We have heard about Reagan Democrats and Giuliani Democrats, moderate Democrats who supported Ronald Reagan in 1980, 1984, supported George H.W. Bush in 1988, and supported Rudolph Giuliani in his bid for mayor in 1989, 1993, and 1997 in New York City. Who are they? Where are they located? What are their future?
I think most of them became Republicans due to the Southern Strategy, at the same time that many moderate and liberal Republicans became Democrats.
I’d say the Giuliani Democrats are the type who hold mostly liberal views such as pro choice on abortion, pro gay rights, pro common sense gun control, but they are more law and order types when it comes to reducing aggressive panhandling and street crime. They’re more likely to favor stricter punishment for someone with a lengthy rap sheet of burglary and muggings.
I personally think the key factor was foreign policy. Reagan/Giuliani Democrats were people who wanted to follow the standard Democratic party line domestically but felt that some foreign threat (communists or terrorists) was the biggest problem facing the country.
As the whole country as moved right, they’ve simply become “Democrats”. They used to be noteworthy as the right edge of a left-leaning party. Now they’re the middle of a centrist party with a budding splinter wing on its left edge.
Or, as **iiandyiiii **sorta said, they decided they cared a LOT about one particular issue, started watching Fox, and are now Republicans.
I don’t think all of them are Republicans, though.
Certainly not. Sorry if I wasn’t clear.
Some stood still and mainstream Democrats came to them. So now they’re in the right half of the Ds.
Others changed their more of their minds in the years since 1980 and have become part of the left half of the Rs.
The other thing that’s happened mostly in the last 15 years is the increase in tribalism. If someone identifies as R or as D they’re a lot more likely to vote straight ticket than to split their ballot.
There are the so-called independents who swap sides from race to race or year to year. But they’re a different animal altogether.
The “Reagan Democrat” phenomenon was about analysing a newly discovered feature in the political landscape. There was a thin band of a particular “ore” there that Reagan’s people were the first to notice and come up with a campaign that successfully pried the ore out of the general earth around it.
There are about a hundred dimensions on which to characterize voters’ attitudes to different aspects of society & governance. We in the US try to boil that 100-dimensional description of you, me, and everybody else into a simple binary choice: Left or Right, R or D.
So naturally both parties end up as ragbags of sorta similar but still semi-conflicting ideas and most people find they really like some things about their chosen party, hate other things about it, and are broadly supportive of most-ish of it.
Reagan pulled a very neat trick of brand extension to grab a bunch of otherwise D voters. Many of whom haven’t been back since.
Where are the Guiliani Democrats, who voted for him for mayor? In New York City, of course. I understand he had pretty broad support across the board, and he certainly did a fair bit of good there. He only turned crazy when he started working the national stage.
It’s been 36 years since Reagan first won the presidency. No small number of Reagan Democrats are no longer voting, because they’ve died.
(Except for those who died while residing in Cook County, Illinois, since they’re able to remain active in party politics. )
Pre- and post-mayor Guliani are two different people. Night and day.
9/11 put his ego on steroids.
The Reagan Dems are now old farts that watch Fox and vote for whoever the Kochs tell them to. They became Republicans, but fortunately are starting to shrink in numbers due to attrition.
Why is Guliani’s name suddenly coming up? Last I heard, he was managing the largest private fund in history (all those donations after 9-11) and had shuffled off into obscurity to umm… ‘manage it properly’.
[del]Did he piss it all away in only 15 years on hookers and blow?[/del] Is he running for something?