You don't get more trenchant than that.
Bob Novak has a column today noting how tragic it apparently is that Illinois is trending increasingly Democratic. So much so, he laments, that the Bush campaign has already essentially written the state off.
Then he writes ...
Illinois also appears to be getting eliminated from serious consideration in the battle between George W. Bush and John Kerry for the presidency because of a change in the way the state is perceived. No longer a classic swing state that could go either way and produce famous standoffs in 1960 and 1976, Illinois is now considered the most reliably Democratic state in the Midwest.
The 2000 election had a lot to do with that revised image. Al Gore won 55 percent of the vote to Bush's 43 percent, with a 570,000 vote margin. If Illinois were subtracted from the national totals, Bush actually enjoyed a popular vote plurality in the rest of the country.
Hard to quarrel with that <$Ad$>logic, isn't it?
This vaguely reminds me of the line one often hears in TV commentary about Democrats and their 'dependence' on the African-American vote. It's only the African-American vote, the argument goes, that keeps the Democratic party from becoming a permanent minority party.
That's true of course. But what's the point exactly? Presumably if you scratch out all the votes of a major constituency of any political party that would put a bit of a dent in their electoral fortunes, right?
If you wanted to be a little nasty you might, with equal merit, note that the Republican party's goose would be cooked if we disenfranchised everyone who doesn't believe in evolution.
CNN's Bill Schneider gave an almost textbook version
of this line a couple years ago on CNN ...
Judy, how dependent are Democrats on the African-American vote?
Without black voters, the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections would have been virtually tied, just like the 2000 election. Oh no, more Florida recounts!
What would have happened if no blacks had voted in 2000? Six states would have shifted from Al Gore to George W. Bush: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Oregon. Bush would have won by 187 electoral votes, instead of five. A Florida recount? Not necessary.
Right now, there are 50 Democrats in the Senate. How many would be there without African-American voters? We checked the state exit polls for the 1996, 1998, and 2000 elections. If no blacks had voted, many Southern Democrats would not have made it to the Senate. Both Max Cleland and Zell Miller needed black votes to win in Georgia. So did Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, Bill Nelson in Florida, John Edwards in North Carolina, and Ernest Hollings in South Carolina.
Black votes were also crucial for Jon Corzine in New Jersey, Debbie Stabenow in Michigan, and Jean Carnahan in Missouri. Washington state and Nevada don't have many black voters, but they were still crucial to the victories of Harry Reid in Nevada and Maria Cantwell in Washington.
Nebraska and Wisconsin don't have many black voters either, but Ben Nelson would have lost Nebraska without them and Russ Feingold would have lost Wisconsin, too, in both cases by less than half-a- percent. Bottom line? Without the African-American vote, the number of Democrats in the Senate would be reduced from 50 to 37.
A hopeless minority. And Jim Jeffords' defection from the GOP would not have meant a thing -- Judy.
I don't want to overstate the point. But nestled down deep in this argument is some sort of perhaps unconscious notion that the Dems are just hopelessly sucking wind among real
voters and thus have to resort to padding their totals with blacks.