Tuesday, February 2, 2016
After Iowa, the rest of the race to the White House is about demographics
Hillary Clinton became the first Clinton not to lose an Iowa caucus night and the first woman to “apparently” win it. Whether it is a definite win and not a tie depends on the expectations of pundits and candidate supporters. By sheer numbers of delegate counts, a win is a win.
No doubt, Bernie Sanders exceeded expectations, but after New Hampshire, he will need to show he can cut into both the African American and Hispanic Democratic caucus or primary voters to continue his momentum.
Depending upon who becomes the GOP winner in the primaries, the Hispanic vote in swing electoral college states will become critical in November. It is not a given that Democrats will retain over 70% of that group as they did in 2012. The more virulent anti-immigrant, anti “amnesty” the GOP nominee is, the more either Clinton or Sanders in the general election will succeed in attracting Hispanics.
Clinton will have one more demographic advantage in the primaries: the women of a “certain age” ,middle and older, who have been waiting a long time for the US to join the UK, Germany, and India, among other countries, who have been or are now led by women.
Why Clinton cannot depend on the under 30 year old women’s vote is because so many of the younger women have not yet dealt with the remaining parts of the glass ceiling and pay inequality in advancing their careers. The generation to which students and young women belong is much more liberal and many are taken by Sander’s crusade against income inequality between economic classes.
There is also an element of women of that certain older age who have always been supportive of a single payer health care system. Given the certainty that the House of Representatives will remain in GOP hands, and the probability that the Senate will continue to have a GOP majority, Medicare for all in the next four years is a hope without a prayer.
In the general election, most of the young women’s vote is likely to stay with Democrats, regardless of the nominee, because of the extreme position of GOP candidates on the matter of choice and/or on other issues. Per a poll taken a year ago reported by Politico,” Female voters who care about the top four issues — the economy, healthcare, education and jobs — vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. Most striking, Democrats hold a 35-point advantage with female voters who care about jobs.”
The greatest threat to women’s interests is the possibility of GOP control of Supreme Court appointments. Electability is an issue women cannot dismiss and Sanders’ self- identified socialist label could turn off enough swing vote moderates needed to win the general. Control of the White House is critical to women who see choice and /or health care as being important to them. Most Court decisions important to women have been 5 to 4 or 4 to 5 splits. If the GOP wins the Presidency, his court appointees would tilt the Court more their way. A party will be in total control of a Congress and White House that could repeal Obamacare and replace it with either nothing or a more fiscally unsound system, unaffordable by many more.