Chance Favors the Prepared Mind: Howard Dean’s 50 State Strategy Revisited
What’s the Big Idea?
Thanks to the Electoral College, President Obama will have an advantage over Mitt Romney in a close election. The demographics in many of the swing states favor Obama, and if demographic forecasts hold true, the Democratic Party will expand this advantage in the coming decades. Texas, for instance, could become a blue state faster than many people realize.
And yet, what neither Obama or Romney are pursuing this year is a 50-state strategy. No one has the resources to compete for every state, so swing states like Ohio, Florida and others continue to get all of the attention.
Howard Dean, who advanced a 50-state strategy as the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, says the swing state strategy currently employed by both parties, will no longer be applicable in the coming decades, as the electoral map will look very different. Due to the growth in the hispanic population, for instance, reliably Republican states like Arizona and even Texas will come into play, if not turn completely blue.
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What’s the Significance?
It’s never a good strategy in life to simply wait for good things happen to you. That is particularly true in politics, or any other enterprise that requires building a complex organization. That is why Dean advocates a 50-state strategy for Democrats. If Texas suddnely comes into play, Democrats will need to have a solid infrastructure built in order to take advantage of that opportunity.
Furthermore, should electoral reforms ever come about — and the possibility of a candidate winning the popular vote but losing the electoral college this year might force those reforms — we could see a dramatic change in the balance of power. Farm interests in states like Iowa, for instance, would no longer have the clout they enjoy today. Voters in states with large urban populations like New York, California and Texas, could all see their influence grow.
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