KS is vulnerable at the Senate level due to Kris Kobach. But, these two states arent reliable Republican anymore; as a result, Murkowski has moved left and is an independent Republican
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DeSantis2024
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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2019, 11:33:21 am »

Both states are safe republican next.
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Skill and Chance
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« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2019, 12:01:33 pm »

Alaska is never, in a million years, voting for a Green New Deal.  That's fundamentally the Dem problem there.
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AN63093
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« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2019, 09:49:57 am »

Really you're asking two questions here- which state would flip first, and what the future trends are.

In regards to the first, probably AK, at least currently, due to a smaller size, much higher elasticity, and narrower margin.  Although KS is trending D at a faster rate, so this may be the last cycle where that's true.

Now to the second question- much harder to say.  Both states could drift a fair amount, and it wouldn't surprise me if they continue trending D for a few cycles, but for the reasons NC Yankee already went into above, there's probably a D ceiling, given the current population makeup.

So really what would have to happen is a demographic change.  Currently both states are stagnant in terms of growth- KS is near the bottom in the US.. AK is a little higher, but still below average.  Neither state is seeing a significant influx, either of older conservatives (a la FL, SC, etc), or liberal millennials (GA, TX etc).  So something would have to change for the needle to actually move.  Really what you're asking then, is what state is more likely to see a demographic shift.

AK is extremely remote and its industries are based almost wholly in oil/gas, fishing, military bases, and some tourism.  I don't really see it becoming either a millennial hotspot or a popular retirement location, and Anchorage's growth reflects that, as it's mainly stable (although not in decline either).

KS on the other hand- the KC metro is worth keeping an eye on.  This is on the other side of the border, obviously, but Kansas City proper is pretty much the only area of MO that is not in decline, and it anchors an MSA of over 2 mil.  It's centrally located, has a large airport that used to be a major hub (TWA), has a diversified economy.  Johnson County is growing rapidly and trending D rapidly (though that's not necessarily relevant to future growth).  There isn't enough population on the KS side to outweigh the rest of the state yet, but that could change if the KC metro goes through a period of substantial growth, and unlike any area in AK, it's positioned to do so.  In addition to the reasons above, it has a distinct culture, a pretty well built up urban core, the Plaza etc.  The MSA is already growing at 7% so it's not all that far fetched.  If one or two major corporations moved there, maybe from the Rust Belt or some nearby MSA that I expect to continue declining (e.g. Chicago) well then.. who knows what'd happen.  Now whether that would signal a future R or D trend, I don't know (depends on the party coalitions of the future), but the potential for growth in KC is there, and that would change the state one way or another.
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ajc0918
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« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2019, 08:09:43 pm »

Really you're asking two questions here- which state would flip first, and what the future trends are.

In regards to the first, probably AK, at least currently, due to a smaller size, much higher elasticity, and narrower margin.  Although KS is trending D at a faster rate, so this may be the last cycle where that's true.

Now to the second question- much harder to say.  Both states could drift a fair amount, and it wouldn't surprise me if they continue trending D for a few cycles, but for the reasons NC Yankee already went into above, there's probably a D ceiling, given the current population makeup.

So really what would have to happen is a demographic change.  Currently both states are stagnant in terms of growth- KS is near the bottom in the US.. AK is a little higher, but still below average.  Neither state is seeing a significant influx, either of older conservatives (a la FL, SC, etc), or liberal millennials (GA, TX etc).  So something would have to change for the needle to actually move.  Really what you're asking then, is what state is more likely to see a demographic shift.

AK is extremely remote and its industries are based almost wholly in oil/gas, fishing, military bases, and some tourism.  I don't really see it becoming either a millennial hotspot or a popular retirement location, and Anchorage's growth reflects that, as it's mainly stable (although not in decline either).

KS on the other hand- the KC metro is worth keeping an eye on.  This is on the other side of the border, obviously, but Kansas City proper is pretty much the only area of MO that is not in decline, and it anchors an MSA of over 2 mil.  It's centrally located, has a large airport that used to be a major hub (TWA), has a diversified economy.  Johnson County is growing rapidly and trending D rapidly (though that's not necessarily relevant to future growth).  There isn't enough population on the KS side to outweigh the rest of the state yet, but that could change if the KC metro goes through a period of substantial growth, and unlike any area in AK, it's positioned to do so.  In addition to the reasons above, it has a distinct culture, a pretty well built up urban core, the Plaza etc.  The MSA is already growing at 7% so it's not all that far fetched.  If one or two major corporations moved there, maybe from the Rust Belt or some nearby MSA that I expect to continue declining (e.g. Chicago) well then.. who knows what'd happen.  Now whether that would signal a future R or D trend, I don't know (depends on the party coalitions of the future), but the potential for growth in KC is there, and that would change the state one way or another.


Appreciate this analysis. Is there any indication the Johnson County trend toward Dems is being felt at the local level? Is their Democratic Party growing in strength?
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