The Emerging Republican Minority

Sep 26 2012 @ 4:44pm

Daniel McCathy asks whether the GOP is still a national party:

Republicans have enjoyed a state-level resurgence even as they have lost — and lost big — their once commanding national majority. The GOP was once the landslide party, the party of Eisenhower ’52 and ’56, Nixon ’72, and Reagan ’84. Even Bush I’s 53.4 percent in 1988 was very respectable. Reagan’s 50.7 percent in 1980 wasn’t a landslide but still demonstrated that an outright popular majority supported the Republican. In the five elections before ’92, the GOP won popular majorities in four.

The parties have almost switched places since then. The popular-vote success of the Democrats in the last five elections is less impressive: they won an outright majority only once, in 2008. Far from balancing the scales, though, this highlights all the more the magnitude of the GOP’s electoral erosion: from being a party that won with majorities, the Republicans have declined to one that loses to pluralities.

Noah Millman's assessment:

The GOP can continue to function as a party opposed to all tax increases and in favor of the most hawkish position on all foreign policy questions. But, from my perspective, it cannot be a governing party. It can only operate as a brake on (or goad to) the ambitions of some other party, which would then be the only proper party to trust with the power of the Executive.