Rick Moran writes a deeply pessimistic analysis at Rightwing Nuthouse:
If there is one thing exit polls are good for, it is breaking down the vote by age, income, religion, ideology, and other important indices. Here's the bad news from exit polls taken for House races nationwide:
Republicans saw their advantage with white men diminish from 62—37 in 2004 to 53—45 Their advantage with white women dropped from 55—44 in 2004 to a 49—49 tie. For the first time in memory, Republicans lost American males to the Democrats 51—47 compared to 55—44 advantage in 2004.
In 2004, Bush lost the 18—29 age group but won in the 30—44, 45—59, and 60 and older. No age group voted in the majority for the GOP in 2006.
The GOP has lost the middle class. In 2004, all income brackets above $50,000 voted in the majority for the GOP (those making $30—50,000 split their vote evenly). In 2006, only those making more than $100,000 and above voted Republican.
In 2004, Republicans garnered majorities in all education groups except high school graduates and Post Doc grads. In 2006, the GOP failed to win any education group.
Bush barely lost Independents to Kerry 49—48 in 2004. In 2006, indies went Dem 57—39.
For the first time since 1976, the Republicans lost the Catholic vote 55—44. GOP won the Catholic vote 52—47 in 2004.
The GOP lost 2/3 of the unmarried vote. Given that this demographic is growing and is now bigger than married couples, that is a huge stumbling block to majority status.
There's a lot worth reading here. But here is one of Rick's conclusions:
Bush himself is going to have to change his way of governance if he is going to survive the next two years. I hold out little hope that he will do so. Already he is talking about reviving his flawed 'guest worker' initiative, thinking he can pass it now that he has a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate. And I believe that he will take the 'out' offered by the Iraq Study Group (Baker Commission) to leave Iraq before the job is done. If he does these things and if he continues to preside over the fiscal mess we find ourselves in, he will score no points with Democrats and lose the rest of his base, leaving him dangling, twisting slowly, slowly in the wind as the Democrats flay what's left of his presidency to shreds.
There is much serious thought to be given to where the party is today and where it should be headed in the future. I anticipate that conservative blogs will play a role in redefining the party and refashioning a viable, coherent coalition that will bring the GOP back from the depths we are in today.
Thomas Lifson 11 8 06