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The Emerging Democratic Majority (Lisa Drew Books) Hardcover – August 27, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Lisa Drew Books
  • Hardcover: 213 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First edition (August 27, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743226917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743226912
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #447,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1969 a prescient Kevin Phillips published The Emerging Republican Majority, predicting the rise of the conservative Republican movement. Now Judis, a senior editor at the New Republic, and Teixeira, a fellow at the Century Foundation and author of The Disappearing American Voter, argue that, if current demographic and political trends continue, a new realignment of political power is inevitable, this time sweeping Democrats to power. In support of their thesis they argue that the electorate is becoming increasingly diverse, with growing Asian, Hispanic and African-American populations-all groups that tend to vote Democratic. On the other hand, the number of white Americans, the voting population most likely to favor Republicans, remains static. Further, according to the authors, America's transition from an industrial to a postindustrial economy is also producing voters who trend strongly Democratic. Judis and Teixeira coin the word "ideopolis" for the geographic areas where the postindustrial economy thrives. They also argue that other changes, specifically the growing educated professional class and the continuing "gender gap," will benefit Democrats, whose political ideology is more consonant with the needs and beliefs of women and professionals. Judis and Teixeira predict that all these elements will converge by 2008, at the latest, when a new Democratic majority will emerge. Wisely, they warn that their predictions are just that, and that events might overtake the trends. But their warning will bring little comfort to Republicans, who will find their well-supported thesis disturbing.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Kevin Phillip's The Emerging Republican Majority predicted the conservative revolution ushered in during the Reagan 1980s. Judis (William F. Buckley, Jr. and the Paradox of American Democracy) and Teixeira (America's Forgotten Majority: Why the White Working Class Still Matters) present an insightful and plausible case for a resurgent Democratic majority, which he believes will ascend by the end of the decade. The majority will be centrist, rather than leftist, and will be bolstered by African Americans, Hispanic and Asian minorities, women, professional employees, and the white working and middle classes that formerly made up the "Reagan Democrats." This majority's geographic base will be the "ideopolises" large metropolitan areas linked by technology cities and suburbs. The authors conclude that despite the events of September 11, 2001, assumed to have enhanced President Bush's popularity, a Democratic majority is soon to emerge when a presidential candidate synthesizes the aforementioned groups, who share similar Democratic economic and social interests. A thoughtful and well-argued book; recommended for all public libraries. Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 83 people found the following review helpful By David A. Bede on September 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
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.
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56 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Alan Deikman on September 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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 By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
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.
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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Sheila Tillman on January 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
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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