Karl Rove is right

Say what you will about Karl Rove -- and people say all sorts of things -- but his political track record ma...

Posted: Nov 13, 2018 8:41 AM
Updated: Nov 13, 2018 8:41 AM

Say what you will about Karl Rove -- and people say all sorts of things -- but his political track record makes clear that he's someone who should be listened to. Rove was, after all, the architect of George W. Bush's two presidential campaigns, and warned about the need to broaden the Republican Party's coalition beyond whites more than a decade ago.

So I was intrigued when I came across these comments Rove made at a post-2018 election conference in Sea Island, Georgia:

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"We've got to be worried about what's happening in the suburbs. We get wiped out in the Dallas suburbs, Houston suburbs, Chicago suburbs, Denver suburbs -- you know there's a pattern -- Detroit suburbs, Minneapolis suburbs, Orange County, California, suburbs. When we start to lose in the suburbs, it says something to us. We can't replace all of those people by simply picking up (Minnesota's First Congressional District) -- farm country and the Iron range of Minnesota -- because, frankly, there's more growth in suburban areas than there is in rural areas."

Rove is exactly 100% right.

In the 2018 election, Democrats gained a slew of former Republican-held seats in the suburbs -- from Atlanta to the Twin Cities to Philadelphia to Chicago. According to the exit polling, suburban voters made up a majority (51%) of the overall electorate -- up 2 points from 2016. And unlike in 2016, when Donald Trump carried suburban voters by 4 points, in 2018 suburbanites split their votes right down the middle -- 49% for Republican House candidates, 49% for Democratic ones.

In 2014, the last midterm election, suburban voters made up 52% of the electorate but went for Republican candidates by 12 points. That's the same margin that Republicans won suburban voters by in the 2010 election.

You get the idea. Among a group that comprises 50-ish% of the electorate, Republicans have lost their one-time (and longtime) edge.

In his remarks, Rove said vaguely that the party needed to figure out why it had lost its suburban superiority. But the actual answer (as I strongly suspect Rove knows) is actually quite simple: Suburbanites -- especially suburban women -- have a very negative view of President Trump, and that dislike is what is driving them away from the party that had long aligned with their own fiscal interests.

Women, who made up 52% of the national House electorate on Tuesday, went for Democratic candidates over Republican ones by 19 points. Four years earlier, in the last pre-Trump midterm election, Democratic candidates only outpaced Republicans among women by 4 points. You do the math.

The Point: Way back in 2000, Rove -- and Bush -- warned the GOP of the long-term problems for the party of its predominantly white and male base. The party didn't listen and, in fact, went the other way by nominating Trump in 2016. Eighteen years after his first warning, Rove is warning his side of another demographic catastrophe looming on the horizon. Will they listen to him this time?

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 62993

Reported Deaths: 1731
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Hennepin19873842
Ramsey7827270
Dakota4610106
Anoka3841115
Stearns292820
Washington222748
Olmsted179123
Nobles17777
Scott163422
Mower11112
Rice10468
Blue Earth9465
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Carver8993
Clay79440
Sherburne75310
Kandiyohi7141
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Todd4302
Lyon4263
Watonwan3671
Freeborn3611
Nicollet35613
Steele3562
Benton3253
Winona26616
Beltrami2640
Crow Wing25214
Le Sueur2301
McLeod2240
Martin2105
Chisago2091
Goodhue2059
Otter Tail2044
Cottonwood1780
Becker1621
Pipestone1589
Polk1564
Waseca1561
Carlton1470
Itasca14612
Douglas1442
Isanti1370
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Murray1251
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Swift561
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Houston450
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Norman400
Kanabec372
Redwood370
Hubbard360
Wilkin353
Marshall290
Wadena280
Mahnomen271
Big Stone250
Red Lake240
Lake220
Stevens180
Clearwater140
Traverse130
Lac qui Parle80
Cook50
Lake of the Woods40
Kittson30

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 50230

Reported Deaths: 955
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10612210
Woodbury377052
Black Hawk320066
Linn245689
Johnson213820
Dallas193235
Buena Vista180012
Scott176815
Dubuque173431
Marshall145627
Pottawattamie136729
Story118915
Wapello93435
Muscatine86048
Webster8498
Crawford7393
Cerro Gordo65617
Sioux6533
Warren5861
Tama55729
Jasper48427
Wright4821
Plymouth47912
Clinton4344
Dickinson3844
Louisa37814
Washington30510
Boone2723
Franklin25512
Hamilton2551
Bremer2337
Clarke2063
Clay2021
Carroll2012
Des Moines1992
Emmet1934
Shelby1881
Hardin1860
Marion1830
Floyd1673
Benton1621
Jackson1601
Poweshiek1608
Allamakee1584
Mahaska14217
Henry1404
Guthrie1385
Buchanan1351
Cedar1351
Jones1352
Butler1312
Lee1294
Madison1282
Hancock1242
Humboldt1241
Delaware1231
Lyon1232
Pocahontas1212
Harrison1131
Cherokee1101
Clayton1093
Winneshiek1021
Page1000
Taylor1000
Iowa981
Kossuth970
Mills941
Monona920
Winnebago920
Palo Alto910
Fayette900
Calhoun872
Cass871
Jefferson870
Sac860
Osceola850
Grundy831
Union811
Mitchell800
Monroe758
Lucas734
Worth680
Davis612
Montgomery614
Chickasaw600
Appanoose523
Howard510
Fremont450
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Van Buren381
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