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More Voters Lean Democratic; GOP Must Count on War and Voter Suppression for Popularity

In South Dakota, 48% of registered voters identify as Republican while only 27% identify as Democratic. Nationally, sanity has a greater foothold. Gallup reports that in the first quarter of this year, 30% of Americans identified themselves as Democrats while 25% identified themselves as Republicans. 44% identify themselves as independents… but when Gallup pushes and asks which way folks are leaning, Democrats come out ahead 49% to 40% over the party of lies and insurrection. That nine-point gap is the strongest advantage Democrats have enjoyed since 2012 Q4, but not as big as the double-digit margin Democrats enjoyed when President George W. Bush drove us toward recession, Speaker Pelosi, and President Obama.

Gallup notes that in the last 30 years, Americans have mostly preferred the Democratic Party, except in rare instances when war coincided with Republican Presidencies:

Republican advantages have generally been rare and short-lived, but occurred when Americans rallied around incumbent Republican presidents George H.W. Bush after the 1991 U.S. victory in the Gulf War and George W. Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The GOP also had brief leads in party affiliation in the periods surrounding Republican electoral successes in the 1994, 2010 and 2014 midterm elections [Jeffrey M. Jones, “Qaurterly Gap in Party Affiliation Largest Since 2021,” Gallup, 2021.04.07].

No wonder Republicans want to suppress voting: if everyone came out and voted according to the party preferences expressed in the Gallup numbers, Democrats would win more of the seats than they do already.


  1. Mark Anderson 2021-04-20 12:35

    Its gerrymandering and voter suppression Cory, it will be in the new trumpie party platform. When he gets around to it of course, he’s got a lot of golf to play first.

  2. I’m no Dr. Seuss 2021-04-20 15:36

    If only we could elect a Democrat in SD.

  3. 96Tears 2021-04-20 16:21

    A few minutes after 4 today, Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts of murdering George Floyd. Right now, The Lew and his fellow demons are seeing this as Kristi Noem’s Central Park 5 moment. They are conjuring another brutal and ugly Tweet or statement for Noem to say the worst possible thing at the worst possible moment to appeal to the GOP base. Just watch. President Biden will address the nation with the right thing to say to the American people. Noem and the other race baiters will be competing to see who can be the biggest ghoul in the next 24 hours.

  4. jerry 2021-04-20 16:47

    NOem says that 600 people applied for law enforcement jobs in South Dakota…. She got the details from the same source that said over 1,000,000 people could be expected in Tulsa, Oklahoma to listen to trump.

  5. John 2021-04-20 17:21

    Mark is spot on.
    The compliant parent of gerrymandering is the disinterested judiciary.. The present condition of the judiciary is that it doesn’t do math when it comes to gerrymandering, It’s doesn’t do reason when it comes to gerrymandering. It creates its own law when it comes to gerrymandering. Generally communities organize school districts for convenience for students and parents. It would be easy to group school districts into voting districts, dividing a school districts by exception for creating compact, contiguous voting districts.

    It’s long past the time we stop politicians and their compliant courts from ‘picking the politicians voters.’
    Instead, we get this:

  6. leslie 2021-04-20 17:24

    Things are changing. Let’s make certain the next election 2022 is not stolen by the right. It is going to take awhile to dig out and stand tall.

  7. o 2021-04-20 17:49

    I feel like we continue to frame this discussion in the make-believe world where issues matter to voters. I become less-and-less convinced that is the case.

  8. Mark Anderson 2021-04-20 19:10

    You know that the Democrats win the presidency almost always in the popular vote, they have to win big to actually win. I would love to see a second grade teacher have her students vote on something but give rows two and four two extra votes. That would take some explaining, but she could bring in the electoral college then and tell them that the way things work. It isn’t fair of course but who cares.

  9. Caleb 2021-04-20 19:47

    These last few years as the GOP has increasingly accused the Democrats of attempting what the GOP has succeeded at time and again, such as suppressing votes and packing courts, their apparent desperation in recognition of waning public favor has become quite clear. Let’s be wary of their insidiousness, but have hope the cornered GOP party will continue alienating itself or somehow miraculously become a party that actually advocates and acts on behalf of all Americans’ interests.

  10. grudznick 2021-04-20 20:35

    They are, indeed, insidious. Which is a fun word to say. Those insidious bossturds.

  11. Edwin Arndt 2021-04-20 21:25

    People who think that South Dakota can be turned into a
    state run by democrats by redrawing some legislative district
    lines are indeed deceiving themselves.

  12. Arlo Blundt 2021-04-20 22:58

    Well…the Democratic Party in South Dakota needs attractive candidates with ample money to spend on their campaigns.As Mr. Arndt points out “issues” aren’t as important as personality and access to voters. Time to organize.

  13. cibvet 2021-04-21 00:30

    Edwin Arndt is probably right, but then lies and deception are a republican way of life in red state South Dakota that affects everyone.

  14. 96Tears 2021-04-21 09:37

    Let’s hope what Mr. Arndt does not mean is gerrymandering to the extent as it has been practiced in South Dakota isn’t severe or destructive to democracy. It is. It’s been like Kryptonite to progressives, dissolving their abilities to win marginal races or even a single statewide race.

    I do agree that Democrats in South Dakota underestimate the mess they’ve allowed by not putting greater investments of cash and sweat into winning statehouse races. For the first 20 months of each of the last several election cycles, they’ve slacked off and ignored the simple but tedious work of grassroots organizing. In other words, they’ve received what they paid for.

    For Republicans, elections are an easy sprint. Collect easily raised money. Place candidates in gerrymandered ballot slots. Keep winning by hogtying the districts and controlling the result.

    For Democrats, it’s a matter of a very long marathon to clean up after decades of neglect. Yet, they seem to believe it’s only a matter of a lucky sprint: If only the “next George McGovern” will come along. Alas. Like the castaways on Gilligan’s Island, waiting and never escaping the island.

  15. Porter Lansing 2021-04-21 10:17

    By the numbers, it doesn’t matter whether SD is Republican or Democrat. Your voice means nothing, in that context.

    What does matter is that SD Dems support the national Democratic Party, where your voice is every bit as important as a voter in California, Minnesota, or New York.

    Proud Democrats are a nationwide group and know that you’re a welcome and honored member.

  16. Donald Pay 2021-04-21 10:33

    This is an interesting subject. Political identification is both relatively complex and relatively simple, but in the end you identify with the party that meets several needs. Those needs can be many-faceted, but most people boil them down to those involving (1) economic well-being, both for yourself and for your community, state, and nation and (2) your personal morality and basic stances on broad critical issues, such as war and peace, life and death, fairness, safety and risk. All this is filtered through consideration of issues that you identify as critical and problems that you would want solved. What priority do you have in solving which issues? It also involves the methods to get to solutions. How do you feel about compromise on your important economic and moral priorities?

    Most people decide their political identification through particular broad issues: war, employment, taxes, abortion, civil rights, environment. They also take notice of the sort of people who gravitate to a party. Are my family, friends, or coworkers Republicans or Democrats?

    Today I identify with the Democratic Party mostly because of war and peace issues, civil rights, education and environment. My drift away from the Republican Party, the party of my parents, started as a teen as I started thinking about and studying the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War. Democrats in South Dakota and nationally were better than Republicans on those issues. That had not always been the case. At that point in my life I wasn’t all that concerned about economic issues and environment. And, like most kids, I thought high school was something to get through, not something to develop a political philosophy about. My priorities shifted and changed throughout my life.

    I’ve always been fiscally conservative and have a moderate view on issues like sexual morality and various “sins,” like gambling, drugs, etc. I’m not a libertarian, but It doesn’t do anyone any good to build prisons to hold people doing those things. What I don’t like are “sin lobbies.” Profiting off of people’s problems is immoral. You might think I’m a Republican on those issues, except Republicans tend to tsk, tsk about sin and then put their hands out for the money that flows from it. I can’t stand hypocrisy, and that’s rampant in the Republican Party. Also on “life” issues, where I’m somewhere in the middle on abortion. Republican hypocrisy again. They don’t care about life, or they wouldn’t have their panties in a bunch over extending Medicaid. They care about the money they can wring from pretending to care about life.

  17. bearcreekbat 2021-04-21 10:49

    Donald’s last sentence strikes me as an accurate description of how the modern Trumpist grifter Republican party behaves: “They care about the money they can wring from pretending to care about [you name it].”

  18. Richard Schriever 2021-04-21 10:59

    96 Tears. democrats DO indeed escape the island of SD. Meanwhile, though, Republicans fortify it against their return.

  19. Arlo Blundt 2021-04-21 21:09

    well…I think everyone on this page has a pretty good grip on what makes a Democrat. Now. how do we get more of them?? Exposing hypocrisy is always fun but the ambivalent South Dakota voter sees all of politics as hypocrisy which accounts for their attraction to Donald Trump…obviously a hypocrite with no apologies.Justice or “fairness” seems like a good topic but in South Dakota everyone is a “victim” and has a gripe. Not even the plight of Native Americans gets more than a nod and a yawn.Tim Johnson showed one way to win state wide…nail down the eastern counties, get a decent share of the farm vote, depend on massive support among Native American and union voters…and be resolutely non controversial on many social issues. Don’t provoke the Ambivalent South Dakota voter’s underlying pessimist bias toward anything currently “in the news”. I call them the “Paul Harvey voter” …if you remember Paul Harvey. Finally, Gerrymandering does matter but the solution comes in Democrats winning elections.

  20. Voter1 2021-04-22 11:42

    Let’s face it — the Democrats CAN’T get their act together! They can’t raise funds, they can’t have a staff member or office in the entire state, they can’t find candidates, they refuse to procure significant assistance from the national party since the time of Mr. McGovern, they fail to effectively find and train assistants in the counties across the states, they appear to care less about the stupidity of actions of the Republicans and develop a group to publish rebuttals to such. Who cares about Gallop polling? No one can effectively coordinate those voters! Demos need to “pull their heads out, organize and provide a true choice to citizens of SD. Demos need to quit kissing the rear ends of the Republicans and take real action! Demos might consider providing SD voters a reason to go to the polls on Election Day.

  21. Mark Anderson 2021-04-22 16:21

    Oh Edwin, of course South Dakota is red, but maybe trump will switch it to purple, he is a master at deception and making normal folks deceive themselves.

  22. 96Tears 2021-04-22 16:52

    Mark, old COVID Kristi is also adept at deception. She is on record claiming she elected two “commies” to the U.S, Senate as the result of all her efforts to spend our taxes in Georgia.

  23. Edwin Arndt 2021-04-22 17:47

    All I ever do is make an honest attempt to
    acknowledge reality. Acknowledging reality is not
    generally a liberal strong suit.

  24. bearcreekbat 2021-04-22 18:42

    Edwin, can you provide an example of a real fact, i.e. reality, that “liberals” have refused to acknowledge? I actually thought acknowledging factual realities and then attempting to mitigate harm being caused by that reality was liberals’ strong suit.

  25. Edwin Arndt 2021-04-22 22:39

    Liberals can’t seem to acknowledge the fact that what they are
    selling is not what South Dakota voters want to buy. You can’t blame
    gerrymandering for the fact that South Dakota is a republican state.

  26. Caleb 2021-04-22 23:36

    Edwin, you answered bearcreekbat’s question with an answer as vague as the claim bearcreekbat countered. South Dakota voters are not the monolith you suggest. Further, if you’re suggesting gerrymandering in SD can’t be so effective, I’m guessing you believe gerrymandering in SD hasn’t been so effective. If that’s the case, what do you suggest is the reason our state legislature has fought an independent redistricting commission for which the general population voted? Please try answering bcb’s question again.

    PS: Reality consists of more than any one mind can consider, no matter that mind’s biases of any types. Claiming liberals are not strong at acknowledging reality makes clear you overlook reality simply by generalizing liberals. Additionally…nobody blamed gerrymandering alone for SD being a Republican dominated state. Many of us realize ignorance, poor education, and other cultural factors have played a part.

  27. bearcreekbat 2021-04-23 00:40

    Edwin, I agree with Caleb, your statement is more of a dodge than an answer to my question.

    And, in any event, what evidence do you have to support what little you did write? I have not seen evidence that liberals are unaware of, or fail to acknowledge, how the SD public has voted in recent elections, or, as you might prefer to phrase it, that a majority of SD voters, particularly those gerrymandered into artificial districts, haven’t “bought what liberals are selling.”

  28. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-04-23 07:10

    Edwin, I can acknowledge the fact that registered Republicans outnumbered registered Democrats in South Dakota while simultaneously acknowledging that Republicans use their superior numbers to rig the election map to strengthen their grip on power and make it even harder for Democrats to secure representation proportionate to their numbers.

  29. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-04-23 07:11

    I can also acknowledge that nationally, Republicans seem to put much more stock in denying reality (climate change, coronavirus, right-wing insurrection—all hoaxes!) to cling to power and personal psychological comfort than Democrats.

  30. Porter Lansing 2021-04-23 07:16

    Heuristic devices are shortcuts for a busy person to come to a decision on a complicated topic.

    Imagine a voter who had previously voted “straight ticket” for Republican candidates. They look at an upcoming ballot race and think to themselves, I voted for the Republican before. I don’t have time to do a bunch of research about this particular election, so I’m just going to vote for the Republican again.

    Couple heurism that with “brain drain” and gerrymandering and you get an accurate thumbnail of why SD is Republican, ride or die.

  31. Dicta 2021-04-23 08:16

    I mean, there are plenty of examples of liberals denying reality (though the GOP is much, much worse in that regard at the moment.) Much of it surrounds tax structure (how many liberals reference Scandanavian countries as ideal examples of progressive taxation while failing to acknowledge their corporate tax rates are actually LOWER than the US’?). I can give more examples if requested, but I just think it important to note that liberals don’t have a monopoly on the truth. They just happen to be a lot closer to it than the republican party at the moment.

  32. Donald Pay 2021-04-23 08:40

    I agree with Porter. I still research my choices on the ballot, but it’s not with an open mind. At this point in my life the pattern of voting for Democrats is pretty much automatic. It’s my default position. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t vote for a Republican. It means Republicans have to prove themselves worthy of my vote, and that’s been pretty difficult for them to do since Tea Party extremism infected the party.

    And Dicta’s point is certainly true. No party has a monopoly on the stupid gene. In my time in South Dakota, I spent a lot of time fighting with Democrats over issues.

  33. bearcreekbat 2021-04-23 10:37

    Dicta, no offense but asking a question, such as,

    how many liberals reference Scandanavian countries as ideal examples of progressive taxation while failing to acknowledge their corporate tax rates are actually LOWER than the US’?

    isn’t any evidence that a substantial or meaningful segment of “liberals” fail to acknowledge reality. Rather, it is simply a specific question. While admittedly I may not be the best at Google, but I couldn’t find any answer to this specific question.

    And the question, if intended as a Socratic rhetorical question designed to make a statement of fact, it doesn’t pass the “failure to acknowledge reality” smell test. Whether a particular liberal group thinks a scandanavian country is an “ideal example” of progressive taxation seems to be opinion rather than fact. And forming that opinion even though not every entity, such as a corporation, is taxed at an arguably progressive rate doesn’t change this opinion to a denial of factual reality, absent some agreed upon factual standard that required a particular corporate tax rate as an element of the “ideal example.”

    Now, if there is some credible evidence that some liberal groups deny the fact, assuming it is correct, that corporations are taxed at a non-progressive lower rate than in the US, then I could agree that this is an example supporting Arlo’s claim that such liberals have failed to acknowledge a particular factual reality. Perhaps you have something more substantive to offer, such as a link or reference to actual credible emperical research, of the latter that answers your question and establishes your implied point?

    And I do request the “examples” you have of “liberals failing to acknowledge factual reality” that are actually sourced and not simply speculative assertions or based on liberal opinions on public policy issues.

    Same question to you Donald, since you assert “Dicta’s point is certainly true” without providing any evidentiary basis for the assertion. Perhaps in the past some Democrats had different opinions than you about what policies to adopt, but you would need to be a bit more specific about what documented facts or reality you think that that these liberals denied.

    I acknowledge that there are some individuals who self-label as liberal (or conservative for that matter) that fail to acknowledge factual reality, but the general claim that “liberals” do this as much as generic “conservatives” seems rather hyperbolic, or worse yet, nonsensical, absence some credible evidentiary support or reference. And I freely acknowledge that Dicta, Arlo and Donald could all be correct, yet their failure to identify any actual support for the assertion certainly raises doubt in my small mind.

    In contrast, there is overwhelming factual evidence that a significant group of “conservatives” fail to acknowledge such currently established factual reality as: human activity causes adverse and dangerous climate change; or that the Biden was lawfully elected President; just to name two examples. This is clear evidence of a failure to acknowledge reality. Where are the concrete and credible examples of anything even remotely similar for “liberals?”

  34. bearcreekbat 2021-04-23 11:23

    Dicta, I still don’t see any evidence of the claim that Bernie or liberals deny reality. Your linked article about Scandinavian counties says nothing about tax rates, corporate of other wise, hence I don’t see a denial of reality on that matter in the posted video or this transcript of Bernie’s statements:

    . . . Finland is a neighbor to Russia. They have a very democratic society with strong Democratic socialist principles. Everybody in Finland has healthcare as a right. Their educational system is, perhaps, the best in the world and college there is free. They take environmental responsibility very, very seriously. They have one of the lowest rates of childhood poverty in the industrialized world. And you know what? Their voting rate, people who participate in their elections, is a lot higher than it is in the United States. So when we talk about Democratic socialism, Margaret, I’m talking about Finland, I’m talking about Denmark, I’m talking about Sweden. I’m talking about countries all over the world who have used their government to try to improve lives for working families, not just the people on top.”

    This statement does show something about Bernie’s opinion about several social policies of Scandanavian countries, which I thought I acknowledged. The other link indicates Bernie wants to raise taxes on corporation in the U.S. Where exactly do you see a denial of factual reality in either of these links?

  35. cibvet 2021-04-23 11:35

    Does it really matter what the corporate tax rate is, if with all their lawyers and bean counters, most avoid the tax rate anyway? The only people i see that are unable to cheat the IRS is the lowly wage earner with W2s.

  36. Dicta 2021-04-23 11:48

    Look, I am not asserting that dems are even in the same ballpark as repubs when it comes to living in a fantasy land at the moment, but you are drinking some stiff koolaid if you refuse to acknowledge that some of them are prone to at least some bs. Come on.

  37. Dicta 2021-04-23 12:04

    What voters want and what they actually understand are not a single circle on a Venn diagram.

  38. bearcreekbat 2021-04-23 12:17

    Dicta, none of the links you have provided, including the last Zakaria Ledger “opinion” piece, assert that either Bernie or his supporters have made a factual claim describing “Scandinavian tax rates as ideal” or that Bernie misunderstands or misrepresents the rates at which people and corporations are actually taxed either in Scandinavian or the US. I am still open to considering additional evidence, but at this point it appears to me that your inability to find objective support for such a claim suggests that it simply is not based on factual reality.

    And I did “acknowledge that some of them [i.e. “liberals”] are prone to at least some bs” when I stated:

    I acknowledge that there are some individuals who self-label as liberal (or conservative for that matter) that fail to acknowledge factual reality . . .

    Your inability to document your corporate tax claim and your failure to identify a single other “example,” as you said you could, leaves me with my original objection: the claim that generic “liberals” fail to acknowledge reality has not yet been established as factually correct. Sorry.

  39. Dicta 2021-04-23 12:26

    Ok. It’s not based in factual reality. Good talk.

  40. bearcreekbat 2021-04-23 13:03

    Likewise Dicta. I always have appreciated your various DFP comments and posts and take them very seriously. Indeed, based on your comment history, these days I tend to presume what you write typically deserves to be accepted as accurate and helpful, which perhaps explains my efforts to respond if I think a particular point is not quite correct. Thanks for the discussion.

    Now I wonder if Arlo or Donald might be willing to provide factual documentation of their claims. I will try to continue to keep an open mind and remain willing to acknowledge the claims are correct if they, or anyone else here, can provide any credible factual basis for such claims.

  41. mike from iowa 2021-04-23 13:44

    Dems and Biden are dreaming if they think magats art going to cross the aisle and work in concert on any major undertakings.

  42. bearcreekbat 2021-04-23 15:11

    mfi has identify a factually documented and accurate basis for the claim that some liberal groups are not “acknowledging reality.” To the extent any liberal groups think the current crop of Republicans will cooperate on any meaningful major undertakings that might benefit voters, regular folks, people in need, or immigrants seeking help to escape violence, poverty, or government repression, I agree that such hopeful liberals are not “acknowledging reality.” I stand corrected. Thanks mfi.

  43. o 2021-04-23 16:27

    The GOP has moved to a paradigm of leadership being the chosen leading the flock. Legislation does not come from voters through legislators; the flow is the opposite. That is why there is SUCH a gap between campaign and governance.

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