Politics

Election 2022: Can the GQP Voter Suppress its way to Victory or Can the Dems Stacey Abrams their way to Victory?


Ye Olde Blogge has been saying for years that the GQP has become an anti-democratic party whose goal is to create an authoritarian-style single-party pseudo-democratic minority-rule government. They see the entire purpose of government as existing to transfer the nation’s wealth to the 1% as quickly as possible while the rest of us live in Cancer Alley, drink Flint water, pay for Texas utilities, and die quickly and quietly when we can no longer contribute to the 1% more than we cost.

GQP Electoral Advanatages

In the past, the plan was to elect a Repube president, wreck the economy with massive unneeded unwanted unnecessary tax cuts, and then let a Dem president rebuild the economy. It was a 16-year cycle. Eight years for the Repubes to scorch the earth; eight years for the Dems to build us back again. I guess the 1% got sick of that, or Putin saw his opening or both. At any rate, the party elites and their funders decided to eliminate the voters from the equation. If they could just guarantee that they would win elections without ever needing a majority, then they’d have Gingrich’s permanent majority. They set about doing just that. They realized four things:

  1. The structural advantages that the Senate and the Electoral College could give them. All they had to do is position themselves to benefit from them consistently.
  2. If they could pack the federal judiciary with radically conservative young judges, they could rely on them for favorable rulings even if they did defy the Constitution and that courts all the way to the Supreme Court would uphold them.
  3. They could gerrymander their way to a permanent majority in the House of Representatives.
  4. They could suppress the votes of likely Dem voters and rely on their traditional core base of consistent older conservative Christian white voters to win.

They realized the root of all of it was winning state legislatures and governorships, and the key to doing that was to reassure their voting base that whatever happened, whatever the government did, Blacks, Browns, minorities, women, immigrants, and liberals would get the worst of it. As long as their voters could go to bed every night knowing that Black folk had it worser than they did, they could tolerate the misery that Repube governments everywhere forced them to live in. Ain’t that right, Bobby Jindal, Sam Brownback, Paul LePage, Scott Walker, and oh so many more that have just run their states into the ground.

The GQP set about winning state governments in the 1990’s, and we’re seeing Gingrich’s vision bear fruit today. Our democracy hangs like a big beautiful shiny red apple from a slowly decaying stem on the tree of government. Eventually, it will drop from the tree to bruise and rot on the ground until finally being ground under the boot heel of fascism and forgotten. We’ve got one shot to pluck that apple from that tree and preserve it for the coming winter. And, each and every election will be our last chance to save our democracy as long as Repubes have a chance of winning majorities in any governing body from the presidency to school boards.

Many of the progressive and liberal talking heads have been talking about how the ding-dang-dumb Repubes are not only suppressing Black, Brown, and urban voters, they’re suppressing their own voters the big dummies. And, it is true. They are going to end up suppressing their own voters, so let’s think that through, though.

The Republican Electorate

The Repube electorate looks something like this nowadays:

  • Traditional Repube voters: older white wealthier conservative voters. Repubes never had a lot of voters, it is true. When Ye Olde Blogge was a youngin, they were known as the party of the rich because they favored small government and low taxes. Jokes on everyone who ever believed that. You’d have to back to Herbert Hoover to find a Repube president who didn’t preside over an expanding federal government, raising taxes, and exploding deficits, right Ronnie? But, still that was their go to demographic.
  • The new Repube voters: racist white Southerners of every economic strata and age. When Ye Olde Blogge was in uni and not long after, a funny thing was happening. The Repube voting base expanded. The Southern strategy delivered the South to the GQP. All those racist white Southerners started voting for them.
  • The MAGA voters: the first-time or seldom white racist voter. This was the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s one strange trick that no one could believe and that doctors didn’t want you to know about. He brought in people who hadn’t voted before. They tended to be poorer educated and make less money than the other two types of Repube voter.

The Traditional Republican Voter

One of the few advantages that Repubes used to have in the pre-Permanent Majority days is that their core base of older, whiter, wealthier, conservater voters would turn out consistently for every election no matter how obscure or awkwardly scheduled. So, they may not have won very many of the presidential elections or majorities in Congress from ’32 to ’68, but they won lots of off year elections, special elections, and obscure elections for judges, sheriffs, and other state and local offices.

The traditional Repube voter was a high information highly engaged voter. By contrast, the traditional Dem voter was less engaged and tended to turn out in big numbers in presidential elections and occasionally voted for down-ballot candidates, too.

As it turns out, high-information voters share certain qualities. They are likely to vote in most elections, more likely to vote their issues and not exclusively by party, and less vulnerable to cheap propaganda tricks and hot-button emotional issues. Nowadays with our politics being as divided and partisan as it is, many traditional Repube voters will continue to vote Repube.

The MAGA Voter

In 2018, Dems won big! Many people attributed it to a backlash against Trump and his divisive politics and him not being on the ballot. The backlash drove anti-Trump voters to the polls to make sure they voted and their anti-Trump voice was heard and counted. And, the lack of Trump being there meant that the low-propensity new Repube voter that put Trump just barely over the top stayed home.

In 2020, the anti-Trump pissed off voters turned out in force again, just like in 2018, but Trump was on the ballot, so many of those first-time voters of 2016 turned into irregular seldom voters to vote again and he added even more first-time low-propensity voters! So, did the Dems, which all added up to (a) Trump barely losing, (b) the Repubes taking 12 seats in the House, and (c) holding on to most of their Senate seats and barely losing control of the Senate.

In 2022, the Repubes are figuring it this way. Their voter suppression legislation will suppress the vote of those irregular low-information Trump voters. They didn’t turn out in 2018 and are unlikely to turn out in 2022, anyway. Their traditional voters vote no matter what. They will find a way to vote. They will work their way around whatever impediments are placed in their way and cast their ballot.

The fight turns into getting the Repube voters that often vote, the ones brought on board by the Southern strategy that like the racism that they are being fed and enjoy knowing that their local, state, and federal policies are hurting Black, Brown, minorities, immigrants, and women first and worst even though it hurts them, too. The Repubes are gambling that these folks are going to be so enthused by the chance to vote against Defund the Police, Build Back Better, socialism, Green New Deal policies that will be placing PoC at the front of the line ahead of them that they will outnumber the Dem voters.

They are gambling that Stacey Abrams won’t be able to turn out Georgia a second time. Remember, the second time is in some ways harder than the first time. There is a reason that there are few dynasties and repeats in sports. These voter suppression laws that the Repubes are advancing in state houses across the country are designed specifically to stop Abrams in Georgia and anyone wanting to imitate her in other states.

That’s going to be the deciding factor in 2022. Will the Dems be able to pull a Stacey Abrams in multiple states across the country and thwart the Repube voter suppression laws or will the Repubes be able to suppress enough votes so that their traditional angry white voter base can carry the day?

The truth is, I don’t know. Tradition has it that the party in the White House loses seats in the Congress in the off-election. The undercounted census has shifted House seats to the Repubes and away from the Dems. After 911, the Repubes gained seats the Congress in the year two, and in the year ten after the economic debacle of ’08, the Dems limited losses. Could something similar happen here after the #COVID19 pandemic and concomment economic collapse and the 6 January Insurrection? Like all things Trump related, we’re in uncharted territory and we’ll have to see. All I know is that if our democracy is to survive, we have to circumvent the GQP voter suppression effort and get our folks to the polls.

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Image Attribution

“Gaming the Vote. Keith Knight, pen, ink ©2018. “This BINGO is no fun for the millions of US citizens targeted by state-sanctioned disenfranchisement. Reflecting the Republican lust for power, voter suppression is thriving. The 2013 Supreme Court” by veritatem is licensed under CC BY 2.0

6 replies »

  1. Here’s a question: Which is more effective in driving voters, especially low information and seldom/new voters, to the polls despite obstacles, anger, fear, gratitude, or hope? I’m betting on anger. So, how do the voter suppression efforts figure into that? A lot of Democrats, POC, and progressive likely and potential voters are very seriously pissed off. Many will also be grateful for whatever of the Build Back Better plan gets passed, but also disappointed over what of it doesn’t, as well as the likely failure to achieve real immigration reform. For them, the key is to get into and stay in the position: “You want to stop me from voting? Well sucker, watch this.” That, after all, is the essence of the Georgia success and the higher mail in vote turn out for Democrats over Republicans in Florida during the pandemic.

    A problem for the GOP is that the more confident they feel and allow their voters to feel that the suppression will succeed, the lower their low information and seldom/new turnout will be. And, any gratitude for new jobs and such will be hard for the Repubs to claim, having consistently voted against the plans (Though they are already trying and will continue to try). So, they are left with the fear card to play, and that is harder if Biden can actually have the economy booming in June, July, August, and September next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      Really good questions. I think one of the things that the GQP is counting on two things: (1) Higher information more involved voters will become fatigued by all the rigamarole that they have to go through just to vote, especially those that did it once in Georgia already. You can’t stay angry or emotionally upset forever. Eventually, the emotional reaction will run its course and you’ll go back to equilibrium. They’re hoping and relying on just wearing the motivated out by making them jump through hoops and keeping them angry all the time. And (2) they’re banking on everyone else becoming discouraged and apathetic. If they make the climb steep enough, the less dedicated will drop out. It is human nature to evaluate a problem that you’re confronted with based on how likely you think you are to succeed if you try it. They’re hoping that voting will seem impossible to many people, especially the unreliable white youth vote — notoriously noisy but unreliable. All this upset at the voter suppression effort is likely to peak too soon for the 22 election.

      Gratitude works differently than anger when motivating voting. Think FDR and Democrats, Lincoln, Republicans, and the Black vote before 1965 and LBJ, Dems, and the Black vote post ’65. It is much more enduring, but only really for the high-information more dedicated voters.

      Gratitude among the MAGA crowd and right leaning independent voters will suppress their vote. They’ll have less to be angry about and, therefore, less motivation to vote.

      There are several issues that I can think of when thinking about the ’22 election:
      Stacey Abrams and others got the Georgia Black community organized and registered and then turned out the vote. And, they still barely won. Will they be able to do it a second time? Will they be able to duplicate it in other states?
      Will there be an assbackward slogan like Defund the Police that will drive white independent voters to the GQP, again?
      Will there be an event like the George Floyd murder that will drive protests and fire up the left? I don’t think there will be any real event like Obamacare firing up the right and driving something like a Tea Party movement.
      Trump is going to do more damage than he is good for the GQP effort. He’ll raise money, but keep it. He’ll fire up the base, but argue with members of the GQP that are threatening to outshine him. It is only a matter of time before he takes a run at DeSantis, for example.
      If it is going to be based on turn out and organizing to overcome voter suppression, then I think the Dems will be able to take it.
      And, then there is the disinformation campaign that the Russians and GQP are going to be running.

      We’ll just have to see how it shakes out. Every election will be high stakes unless and until the Republicans get a sound drubbing at the polls.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

      • Speaking of DeSantis and several other GOP governors, I’m expecting the 2nd? 3rd?, whichever it is, wave of COVID to hit in FL right about Memorial Day, 3-4 weeks after he dropped all COVID precautions with only 50% of resident adults vaccinated. Texas is like to go much the same way. Oh, and the hurricane season is predicted to be bad again. I’m noticing how in India they are beginning to turn on Modi, and rightly so. Some of the COVID denying and mask mocking Repubs may suffer the same fate if a vaccine resistant variant shows up, and it probably will with the amount of transmission happening in India and a few other places, like Brazil.

        One unknown if when, not if, Rudy G. will sing and more indictments and search warrants will begin to flow. If Donald’s nearest and dearest kin and companions are getting perp walked next Summer, being a loud and loyal Trumpster on the campaign trail will start to feel a lot less comfortable. And, Trump will be siphoning off campaign money for legal expenses.

        Liked by 1 person

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