Skip to main content

Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (L) greets commuters outside a metro station in Fairfax, Virginia, on election day November 5, 2013. .REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
African Americans turned out in Virginia yesterday at levels equal to 2012. No other core Democratic groups did.
As I've oft-written, the Democrats biggest problem heading into 2014 is the poor turnout performance of its core base groups: Single women, young voters and people of color. And in case you were wondering why Virginia was as close as it was, and why our hoped-for wave in the state legislature didn't materialize, it's not hard to see why.

Here is a voter turnout chart of the key demographic groups based on the exit polling from 2009, 2012 and 2013:

Look at that youth turnout—down to 13 percent of the electorate compared to 19 percent last year. Sure, that was an improvement from the 10 percent in 2009, and likely meant the difference between a McAuliffe victory and defeat, but it hurt us down ballot where we came up short by a hair in eight different House seats.

Single women were down significantly—a real problem for Democrats given that they voted for McAuliffe by a 67-25 margin. Liberals were down, while conservative turnout was significantly higher. They turn out in midterms. Latinos and Asians—two communities joined together by recent immigrant experiences—were down from eight to five percent of the electorate.

About the only good news was African American turnout, which is now proving itself hyper resilient. Barack Obama wasn't on the ballot. But years of community outreach and education, likely reinforced by GOP voter disenfranchisements efforts, is keeping black voters energized and active.  

Given the razor sharp losses in the legislature, an extra point from single women might've made the difference. Or young voters. Or liberals, in general. And that's what will determine our success (or lack thereof) in 2014. Demographics are destiny, and the fastest growing demographics are still ours. Any party that depends on 65-year-old voters and above is in trouble.

But I'm more interested in winning short-term than waiting for demographics to render the GOP irrelevant. I want the House back next year. So Democrats have to figure out how to motivate our core groups to turn out and vote. Because if they don't, we'll be left with lingering regret at yet more missed opportunities.

Update: I added 2009 numbers to contrast with the last gubernatorial bid. At the time, the Dems nominated a conservadem who tried to run the old "I'm not a liberal" playbook and lost big. So McAuliffe's explicitly liberal campaign certainly brought more people to the polls, and enough of them to win. Activating the base worked in this case. We just need more of that base to activate.

Originally posted to kos on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 11:34 AM PST.

Also republished by Black Kos community and Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Sylv, coral, RF, fcvaguy, Odysseus, decisivemoment, Me, Gooserock, mimi, greenbird, Shockwave, eeff, missLotus, 88kathy, whenwego, mrblifil, Torta, MJB, splashy, wader, edrie, Eyesbright, wdrath, Bendra, Diana in NoVa, zerelda, Sembtex, WisVoter, murrayewv, Bluesee, blueyedace2, Lying eyes, sunbro, Tunk, mightymouse, Land of Enchantment, Nance, edwardssl, raptavio, Audri, philipmerrill, JVolvo, blueoregon, kurt, bstotts, kenosha kid, PatConnors, Tamar, BeninSC, offgrid, puakev, edsbrooklyn, Dave in Northridge, leonard145b, billso, Assaf, gizmo59, jwinIL14, mconvente, Involuntary Exile, VA gentlewoman, Buckeye Nut Schell, tofumagoo, smartdemmg, pelagicray, immigradvocate, fayea, maggiejean, enemy of the people, ewmorr, EquationDoc, manucpa, Jonohex, johnosahon, Denise Oliver Velez, Black Kos, rebel ga, Larsstephens, BlueOak, Railfan, commonmass, brunoboy, Lost and Found, JoanMar, ThirtyFiveUp, nirbama, kenwards, ericlewis0, cocinero, Oh Mary Oh, slice, Onomastic, annieli, Bluefin, I love OCD, implicate order, AdamR510, Mr MadAsHell, BlueJessamine, mikejay611, CoExistNow, PorridgeGun, IllanoyGal, evangeline135, BarackStarObama, enhydra lutris, disconnect the dots, ratcityreprobate, SteelerGrrl, jham710, Chitown Kev, Laurel in CA, AnnetteK, quill, anodnhajo, sow hat, DeadHead, cwsmoke, Siri, IndieGuy, Eric Nelson, David54, tallahasseedem, a2nite, Farkletoo, This old man, jan4insight, willrob, reginahny, marking time, avsp, ShoshannaD, jusjtim35, poopdogcomedy, ChristineM, TheDuckManCometh, Mark Mywurtz, Dodgerdog1, Capt Crunch, jbsoul, Sir Roderick, Zwenkau, Ellamenta, NC State AFLCIO

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site