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Unfortunately For the GOP, Democrats Have An Electoral College Advantage

From 1968 through 1988, Republicans won all but one of six Presidential elections, and the one election they lost was a narrow loss in both the Electoral College and the Popular Vote. Each of the other elections, starting with 1968 when Nixon’s narrow Popular Vote victory was accompanied by an Electoral College landslide (thanks in part to George Wallace winning 46 Electoral Votes), the Republican party was able to rack up Presidential win after Presidential win thanks to what by 1988 was being called an Electoral College “lock” that we were told would guarantee a Republican advantage in the race for the White House for the foreseeable future. The “lock” spoken of was created by Republican dominance, at least in Presidential years, in a huge swath of states starting in the Southeast, stretching across to Texas, north to the Great Plains, and then out to the West Coast. The first chink in that armor appeared in 1988 in Michael Dukakis became the first Democrat to win Washington and Oregon since Johnson had done so in 1964 but, so it was thought, as long as the GOP held on to the Electoral behemoths of Florida, California, and Texas, they had a near impenetrable grasp on the White House that would be hard for Democrats to beat. Of course, four years later, the Democrats did crack the GOP Electoral “lock” when Bill Clinton became the first Democrat to capture California since, again, Johnson had done so in 1964. Ever since then, the parties advantages in the Electoral College had been roughly even and the battles for the last several elections have focused on a shifting group of Swing States.

Now Nate Silver argues that Democrats have developed their own version of an Electoral College “lock” that will pose challenges for Republican Presidential candidates in the future:

Two more presidential elections, 2016 and 2020, will be contested under the current Electoral College configuration, which gave Barack Obama a second term on Tuesday. This year’s results suggest that this could put Republicans at a structural disadvantage.

Based on a preliminary analysis of the returns, Mitt Romney may have had to win the national popular vote by three percentage points on Tuesday to be assured of winning the Electoral College. The last Republican to accomplish that was George H.W. Bush, in 1988. In the table below, I have arranged the 50 states and the District of Columbia from the most Democratic to the most Republican, based on their preliminary results from Tuesday. Along the way, I have counted up the number of electoral votes for the Democratic candidate, starting at zero and going up to 538 as he wins progressively more difficult states.

Here’s the chart that Silver was referring to:

The problem the GOP faces here is self-evident. The President was able to wrack up 270 Electoral Votes while barely breaking a sweat because of the built in advantage the the GOP has in the Northeast and the West Coast, a group of 18 states plus the District of Columbia that adds up to 237 Electoral Votes, meaning that he needed to pick up 39 just  Electoral Votes to win the election. By contrast, Romney’s “safe” states consist of 23 states adding up to 201 Electoral Votes, meaning he had to win 69 Electoral Votes out of the remaining 100 in order to win. As Silver goes on to explain, the GOP’s problem becomes even more difficult when you consider that the President won Colorado by five percentage points, Iowa by six points, and Nevada by seven points. That’s a total of  21 Electoral Votes right there. If those three states suddenly become reliably blue, the  Democratic “lock” becomes even more insurmountable because all a Democratic candidate would have to is win Florida, or a combination of Ohio and New Hampshire, and the election is over.  Assuming that this “lock” lasts past Barack Obama, and there’s no guarantee that it will because there is a strong argument that the President’s success in the past two elections is as much attributable to things personal to him as anything more general, then the GOP is in serious trouble, at least in short term. We could indeed be heading into a period akin to 1968-1988 when one party dominated Presidential races to such a degree that our quadrennial elections are barely even a contest.

Trends like this don’t last forever, of course. It was just when people started speaking of the Republican Electoral “lock” in the late 80s that we were actually seeing the beginning of its end. American politics will adjust, whether because of external or internal factors, and the political parties will adapt accordingly. For the moment at least, though, it appears that the Democrats have that “lock” on the Electoral College that the Republicans once thought would be there’s for a long time. Enjoy it while you can, guys.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    You have been doing an astounding amount of very good work. Kudos.

    (But check the graf just below the graph.)

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  2. James Joyner says:

    I was thinking of the old Republican “lock” when I saw the headline. Basically, California, which is a whopping prize, went from automatic for the GOP to automatic for the Democrats. If it could be made into a purple state again, it would be a game changer. In addition to California, Pennsylvania is essentially a blue state as well. And the Dems always had New York. That’s a lot to concede at the outset of a race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  3. legion says:

    Hate the game, not the player. Republicans think these “locks” are great when the advantage is on their side, but when the other guys are winning, it suddenly becomes a Constitutional crisis not have proportional EVs or a straight popular vote for the Presidency. There will be a lot of howling on this topic in the coming weeks, but I expect it to generate little sympathy.

    (I agree with @michael reynolds, BTW – it’s a solid job you guys do.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  4. Tsar Nicholas says:

    It doesn’t exactly hurt the Dems to control nearly the entire media. It’s also useful to them to control K-12 education and the colleges and universities. But c’est la vie.

    Honestly the problem for the GOP is not so much the map but the entrenched, traditional politics of some of those “swing” states. There’s no legitimate reason why WI for example shouldn’t vote Republican in presidential elections. And, hell, even a stupid evil warmonger like W. Bush came within hairs’ breadths on two occasions of winning that state. But old political habits die hard. WI’s got a socialist bent. Goes back decades. WI voted for Dukakis for cryin’ out loud. IA is another state that should be voting for GOP prez candidates but almost never does. Tradition + tribal party loyalty + the fact that some of those people still think they’re voting for Truman when the pick the “D” candidate is a tall hurdle to overcome.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 36

  5. Blue Shark says:

    Obama won the Popular vote over 50% for the second time in two elections.

    …so yes the EC favors Dems currently but that has been many years in the making. When you start realizing Texas is turning purple, if I were a Republican I would begin to sweat harder and hope the Dems never learn how to turn the mid-terms to their advantage as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  6. michael reynolds says:

    Look at the GOP states. Here’s what you see: they’re whiter, they’re older, they’re more anglo. They are more rural by a long shot. There are very few substantial cities. There are very few major universities. (Sorry, James, it’s true, despite you alma mater. My wife graduated from University of Texas.) Many were Confederate states. Farms, small towns, small cities. There are lower concentrations of professionals, and I’d be willing to bet, fewer women in the workplace. They are less secular.

    In short, they are a postcard from the past. That’s why the GOP is losing. They’ve placed one bet after another on the past. It’s not just demographics, it’s a stubborn refusal to adapt. And the more the GOP clings to the past, the more they require an alternate reality. It’s a downward spiral. I’m sure if dinosaurs had done politics they’d have had a party just like the GOP to tell them not to worry because that so-called ‘climate change’ thing is all a mammalian lie.

    If the LP had any damned sense they’d adapt themselves, rework their calcified, extreme ideology and pounce. This should be their opportunity. Won’t be, but should be.

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  7. EMRVentures says:

    Predictably, I’ve seen mentions of the virtues of changing to a system of allocating electoral votes based on Congressional districts in Republican leaning blogs and publications since Tuesday. Which, of course, would have resulted in Romney winning the election despite a fairly solid loss in the popular vote.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  8. bill says:

    “obviousman” strikes again, we figured that out Tuesday night Doug – and depending how sick of obama everyone is in 3+ yrs we’ll figure “something” out again. maybe we’ll be weaned off the gov’t teat by then and just vote for something other than our wallets.

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  9. Rob in CT says:

    For now, Doug. For now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. Just Me says:

    I think the concept of permanent anything or even a permanent “lock” is mostly hubris.

    At some point at least a thinking, independent coalition isn’t going to continue to march in lock step just because somebody has a D next to their name. Things will shift.

    Although it will take a while. Right now the democrats own the urban areas and I don’t see this shifting for a while.

    I think there is also the question of how much this high percentage voting from certain demographics will continue with this level of enthusiasm when the guy on the ticket isn’t Obama.

    I have a hard time believing a democratic white guy is going to get 99% of the vote in Phillie in 2016.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  11. michael reynolds says:

    @Just Me:

    You guys really just want to make this about race, don’t you? Don’t look now, but: women. 52% of the total vote generally and they break heavily for Democrats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  12. michael reynolds says:

    @Just Me:

    By the way, how many Latino votes do you think there are in Indiana? Or Missouri? 3.7% Hispanic in Missouri and yet Claire McCaskill won by 14%. Women. How about Montana? How about North Dakota.

    It’s not Latinos or blacks, it’s women above all. So get busy figuring out how to demonize and marginalize half the population.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  13. Just Me says:

    I am a woman, and I don’t feel marginalized at all by the GOP. As a matter of fact I mostly found the whole “war on women” to be insulting. It made me feel like I was essentially reduced to a voting uterus.

    And you know what, they are a group that can easily shift. I was young, liberal and idealistic at one time in my life. I voted for Dukakis and Clinton and then grew far more conservative as I got married, had kids and had bills to pay.

    DO you believe that there is a permanent lock on various groups? Which is really my point. You start taking voters for granted and the smart ones at least will figure out they should stop voting for you.

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  14. David M says:

    @Just Me:

    I have a hard time believing a democratic white guy is going to get 99% of the vote in Phillie in 2016.

    2004 Philadelphia County: Kerry 542k
    2004 Philadelphia County: Bush 130k
    2008 Philadelphia County: Obama 595k
    2008 Philadelphia County: McCain 117k

    I’m pretty sure that dropoff won’t cause the Democratic nominee in 2016 any problems

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  15. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @michael reynolds: Women plus gay/bi men. Polling shows self-identified gay/bi men going roughly 75/25 Dem/Rep for the past few elections. Yes, its a small minority, probably 1% of all voters. But when the overall popular vote ends up being a 53% – 47% split or less in most presidential elections, a group that represents 1% really could be the marginal difference between winning and losing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  16. Rob in CT says:

    Just Me:

    Of course such things can shift. If the GOP actually does a better job seeking those votes, they can certainly get them (also, if the Dems faceplant… two way street and all that). No question.

    55/45 or whatever the split is of course means lots and lots of women voted Romney. Millions. You were one of ‘em. So was my mother. My wife and mother-in-law voted for O.

    The “war on women” (not the phrased I’d have used, actually) was quite real, though mostly a state-level phenomenon. Vaginal ultrasounds and other abortion restrictions mainly, but also the fight over no-copay contraception in the ACA. The Dems didn’t make those things up. Many women put more weight on those issues than you did.

    As for the African American vote: they vote Democrat. Just eyeballing the numbers over the past few cycles, Obama looks to have driven some higher turnout and, with turnout higher, gotten a small boost (instead of winning 88-90% of the vote, he gets in the mid 90s). Some of that is him just being him, I’m sure. Some of it was also probably reaction to the reaction to Obama, if that makes sense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  17. C. Clavin says:

    Speaking of Electoral College advantage…where’s Jan???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  18. superdestroyer says:

    @James Joyner:

    The Democrats won California has 20 points, hold ever state wide office, who a super majority in both state houses. In addition, the percentage of the population that is white is going down and th e absolute number of whites in California is going down.

    Do you really think any amount of position changes, personal leadership, or Democratic Party failures are going to cause the Democrats to lose one in five Democratic Party voters so that the Republicans can be competitive?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  19. michael reynolds says:

    @Just Me:

    I was young, liberal and idealistic at one time in my life.

    I hate to break this to you, but modern conservatism is not the opposite of “idealistic.” It’s the opposite of “sane.” It’s not about bill-paying, it’s about race-baiting, gay-bashing and a rather profound misunderstanding of biology.

    You won’t get the young people growing up unless you abandon social conservative positions. And if you do, your party’s dead. Cheers.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  20. Geek, Esq. says:

    The Blue Wall (states plus DC won by the Democrats for 4 straight election cycles) is worth 242 Electoral Votes.

    Add New Mexico which is a safe Democratic state, and you’re at 247.

    Which means the GOP has to just about run the table amongst:

    Nevada
    Iowa
    Colorado
    Virginia
    North Carolina
    Florida
    Ohio
    New Hampshire (Democratic three straight elections)

    That means multiple avenues of attack for the Democrats in terms of messaging and policy, whereas the Republicans have to hold virtually all of that ground.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  21. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    MR

    Texas should be an example of how conservative politics works. Have lots of elected officials. Do not have a state income tax. Have the best schools in the nation for white students (based upon NAEP scores). Limit the number of elites who send their own children to private school. And limit the amount of money that is transferred to minority groups.

    What is odd about the blue states is that DC and Hawaii are the least white of anything state (or state-like object) while Vermont is the whitest state in the union. What is odd is that the fourth bluest state is Rhode Island and it has bad public universities, high unemployment, and bad prospects for the future.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  22. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Name the previous governor of California. Now tell me what party he represented.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  23. Geek, Esq. says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Schwarzenegger believed in stuff like science (global warming) so there’s zero chance someone like him would win the Republican presidential nomination.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  24. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    And yet, despite the fact that a move to Texas would save me about 70k a year, there’s no way in hell I’d live there again, or raise my kids there.

    As a matter of fact, let’s put a dollar figure on this. Setting aside Austin, which isn’t really Texas, let’s think. How much would you have to increase my net income to convince me to live in Texas and raise my kids there. 20%? No. 30%? No. Half? Raise my income by half and all I’d have to do is live in Lubbock? No. I’m going to say double. But only if I can spend half the year minus a day somewhere else. Like France.

    No, I take it back. I’ve seen Lubbock. I don’t think there’s enough money in the world to get me to live there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  25. Moosebreath says:

    @David M:

    The main reason that PA has been voting for Democrats at the Presidential level in the last 2 decades is not Philly. It’s that Philly’s suburbs have gone from voting roughly 2-1 Republican in the 1980’s to adding to the Democratic lead. It’s more than made up for the SW part of the state shifting from leaning blue to leaning red.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  26. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Arnold was elected because he was a movie star and was elected despite being a Republican. If Arnold has tried to gain office during a regular election instead of a special election, he would have never been governor.

    Also, the day arnold left the statehouse, it was like he never existed. His legacy lasted less than a day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  27. Liberty60 says:

    Texas with its 38 EVs is the real prize. The demographics will put it in play by 2020 unless the GOP can break the 70% of the Latino vote that goes towards Dems.

    Pro-tip: Joe Arpaio isn’t going to be your best man for that job.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  28. MBunge says:

    Hopefully this will kill the idiotic drive by liberal do-gooders to get rid of the Electoral College. The EC is tilting against the GOP because the politics of division, polarization and regionalization that have worked so well on the state and Congressional level have had the opposite effect when it comes to the Presidency. An EC lockout would become the single greatest incentive for the Republican Party to reform itself.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  29. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Actually, there are eight Texas high schools tied for first place.

    44% white, 20% black, 23% hispanic and 10% asian.

    10%, 70%, 10%, 3%.

    83%, 0%, 17%, 0%

    8%, 23%, 30%, 36%

    82%, 2%, 9%, 2%

    9%, 18%, 71%, 2%

    42%, 17%, 30%, 11%

    12%, 19%, 58%, 10%

    A school that is 70% black is tied with a school that is 71% hispanic and a school that is 82% white.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  30. James in LA says:

    @superdestroyer: I’m sure no one here or anywhere cares how white you are. It is a ludicrous position to be taking in 2012. You are not a conservative. You do not advocate conservative positions. You instead stand for a radicalized racism based on an inability to accept reality. If you do not like it, feel free to move to a country where your brand of extremism is accepted. I can think of several countries, many beginning with the letter “I”.

    One party state = willful blindness to American history. Good riddance. When yours are keeling over, they are not being replaced. Deal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  31. Nick says:

    Tsar Nicholas says: Friday, November 9, 2012 at 14:51

    It doesn’t exactly hurt the Dems to control nearly the entire media.

    The top-rated newspaper (WSJ), cable news channel (Fox), and radio show (Rush) are not media?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  32. David M says:

    @michael reynolds:

    A school that is 70% black is tied with a school that is 71% hispanic and a school that is 82% white.

    But we’ve been repeatedly informed by sd that’s not possible, that the minorities will turn the USA into a third world country. Are you telling us he’s wrong?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  33. michael reynolds says:

    @David M:
    I don’t mean to shock you, David.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  34. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Now, head on over to the US News page of best high schools in the country, and what do you find? Of the top 50 a full 5 are Texas schools. Good for Texas. Of course California has 7. (Subject to someone checking my counts.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  35. john personna says:

    Neither Jordi and I knew anything more about drones than what we found online, yet in three years he and the team he assembled at 3D Robotics, who are mostly Mexican and Mexican/American engineers in their early 20s, built something amazing: two state-of-the art drone factories (one in San Diego and one in Tijuana).

    It’s a new world out there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  36. michael reynolds says:

    Oops, forgot the link.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. David M says:

    @MBunge:

    Hopefully this will kill the idiotic drive by liberal do-gooders to get rid of the Electoral College. The EC is tilting against the GOP because the politics of division, polarization and regionalization that have worked so well on the state and Congressional level have had the opposite effect when it comes to the Presidency. An EC lockout would become the single greatest incentive for the Republican Party to reform itself.

    I’m not sure the EC lockout should be thought of as separate from a popular vote lockout. I still support changing the presidential popular vote for the same reason I support non-partisan redistricting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  38. superdestroyer says:

    @James in LA:

    In case you have not noticed, I have never advocated that the government should treat blacks and Hispanics different than whites. A radical racist would be advocating for the government to place citizens into racial categories and then treating them different. In the bad old days, such goverment programs were called Jim Crow. These days, such programs are called set asides, race norming, quotas, and affirmative action.

    I have always advocated that the government should treat everyone the same. However, I think everyone should realize that treating everyone the same does not mean that there will be the same outcome for everyone. Progressives demand the same outcomes for the middle class and poor people independent of race while acknowsling that talent does exist and the top and is not evenly spread though society.

    I have not advocated a single change of policy that would affect U.S. citizens due to the demographic changes. I think the government could not a few things to slow the rate of change and lessen the negative impacts of such changes.

    However, I have been consistent for years that those demographics will happen, will have massive impacts of policy and governance in the U.S. along with affecting the economy and the culture of the U.S. The point should be in anticipating what those actions should be. What I find the oddest is that progressives know those changes are occurring, know that they will have massive impacts but refuse to discuss them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  39. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:
    MR.

    Seven of the schools listed are magnet programs. Comparing magnet programs to open attendance schools should never be done.
    Also, comparing schools based upon state achievement tests is probably OK but a better statistics would be the average SAT score of the graduates.

    However, a better evaluation of a state’s schools would be average scores on tests that all states take. In those test, Texas outperforms California by a wide margin. I suspect one of the reasons is that a higher percentage of the smart kids in California attend private school than in Texas. Texas is still a state when the upper middle class send their kids to public suburban schools suchas Allen High School that was in the news lately rather than private schools such as the prep schools of DC, NYC, or Boston.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  40. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Link?

    Oh, and here’s one for you that I know you’ll enjoy, since you care so deeply about education. 10 out of 10 best-educated states go for Obama. 9 of 10 worst-educated vote for Romney.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  41. Tony W says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Progressives demand the same outcomes…

    This is the problem with the GOP in a nutshell. They are fighting a non-existent enemy – an “empty chair” if you will.

    Progressives do NOT want guaranteed outcomes, we simply strive for equivalent opportunities for all. This means no restrictions on gay marriage, no Jim Crow laws. It means public schools should be free and excellent. It means you should give the black guy the same consideration you give the white guy when you are hiring. It means you have to pay women the same amount you pay equally qualified/experienced men. It means the voters in poor districts get just as many precincts opening up for just as many hours as the rich white neighborhoods.

    Those are not guaranteed outcomes, they are policies designed to assure a level playing field.

    The GOP fights these ideas because they change the current list of winners and losers. Conservatives, by definition, do not want anything to change – they wish to conserve things as they are.

    If you are afraid of change you have two choices – hold everyone else back, or adapt and challenge yourself. The GOP is solidly in the camp of the former.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  42. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    MR

    I find it an odd statistic to claim that states with the most college graduates are someone the best educated. What those states show is that they are generally the states that college graduates have moved into because they are the states with the “nice neighborhoods with the good schools.”

    What those states shows is that liberal for the college educated is a luxury good that they can afford. The are rich enough to not depend on the government as much and can afford to avoid the worse parts of the government.

    A good example would be mass. where one third of the children in Boston attend private schools. The same can be said for NYC, and large portions of Germany.

    What is odd is that many of the college graduates living in Colorado used to live in California but moved because the did not like California anymore. Of course, they brought their voting patterns with them and thus, in the long run, will convert Colorado into a another California.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  43. superdestroyer says:

    @Tony W:

    If find it odd that progressives are claiming that they do not want the same outcomes when the biggest issues with Justice Sotomayor was the Ricci decision where cities have been order to give tests that are passed by blacks and Hispanics as the same rate as whites. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricci_v._DeStefano

    There is also the recent executive order from President Obama that order the Department of Education to begin to monitor how schools punish students. In the future, any school district that suspends black students at a higher rate than white students will be in severe trouble. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michaela-pommells/affirmative-action_b_2052854.html

    I guess you have never heard of desperate impact lawsuits. Also, have you already forgotten the recent Fischer case in front of the Supreme Court where blacks and Hispanics were being held to a different standard than whites?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  44. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Yeah, the usual. You have offered no proof of anything re Texas schools vs. California schools. Here’s something you might find interesting on the subject, a conservative Texas blogger:

    Both states love to tout their per pupil spending, and on the surface Texas looks pretty good at $6,746 to California’s $7,511. As I’ve pointed out previously, these per pupil statistics do not include the cost of pensions, debt service, or building/construction costs, and are seriously deceptive. When all expenditures are included Texas per pupil spending rises to $11,024, and California’s to $11,800.

    Not too bad, right?

    Unfortunately, a comparison of certain other aspects of education spending in the two states paints a whole new picture. As it turns out Texas has more public school employees than any state in the nation. California has 1.6 million more students than Texas, but has 1,225 fewer schools, and a jaw-dropping 52,090 fewer total education personnel. While we would hope that most of our public school employees would consist of those folks who actually teach, only 51% of Texas public education employees are teachers.

    Then there’s this:

    Texas high school students matched their lowest scores on the SAT in more than a decade this year as results dropped in math, reading and writing on the college entrance exam. Students across the nation also matched their lowest scores during that period, although their averages did not decline as precipitously as those inTexas, according to a report released Monday by the College Board. State education officials did note that Texas had a dramatic increase in the number of students who took the SAT, signaling that more students are considering college.

    And then there’s this handy table which shows that California outperforms Texas on the SAT.

    And there’s the table I showed you earlier which you want to weasel out of with a lot of irrelevant anecdotal gibberish about people relocating.

    In summary, like most racist morons, you got zip.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  45. An Interested Party says:

    It doesn’t exactly hurt the Dems to control nearly the entire media. It’s also useful to them to control K-12 education and the colleges and universities.

    When will many conservatives stop this endless whining and playing the victim…it is really quite pathetic that so many who want to stick out their chests and act so tough when it comes to fighting foreign enemies or domestic criminals fall into a fetal position and mew like wounded little kittens when they realize they are losing the Culture War and will eventually be outnumbered by the brown people…

    Tradition + tribal party loyalty + the fact that some of those people still think they’re voting for Truman when the pick the “D” candidate is a tall hurdle to overcome.

    Speaking of figures from the past…perhaps if Republicans had presidential hopefuls who didn’t remind people of Calvin Coolidge or Strom Thurmond, they might have better luck…

    I am a woman, and I don’t feel marginalized at all by the GOP.

    You’re probably in the minority with that feeling…

    At some point at least a thinking, independent coalition isn’t going to continue to march in lock step just because somebody has a D next to their name. Things will shift.

    Yes of course things will change…as soon as Republicans stop being hostile to ethnic and other minorities and women…

    What is odd is that many of the college graduates living in Colorado used to live in California but moved because the did not like California anymore. Of course, they brought their voting patterns with them and thus, in the long run, will convert Colorado into a another California.

    Oh noes!!!!! Pretty soon, the only pure white states will be Iowa and New Hampshire…the horror, the horror…

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  46. Tony W says:

    @superdestroyer: Your examples conveniently forget that not everyone began at the same point.

    But honestly – never mind, if you want to pull the ladder up behind you – go right ahead. There are plenty of us liberals reaching down to help others. We’re trying to have a society here, geez. Don’t you dare claim the higher moral ground though – it’s the rich white athiests that are the true leaders on that front.

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  47. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Here’s the NAEP profile for reading, state by state, comparing white and black. This is the data.

    As you will see, there is no data available by race for High School. The only data is for 4th and 8th grades where white kids in Texas schools hold small edges over their California counterparts. But both states are beaten soundly by the Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and other blue states. Texas does not outperform the rest of the country, in fact it hovers within a couple points of the national average.

    Of course, controlled for local living expenses, 40% higher in CA, Texas spends more on its schools. See above comment. And evidently they have far more adminsitrators. So I take your point: our children do better when we spend more money. And apparently when we hire more administrators.

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  48. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    An SAT comparison by state that is not broken out by race does not make a good comparison, Paul Krugman embarrassed himself by making such a faulty comparison. It is also a faculty comparison because the percentage of students that take the SAT varies in each state. That is why the SAT scores in Michigan are so high. The only students in Michigan who take the SAT are those applying to out of state colleges.

    However, if you look at http://nationsreportcard.gov/science_2011/g8_state.asp?subtab_id=Tab_4&tab_id=tab1#chart

    You will notice that the 2011 science scores for whites in Texas are 167, 159 in California and 163 nationally. thus, white kids in California have lower on average compare to the nation as a whole and compared to Texas. Texas is only behind Minn. by a single point and behind Mass. by two points. What is also amazing is that Texas does better than most states for its black students and for its Hispanic students. The math scores in Texas are higher than then math scores in California for white students. Texas has the same math scores as Mass.

    What is odd is that the Hispanics kids in Texas outperform the Hispanic kids in Mass. even though Mass spends more than supposedly is a well run blue state. I guess you will ignore the numbers.

    Do you really think that Texas does better until eight grade and then all of the blue states manage to increase performance relative to other states.

    What you should also notice from the data, is that the gap between blacks and whites is huge in all states and that the blue states actually have higher gaps than many of those mean old racist states in the south. In liberal were capable of producing schools that can educate the children of poor blacks and Hispanics up to level of whites (let alone Asians) they would have done it already.

    With the U.S. moving from a majority white country to a majority Hispanic country, one can reasonable anticipate that the average level of achievement in the public schools will go down and that educators will not be able to do much about it.

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  49. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Texas spends more because it has many small school districts. That is also why the number of administrators is higher. However, I doubt that Californai really spends less than $8K per student considering that the District of Columbia (the bluest place in the U.S. ) spends more than $20K per student along with poor student performance.

    I found this reference from the Department of Education that shows that the Los Angeles Unified School District was spending %11,357 n 2008 whereas teh cypress-Fairbanks school district in Houston was spending $7,138 per student. California spends more and does not get its money’s worth. Of course, it is hard to argue that it is the cost of living when local taxes are part of the cost of living. http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2010/revexpdist08/tables/table_07.asp

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  50. superdestroyer says:

    MR

    If you look Figure 4. Elementary-Secondary Per Pupil Current Spending Amounts by State in cite

    You will see that California spends $9,954 (which is actually below average) compared to Texas spending $8,320 per student. What is amazing is that a state like Rhode Island spends $13,539 per student and has poor performance for its students.

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  51. superdestroyer says:

    @Tony W:

    The argument is that Democrats really just want equal opprotunity but actually measure the outcomes. Thus, Democrats really want equality of outcomes and will punish groups that do not have equality of outcomes. How else do you explain the Ricci decision. There is no pulling up the ladder. It is just that the local government gives a test and picks the highest scorers. Democrats either want to eliminate tests or give tests where everyone gets a max score.

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  52. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Dude, look at the blog I cited above. They do the comparison.

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  53. sam says:

    @bill:

    we figured that out Tuesday night Doug – and depending how sick of obama everyone is in 3+ yrs we’ll figure “something” out again

    Given that you bozos were so utterly, completely, unqualifiedly wrong, wrong, wrong about 2012, why should anyone with an ounce of brains credit anything any one of you has to say about 2016?

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  54. Andre Kenji says:

    One of the reasons that Hispanics vote Democrat is that they are younger in average than Anglos. I never understood why Americans of my age(31) accept that they do not have any health care coverage at all in many cases while there is a very generous and subsidized coverage for people over 65, but the basic message from Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio to young people is that the GOP do not care whether they do or don´t have healthcare, but that they must get a crappy voucher when they are 65 so that Medicare must be saved and her moms should never see a dime of cuts for Medicare.

    Frankly, if you are under 30 you are only going to vote to people like that if you are a imbecile.

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  55. Andre Kenji says:

    The electoral lock is more complicated. If you get all the states that voted for Kerry in 2004, get IA and them get NV, CO and NM(The states in the Southwest that have large Hispanic populations) you already have 272 votes. You don´t need Ohio or Florida.

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  56. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    MR

    The blogger you cited was referring to NAEP scores without citing a single score and definitely without pointing out that whites in Texas do better than whites is most other states.

    His complaint seemed to be that education spending increased in Texas. But it has increased in all states and that spending has increased higher than inflation and population growth would account for. The real question is do the blue states really have better schools or just whiter students?

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  57. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Probably better schools, at least in MA, NY, NJ and MD, if ou go by the data which offer race-to-race comparisons. You cherry-picked TX vs. CA but of course all these 4th grade and 8th grade comparisons are suspect because curricula vary, so we don’t know what’s being taught at what age in which district. The High School numbers would be slightly more indicative since they are the summaton of the process, but we don’t have that data.

    All of which leaves you making an assertion, for purely racist motives, that cannot be supported by data.

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  58. matt says:

    @superdestroyer: Yeah there’s no income tax but there’s a tax on everything else and a fee to boot. Even a subscription to a MMO is taxed..

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  59. jukeboxgrad says:

    Obama won the Popular vote over 50% for the second time in two elections.

    Here:

    Obama is the first President since Ronald Reagan in 1984 to win a majority of the popular vote in consecutive elections and only the third Presidential candidate to do so since Franklin Roosevelt. Since 1824, the year when official popular vote totals were tabulated for the first time, only seven Presidents have won a majority in consecutive elections; Obama, Reagan, Eisenhower, FDR, McKinley, Grant, and Jackson.

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  60. jukeboxgrad says:

    Look at the GOP states. Here’s what you see: they’re whiter, they’re older, they’re more anglo.

    And they’re less educated (link):

    Top 10 Best (and Worst) Educated States, and How They Voted … Our favorite thing about this graphic is that the data Kenny used came from Fox Business, so if you’re a Romney voter, this is basically Neil Cavuto accidentally calling you an idiot.

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  61. superdestroyer says:

    @matt: I believe that Texas does not have a state propoerty tax. However, in Texas, the school districts have their own taxing authority. That means that schools are funded separately from cities and counties. That is why it is so humorous to hear Mayor Castro (San Antonio) going on the national media and bragging about pre-K education and a city sales taxes.

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  62. matt says:

    I could be wrong but the property taxes in Texas seem to work the same way as it did for me in Illinois. It’s a local thing.

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  63. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    A good example would be mass. where one third of the children in Boston attend private schools. The same can be said for NYC, and large portions of Germany.

    Like most things American conservatives purport to know about Germany this is wrong.

    Numbers are roughly even when taking into account all school types (including trade schools etc. where the % is over 20%). When looking only at normal primary and secondary education Germany has lower rates than the U.S. (and, of course, nearly all German Universities are public too).

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  64. jukeboxgrad says:

    Like most things American conservatives purport to know about Germany this is wrong.

    You could omit “about Germany.”

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  65. jukeboxgrad says:

    Another electoral factoid. In the last 100 years, only 3 D presidents have carried FL twice. They are Wilson, FDR and Obama.

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