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Add to the demographic debacle the Republican party is facing over the next ten years the urbanization debacle the Repugs are also facing.  The Seattle Times reported today that U.S. Census Bureau released yesterday population estimates showing King County (i.e., Seattle metropolitan area) saw remarkable population growth (37,000 net) for the year ending July 1, 2013, ranking it among the top four large counties in the nation for both the rate at which it added new residents and for the overall increase in population.

At the same time, the census data showed 11 of Washington state's counties suffered population declines -- all rural counties.  According to the Seattle Times, "Several conditions make an area vulnerable to natural decrease, including an aging population, a low birth rate and a poor economy, which makes it difficult to retain or attract younger people."

Remember, Seattle just elected a gay mayor and a socialist (Kshama Sawant) to the City Council.  Seattle is really, really blue.  The rural counties in Washington are really, really red.

King County - in contrast to the rural counties - is Washington’s "economic engine," and after the latest three-year growth streak reached a population to 2,044,449 in 2013.  In the 2012 election, the Democratic candidate for Governor (U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee) pretty easily defeated a moderate Republican candidate, with the overwhelming number of Dem votes coming from King County and Pierce County (City of Tacoma).  The new census data shows that political trend will continue, especially since the rural counties are not only losing population but also -- young people.  Soon Washington state will be as blue as California.  Hopefully, that trend will have the same effect in Texas -- which the census data showed had two of the other top growth counties -- in urban areas.

Originally posted to nirbama on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 05:34 PM PDT.

Also republished by PacNW Kossacks and Koscadia.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Then again, the gay mayor is less progressive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    than his predecessor. But your point stands.

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

    by Bob Love on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 05:43:02 PM PDT

  •  <3 Seattle (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mookins, antooo, Mannie, nirbama

    It's so blue here that I'm utterly shocked to ever see a GOP bumper sticker of any sort.  Usually if I do, that mean I just crossed the King County border.

  •  It will only stay that way (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if democratic party continues to have most of the same interests as Washington voters.

    Washington is a place where we tend to vote the person and not their party. The right person could swing the vote but it is unlikely the current republican platform could do that.

    It is also possible that the democratic candidates could alienate voters by pushing certain issues widely disliked by the people here.

    We are a state that is not fond of the federal government. We do not suffer ignorant politicians well, nor do we like politicians that vote for things in direct opposition to the will of the voters.

    Remember the federal government is not popular here, nor are eastern politicians. This matters in a presidential election.

    It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

    by PSWaterspirit on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 06:03:44 PM PDT

  •  Pierce County to the south of King County (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nirbama, PugetSound, kerplunk

    is pretty red.  That includes Tacoma.  Republicans are in the majority as far as State reps and it doesn't look good for the Democratic candidates for the November election.

    There's a lot of rah! rah! for the military base in south Pierce County.  

    Unemployment in King County is 5.7%, but 8.3% in Pierce County.  Most of the jobs created by the DoD are minimum wage. But none of the State reps in PC seem to be interested in or are doing anything to attract jobs to this area.

  •  Not so fast (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, nirbama, Chas 981

    5 out of 11 of those counties showing population decreases were Obama counties.  4 out of 5 of them voted Obama by double digits and two of them, Jefferson County (Obama 64%) and San Juan County (Obama 67%), voted heavily for Obama.

    •  Points Well Taken (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Good points, I was too quick in characterizing all the rural counties with decreasing populations as Republican bastions.  I should have looked more intently at the map, which shows 5 counties along the Pacific Coast as losing population, not just counties in Eastern Washington.  But the larger point in the growth of population in the Seattle area still holds, I think.  If the Repubs can't win the governorship with a relatively moderate candidate, against a Dem congressman who's been mostly out of the state serving in Washington, D.C., then I think it pretty unlikely a Republican can win the next governor race in 2016, another Presidential Election year, against a now incumbent governor.

      •  Big Majorities in King Help Statewide Candidates (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The growing and expected progressive majority in King County will help statewide candidates but will not do so much in the state legislature and congressional delegation. It doesn't help to have Seattle districts return 70% or more for progressives when we lose legislative races in Pierce County by as few as 28 votes. So long as districting "respects" municipal boundaries, Democrats will run up big wins in cities and close suburbs and Republicans will eke out almost as many seats by narrower margins that will remain stable because the Republican base votes more consistently and tends to rule in non-Presidential years.

        The cited trend is real but sadly the actual news is not proportionately rosy at this time. If the Republicans do not replace their older base as mortality thins its ranks, then we may well have a different result in not so many years.

  •  I live in Seattle and don't call me a Democrat. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm a progressive but I could care less what the party label is saying.  Nationwide I see less and less difference between a D and an R these days.  We can't register our party affiliation but if I could I'd be Independent.  

    If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

    by John Crapper on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:19:58 PM PDT

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