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71 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about time somebody said so!
With George W. Bush riding high in the opinion polls (for the moment, at least) and the Democrats struggling to establish a solid majority in either house of Congress this fall, the title of this book alone is likely to make some Republicans write it off as wishful thinking. They do so at their own peril. Just as the Democrats' 1964 across-the-board landslide proved to...
Published on September 1, 2002 by David A. Bede

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3.0 out of 5 stars ANIMAL FARM
Possibly. But Kevin Phillips grew up with a giant tortoise in his bedroom. What did these guys have?
Published 1 month ago by SILHOUETTE


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71 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about time somebody said so!, September 1, 2002
With George W. Bush riding high in the opinion polls (for the moment, at least) and the Democrats struggling to establish a solid majority in either house of Congress this fall, the title of this book alone is likely to make some Republicans write it off as wishful thinking. They do so at their own peril. Just as the Democrats' 1964 across-the-board landslide proved to be the beginning of the end of the New Deal coalition, Judis and Teixeira argue that George W. Bush's (near-) victory and the narrow survival of the Republican majority in Congress in 2000 will soon be recognized as the last gasp of 1980s laissez-faire conservatism. Of course, partisans of all stripes love to believe that such a watershed in their favor is always just around the bend, but Judis and Teixeira do make a remarkably solid, evenhanded case for their prediction.
The many analogies they draw between the 1960s and the current political climate are probably self-evident to most political junkies already. In both eras, the party in power overestimated its own popularity and the durability of its voting base, and suffered from a growing rift between moderates and those on the far left or right within its ranks. Much as Watergate provided the Democrats with a brief respite from their impending years in the wilderness, the Clinton scandals and Al Gore's somewhat inept response to them have enabled the Republicans to remain in power beyond the scope of their current voting base.
Judis and Teixeira argue that that base has already been showing signs of fragmentation for a decade and will inevitably continue to do so; and they provide a detailed demographic and geographical analysis for their argument. As the Republicans continue to alienate most minority groups, the Democrats' already significant advantage among nonwhite voters will only improve (a process that has been exacerbated rather than eased by the Bush administration's response to September 11, they argue). Among whites, the longstanding Republican advantage is past its peak and began to crack as early as 1992. Judis and Teixeira predict that in the coming decade, these trends have the potential to leave the Republicans with a hardcore support base on the all-important Electoral College map nearly as small as that held by the Democrats in the 1980s, concentrated in the Deep South and upper Rockies. Judis and Teixeira provide predictions for all 50 states, ranging from thumbnail sketches to pages-long analyses depending on the size and degree of change in each state. Although no one is likely to agree with all of their predictions (I don't), the breadth and detail of the study is fascinating regardless of your political allegiance.
Although the authors' political persuasion is unmistakable, there is very little analysis of issues to be found in the book. Instead, they stick to analyzing the parties' respective positions on the hottest issues of the era. Their bluntness in addressing the mistakes and cynical moves of both parties in the past 30 years is likely to offend people of both extremes. But for the more moderate among us, it's a breath of fresh air to read in the same place that, yes, the Republicans did build their majority on appeals to racism, misogyny and homophobia and, yes, the far left can in fact be hypersensitive and intolerant in its own way. Again, anyone with an opinion (again, including myself) is likely to disagree with their characterizations at some point, and it could also be argued that they distort the realities of the 2000 political landscape and overstate the excesses of the post-60s Left in order to better fit their argument. But overall, it is a solidly grounded argument, and Judis and Teixeira do acknowledge four common Republican counterarguments and make a solid case against each of them.
Inevitably, most readers will either want to believe this book before reading it, or hope it's wrong and refuse to be swayed as a result. But either way, it's a formidable and well- supported thesis. I look forward to re-reading it in a few years to see how many of the predictions prove true.
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56 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise and complete with numbers!, September 1, 2002
By 
Alan Deikman (Fremont, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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With a great deal of insight and nearly zero partisan rhetoric, Judis and Teixeira (how DO you pronounce that?) offer an easy to read political primer about how social and economic cycles fit in with political cycles. Many political events that were mysterious to me were clearly explained, drawing on historical precedent right up through Election 2000. I found myself convinced that the authors know what is going to happen next in American politics.
The conclusion: the Democratic party will emerge as a new majority by the end of the decade. The Republicans may or may not retain the House this year, and GWB may or may not win re-election in 2004. The authors don't pretend to be fortune tellers; instead they chart trends based on comprehensive analysis.
The text backs up its logic with lots of figures, sometimes charted. Part of the book goes state by state for key states and regions, sometimes down to the county level to show what has been (and will be) happening. Each and every explanation made sense to me, without being too tedious to follow.
The only negative thing I can say is to echo something Joe Conason mentioned in Salon. The authors completely ignore the mainstream media bias against Gore in Election 2000. However, since that really isn't the topic of this book it doesn't take away from the five stars I give it.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, intriguing, but not 100%convincing, December 27, 2002
This is a very interesting and provocative study of the changing demographics in the US, and some of the authors' contentions would seem to be incontestable. For instance, there is no question that shifts in population in several key states definitely favors the Democrats. Changes in minority population in California has already shifted that state solidly into the Democratic column, and the same appears likely with Texas, Arizona, and Florida by the end of the current decade. Although those states remain at the moment in the GOP camp, most signs indicate that things are shifting towards the Democrats.
My hesitancy with the book lies with their assumptions that the growing segment of American society that is employed by the technology sector rather than in manufacturing will provide a solid Democratic constituency. As these segment expands, its political allegiance is likely to fragment. Also, the book does not deal with many other real-world factors in the ongoing vitality of the GOP. For instance, the current right wing bias of the news media (despite constant counterfactual talk of the liberal media) has had a disturbing influence on American politics and public opinion. Or, another example, the lack of strong leadership in the Democratic party has been a major factor in the GOP being able to gain control of Congress. I might agree that the demographic make up of the United States populace ought to favor the Democrats, but the ineffectual Democratic leadership coupled with the high effective public relations campaign on the Right has offset many of the Democrats demographic advantages.
The Democrats need to do more than rely upon shifts in the American electorate: they need to counter much of the Right's effectiveness in framing the issues being debated. For instance, the media most decidedly is not liberal, but the Democrats have done an abysmal job of combating that widespread assumption. They also need to formulate a definite alternative to the GOP. Potential presidential candidates such as Joseph Lieberman are almost indistinguishable from most Republicans. They also need to motivate their potential voting base. For instance, in the midterm 2002 election, far less of their potential voting base came out to vote. If they do not, they will not be able to take advantage of their demographic edge.
One last issue that troubled me in the book was the fact that while the authors clearly support the Democratic party, they support a remarkably conservative, moderate Democratic party. Now, perhaps this is realistic and my own views unrealistic. My own political beliefs are far to the left of the Democratic party (I tend to vote Democratic simply because they are less conservative than the Republicans), which I see as having become as conservative as most moderate Republicans. The authors seem at points to advocate tailoring the Democratic message with the trends of society, based upon polling data. I personally would prefer candidates who, while not unconcerned with the opinions of everyday citizens, nonetheless articulate a vision of where we, as a nation, need to go and how to get there.
One simple minded criticism of this book is that its contentions were not born out by the 2002 midterm elections. In fact, their contentions might not be born out in the 2004 elections either. The trends that they are trying to identify are longer term than that, and it could take up to a decade for much of the trend to manifest itself fully.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, June 28, 2009
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This review is from: The Emerging Democratic Majority (Paperback)
When I read this in 2007 I thought that the thesis of the book was fallacious, especially since it was written and released before the Kerry/ Bush election in 2004 and Kerry lost. However, I judged the authors much to quickly. Their predictions that places like North Carolina and Virginia would turn blue due to increases in education and technology ended up coming true in 2008. Boy, did they it the nail on the head! This was the latest they predicted it would happen (2008). Great book and highly recommended!
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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Democrats are Returning", January 4, 2003
By 
Sheila Tillman (Charlotte, NC United States) - See all my reviews
This was a GREAT book if you wanted to learn about political trends over the last 50 years. I often wondered why African Americans voted some Democratic in such high numbers? This book (and others I have read since) discusses how the South turned Republican when politicians such as Barry Goldwater turned against the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act of the 1960's. That is when blacks moved in the Democratic aisle. Ronald Reagan effectively used those racial politics to win the South in the 1980's. Keep in mind the recent comments of former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Remember, Lott also made similiar comments when Reagan began his presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Get this book. This is a fun and delightful book for all political persuasions.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spot On Considering How The 2008 Election Is Playing Out, November 2, 2008
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This review is from: The Emerging Democratic Majority (Paperback)
Given the fact that we are two days away from the 2008 Presidential election and the trends predicted in The Emerging Democratic Majority appear to be taking hold in 2008 just as they predicted, I have to say well done to the authors. This is a good read today to see why the 2008 political landscape is starting to favor Democrats again. The demographic shifts the authors predicted are starting to take shape with Colorado swinging Democratic and Florida very much in play this year. No reason to believe these trends will change any time soon or that the Emerging Democratic Majority will not occur as predicted in this book. When I read this book in 2003 I was skeptical given the conservative political climate at that time, but these authors spotted trends and were spot on. How can the Republicans win The White House without a solid south and nearly sold West?
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 2004's Most Politically Useful Book..., March 7, 2004
By 
Carl Malmstrom (Monument, CO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Emerging Democratic Majority (Paperback)
The title of the book sets out its thesis pretty clearly, but what it doesn't show is the methodology the authors use in making their claim. After a roughly 30-year cycle of Republican majority (including the Republican Congress of 6 of Clinton's 8 years), Judis and Teixeira predict that we are on the cusp of a perhaps thirty year cycle of Democratic supremacy in Congress and in the White House.
To make this claim, they look at voting trends and data of the last 70 years (though they focus on the last four elections). Their argument is that with the growth of postindustrial "ideopolises" across the country (cities and suburbs that are more dependent on the creation of ideas and services than goods) and the end of the backlash against '60s liberalism, its only a matter of time (barring additional incidents like September 11th) before the Democrats reascend to their heights of the '30s to '60s.
It's a compelling argument, and their use of statistics and solid voting data helps a lot. If it's not required reading in both the Bush and Kerry camps it should be. It suffers a little for having been written before the 2002 midterms, but the new afterword written in 2003 for the paperback edition helps recitfy that. It could also use a little ethnography to go with its statistics and political science, too.
In spite of that, this book should be a must for pundits in this election cycle. Anyone with an interest in how Americans vote (if not always why they vote they way they do) should read it, too. It's vastly more useful than all the exposes, testimonials and pseudohistorical analyses that the average bookstore's "Politics" section is littered with...
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Democrats will rise again! (2006/2008 -- Vindication!), December 4, 2002
By 
Autonomeus (a world ruled by fossil fuels and fossil minds) - See all my reviews
Take heart, progressives, underlying trends do not favor Bush and the Republicans! That is the optimistic message of this thoughtful piece of political analysis. Of course Bush was not elected by a majority of the electorate Judis & Teixeira focus on demographics -- categories of voters that favor Democrats are growing, and if Democrats are smart, they can count on a strong and growing electoral majority in years ahead.

At the largest level, the argument is that "political realignment" is about to occur. The Republican Progressives achieved realignment in 1900 with the defeat of the Populist agrarian movement. Democrats came out on top in the FDR realignment. Republicans achieved another realignment with Reagan. (This is the argument, though it makes me wonder how scientific the concept of political realignment is.) Clinton is seen as transitional, along with Bush, and a true realignment in favor of the Democrats is predicted some time in the next decade, if not in 2004 then in 2008. Why? Basically the growth of a post-industrial information economy and the gender equality and cultural liberalism that comes with it. Just as the seemingly strong Populist movement was the expression of the shrinking population of farmers, the current social conservative movement is strongest in rural areas and small towns and cities, the "Red" part of the map, which is losing population to the big information-economy "ideopolises" of the Blue, Democratic, parts of the country. Working women, minorities, and professionals are all growing as a proportion of the population, and will continue to favor Democrats at the polls.

That is the guts of Judis & Teixera's argument, and they back it up with meticulous state-by-state analysis of demography and voting trends. They advocate "progressive centrism," basically systematizing Clinton's "triangulation" which won him a smashing victory in 1996. This is the one disheartening aspect of the book. Just looking at the numbers, it seems the Democrats can win if they confidently rally around a centrist position, similar to what Blair has done with "New Labor" in the U.K. Democratic centrism is preferable to Republican centrism on critical issues such as Supreme Court appointments, protection of the environment, and a Fair Deal for the poor -- a "hand up, not a hand out" as a labor movement slogan puts it. But I wonder if the activists of the Democratic base can get enthusiastic enough about these differences to turn out for the candidates? In other words, further thinking is going to be required in order to develop a powerful program and slogans to motivate the real people who are just statistics in this structural analysis. I think Judis, Teixeira, and anyone else who shares their goal needs to carefully study George Lakoff's MORAL POLITICS. According to Lakoff, Republican conservatives tend to be more clear and emphatic on their values than Democratic liberals. Three straight popular vote victories by the Democrats in 1992, 1996 and 2000 shows that a majority of the American people support Democratic values, but to solidify and expand that majority there has to be a strong clear message, and capable, charismatic and uncompromised messengers!

POST-ELECTION UPDATE
The Democrats made a clean sweep and retook both the House and Senate, followed by Obama's victory in 2008. It looks like vindication! Obama and the Democrats are now in position to stay in power for eight years, which will be necessary to reverse the damage inflicted by Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, and propel the nation on a course toward a green sustainable economy based on clean and renewable energy and a cap & trade system for carbon emissions, health care for all, and a financial sector once again subject to sensible regulation.
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32 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good News for Progressives, a Wake-up Call for Conservatives, September 4, 2002
By 
Rebecca Lauer (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
I bought this book yesterday and have nearly completed it in a day. I have found it fascinating, both for its brief review of history and its presentation of changing demographic and social trends. The authors also give a fine overview of the Republican policies and ideologies that are keeping them far outside of the mainstream today and could very well spell the end of conservative rule as the nation moves towards the "progressive center." Current Republican policies such as anti-abortion, anti-ERA, anti-gay are discussed, as our the GOP's slavery to theire "base" of religious right extremists who advocate school vouchers, giving tax dollars to big religions for social services, fighting to teach creationism over evolution, oppoosition to stem cell research except in the most limited fashion, their devotion to deregulation policies, corporate welfare programs, tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, and a seemingly oblvious disregard for America's increasing concern over the enviroment, to name a few. The authors agrue that "today Americans want goverment to play an active and reasonable role in American life, guarnateeing a reasonal level of economic security, preserving and strenthening social security and medicare , rather than privatizing them. They want to exploit new biotechnologies and computer technologies. They do not want science held hostage to a religious or ideological agenda." These are many of the reasons why I myself, who voted for Reagan and the first Bush, have voted Democratic in the last 10 years. In this book the authors cite the democgraphic and political shifts state by state, region by region. As someone who considers herself part of this progressive center, I can only hope that every prediction in this book comes true, and we soon have a strong, healthy Democratic majority in this country. This book sticks to the facts--there is no name-calling or derogatory comments. It is factual info, but surprisingly easy to read and absorb. Highly recommend this book if you're interested in future trends or even how we got where we are today.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In retrospect, July 20, 2009
By 
Jaynee Doe (Salt Lake City, Utah) - See all my reviews
After reading all of the pre-2008 posts giving multiple reasons why the authors of The Emerging Democratic Majority were wrong, it's telling that they couldn't have been more right. It would be folly to dismiss them now.
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The Emerging Democratic Majority
The Emerging Democratic Majority by John B. Judis (Paperback - February 10, 2004)
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