Democrats under Siege in the Sunbelt Megastates: California, Florida, and Texas

By Albert J. Nelson | Go to book overview

to ascertain why its grass roots elections did not go the direction of Florida and other Southern states.


NOTES
1.
If one uses the Weber et al. ( 1991) definition of competitive seats, you would assume greater competition in California since 25 districts (31 percent of all districts) would be competitive compared to Florida's 26 districts (22 percent of all districts). Please note that the number of competitive seats is actually greater since I did not identify the number of Democratic seats whose mean margins were between 11 and 20.
2.
For example, it seems that U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer's call for public hearings on Senator Robert Packwood's sexual harassment charges was in part a ploy to affect issues in the 1996 campaign. To do so, she was attempting to pin a tail on Republicans labeling them insensitive to Packwood's sexual harassment and senatorial abuse of power. A wise strategy which failed when bipartisan agreement on the Senate Ethics Committee unanimously recommended Packwood's expulsion. He shortly resigned, but the effort to redefine issues will continue.
3.
I think you can assume, given ticket splitting, a Democratic presidential victory and Republican success in state legislatures. The reason, crucial to governance, is that presidential elections seem to be plebiscites on candidate image and have few ties to party organizations and issues.
4.
Governor Pete Wilson was forced out of the presidential nomination race by inadequate resources, but there have been rumors that he might make an admirable vice president, especially if he could carry California. That might not be the case because he has offended California voters promising to serve out his term, then attempted his presidential run. Wilson has praised Bob Dole for being there for Californians when things were tough, and it seems clear that electoral college math favoring Republicans with the addition of California would mean Clinton's defeat in 1996. A benefit-cost analysis of Wilson's effect on the ticket by Dole's campaign is likely, and if they show Wilson to be hurting Republicans in California, another vice presidential choice ( Colin Powell?) is likely. Of course, Ralph Nader's run at the head of the Green Party must be factored into the analysis.

-110-

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Democrats under Siege in the Sunbelt Megastates: California, Florida, and Texas
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Chapter 1- Introduction 1
  • Notes 11
  • Chapter 2- California Elections 13
  • Notes 40
  • Chapter 3- Texas Elections 41
  • Note 67
  • Chapter 4- Florida Elections 69
  • Notes 91
  • Chapter 5- Conclusions and Caveats 93
  • Notes 110
  • Bibliography 111
  • Index 117
  • About the Author 121
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