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

3.7 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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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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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: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,058,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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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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Format: 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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