Updated calendar for the Republican nomination

The calendar for the Republican Party nomination:

1) Four Republican primary debates have been completed, the field is pretty settled now (Trump, Haley and Desantis). Three more debates are scheduled for 10, 18 and 21 January. Trump has yet to attend one.
2) Donald Trump currently leads the polling for the Republican Party presidential nomination by significant margins.
3) He is currently in a civil trial in New York concerning his businesses. A summary judgment was issued on 26 September that his companies had committed fraud. We expect the final verdicts related to results and penalties to be completed by the end of January.
4) the Iowa caucuses will be on 15 January 2024,
5) the New Hampshire primary will be on 23 January 2024,
6) the Nevada primary will be on 6 February 2024,
7) 24 February is SC primary, then MI,
8.) The date for the DOJ Special Council criminal trial for charges related to the 6 January incidents in now scheduled for 4 March. We gather Trump’s former chief of staff has taken a partial immunity deal with the government and will be providing testimony,
9) on 5 March 14 states will hold their primaries and between 9 – 23 March another 15 states/territories will hold their primaries. The Republican nominee could be decided by then,
10) 25 March is the trial date for Donald Trump’s New York Stormy Daniel’s related case,
11) 20 May is the trial date for Donald Trump’s classified documents case. This one is kind of a guaranteed conviction.
12) last Republican primary is 4 June 2024. I actually do think this is war related news as the currently three of the five leading Republican presidential candidates do not support Ukraine.
13) 15-18 July: Republican National Convention held in Milwaukee
14) 5 August is the start date for the Fulton County Georgia case. Four of the defendants have already pleaded guilty under a plea agreement. The other 15 defendants, including Donald Trump, will be going to trial.
15) The U.S. presidential, senate and congressional election is on Tuesday, 5 November, 2024.

So, there seems to be a race between whether Trump can get the Republican nomination before he gets too tangled up in his legal troubles.
 

Ukraine election map (2010) versus U.S. Election Map (2020)

Below is a copy of the Ukrainian presidential election map of 2010. This is the color version provided by the Ukrainian government.



We had to use a black-and-while version for my book The Battle for Kyiv. See: The Battle for Kyiv will be released on 30 November | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). It had to be reworked by Jay Karamales.



The interesting aspect is that there are a significant number of districts (raions) in the western Ukraine where 90% or more of the population voted for Yulia Timoshenko (10 districts) and a significant number of districts in the east where more than 90% of the population voted for Victor Yanukovych (also around 10 provinces). This is serious division. There are 136 districts (raions) in Ukraine.

In the United States, there does not appear to be as near of a dichotomous split, at least at the state level (there are 50 states). In the last election, in only one state did almost 70% of the people vote for Trump. That was Wyoming where 70% voted for Trump while 27% voted for Biden. It is also the least populous state in the Union with only 578,851 people in 2020. On the other hand, nominally the most liberal state in the union is Massachusetts. There 66% voted for Biden while 32% voted for Trump. The population of Massachusetts is 6,981,974 (2022).

Now these are states, vice the much smaller Ukrainian districts, but one can see a difference. Ukrainian society was clearly more polarized in 2010 than the U.S. was in 2020. In Ukraine they ended up hosting protests for three months during the winter of 2013/2014. At its peak the protests involved over 400,000 people. This ended up throwing Victor Yanukovych out of office in early 2014 at the cost of over 100 people killed. There then developed a separatist movement in the west that was supported by Russia. Then Russian annexed Crimea and Sevastopol and then invaded Ukraine in 2014 to support the separatists. The U.S. did have a violent protest on 6 January 2021 that lasted one day that involved more than 1,200 people (as of November 2023 over 1,200 people have been charged, with over 700 of them having been convicted and as of 12 September at least 378 of them being incarcerated). Depending how you count them, 2 were killed that day or died the following day, 3 others died from other (natural?) causes, and 4 police officers committed suicide in the six months that followed.

But… probably most interesting is that there is not near as clear polarization in the U.S. in 2020 as there was in Ukraine in 2010. For example, in 34 out of the 50 states, the winner got less than 60% of the vote. In half of those states (17), it is less than 55% of the vote. In eight of those states, their vote totals were within 4% of each other. You see that in some provinces in Ukraine, but what you tend to see there is that they are voting heavily either one way or the other.

The American Political Scene and Aid to Ukraine

My bias on this blog is to stay away from politics, but sometimes it can’t be helped. The U..S. is providing about half the international aid to Ukraine. I have not done the exact math on this comparing U.S. military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine as compared to our NATO allies, plus the EU aid (which is sometimes left out of people’s calculations), plus aid outside of NATO/EU (like Japan, South Korea and Australia). So, haven’t done the exact math in a while, but I gather the U.S, portion is around half. Therefore, what is going on in the House of Representatives and the 2024 U.S. presidential election is worth noting. If Ukraine losses half of its military and humanitarian aid, this does affect its ability to conduct on this war.

First, while the current president supports aid to Ukraine, as do the leaders of both parties in the Senate, the current Republican Speaker of the House does not (although he does support aid for Israel). His latest statement on the subject was that it was not an “urgent need” compared to aid for Israel. Furthermore, three of the top four Republican candidates for President do not support additional aid to Ukraine.

It is uncertain to what extent the Republican controlled House opposes aid to Ukraine. There are currently 212 seats held by Democrats (who mostly support aid to Ukraine) and 221 seats held by the Republicans (and 2 vacant). The total amount of support committed by the U.S. to Ukraine is at least $133 Billion. 

In January the Gallup poll (3-22 January) says that 65% of Americans support the war in Ukraine. 31% clearly do not. This is pretty much the same figures as in August 2022 (66% vs 31%). Among self-identified Democrats the split was 81% to 16%, among independents it was 59% to 38% and among Republicans it was 53% to 41%. So, according to the Gallup poll, the majority of Republicans support Ukraine. On the other hand, 47% of the Republicans polled said that the U.S. is doing too much to help UkrainePrevious polling from Washington Post shows that 52% of Republicans want to reduce aid to Ukraine or “…want their member of congress to opposed additional funding.” 

The leading two contenders for the Republican presidential nomination are both opposed to extensive aid for Ukraine. Ron Desantis said that it was a not a “vital” U.S. interest. He got immediate pushback from six U.S. Republican senators, but it is clear that there is a very definite split in the Republican Party on this issue. It is a long way until November 2024. We will have to see how this develops.

Eleven Republican members of the House did propose in February a resolution (“Ukraine Fatigue Resolution”) to cut aid to Ukraine. There is a clearly a vocal minority that is opposed to supporting Ukraine, along with both leading Republican presidential candidates. The “Ukraine Fatigue Resolution” is worth a read. It is here: Text – H.Res.113 – 118th Congress (2023-2024): Ukraine Fatigue Resolution | Congress.gov | Library of Congress.

A letter was issued on 20 April (Hitler’s birthday) calling for an end to unrestrained U.S. aid to Ukraine. It was signed by three senators (out of 100) and 16 members of the house (out of 435). There is a vocal minority opposed to this war, but it is clearly a minority. 

Meanwhile, a Republican House member submitted a resolution in April recognizing the borders of Ukraine as being the 1991 borders. This was supported by 13 Democrats and 5 other Republicans. 

On 13 July, the House took a vote on cutting off aid to Ukraine. The vote was 358-70 rejecting the amendment. All 70 opposed votes were Republican. See: Here are the 70 House Republicans who voted to cut off all US military aid to Ukraine (msn.com).

The U.S. resolved its “debt crisis” in June with the debt limit being suspended until 2025. Defense spending is capped at $886 billion, or 3.5% increase over the previous year. This matches the current administrations budget request. Spending on defense is limited to a 1% growth in 2025, or up to $895 billion. 

In September, a shutdown of U.S. government was delayed for 45 days (until mid-November), then the Republican Speaker of the House was thrown out of office for the first time in the U.S. history and a new speaker has finally been appointed, although house business was shut down for three weeks (did anyone actually miss them?). New additional aid for Ukraine has not been passed.

The second Republican primary debate occurred on 27 September. Four candidates clearly and strongly indicated that they support Ukraine (Christie, Haley, Pence and Scott). The Republican Party seems to split on this issue. Recent polling shows the majority of Americans still support Ukraine.

A few dates to keep in mind for the American political campaigns: 1) the third Republican primary debate is scheduled for 8 November, 2) Donald Trump currently leads the polling for the Republican Party presidential nomination by significant margins. He is currently in a civil trial in New York concerning his businesses. A summary judgment was issued on 26 September that his companies had committed fraud, 3) no start date has been set for the Fulton County Georgia case, but four of the defendants have pleaded guilty under a plea agreement. The other 15 defendants, including Donald Trump, will be going to trial soon, 4) the Iowa caucuses will be on 15 January 2024, 5) the Nevada primary will be on 6 February 2024, 6) the New Hampshire primary is scheduled for 13 February 2024, 7) 24 February is SC primary, then MI, 8) The date for the DOJ Special Council criminal trial for charges related to the 6 January incidents in now scheduled for 4 March. We gather Trump’s former chief of staff has taken a partial immunity deal with the government and will be providing testimony, 9) on 5 March 14 states will hold their primaries and between 9 – 23 March another 15 states/territories will hold their primaries. The Republican nominee could be decided by then, 10) 25 March is the trial date for Donald Trump’s New York Stormy Daniel’s related case, 11) 20 May is the trial date for Donald Trump’s classified documents case, 12) last Republican primary is 4 June 2024. I actually do think this is war related news as the currently the three of the four leading Republican presidential candidates do not support Ukraine.

Former VP and Republican presidential candidate Mike Pence was in Ukraine in July. He fully supports the war effort. A couple of days ago, he suspended his campaign. There are for practical purposes, only 6 real contenders are left, and two of them may not yet make the stage in Florida come 8 November.

U.S. Party in Power and the Defense Budget

The U.S. Defense budget goes up and down. This is sometimes related to external threats. It is often more closely correlated with which party is in power.

Below is the chart of who held the House, Senate and Presidency since 1855.

Below is a graph of the U.S. Defense budget as a percent of GDP from 1792 to 2016. We are not going to discuss this graph, I just added it because I think it is a real cool graphic:

On the other hand, this chart is worth examining further, as it is the U.S. Defense budget in constant 2009 dollars from 1900-2018.

Just picking up the graph from 1972 (after the Vietnam War) one can see (I do recommend copying and blowing up this graphic) that defense spending was flat from 1972-19799 and then started increasing in 1980 under Carter (Democrat) and continued increasing under Reagan (Republican). That increase flattened off and then budget declined after 1989 under Bush (Republican). That budget decline put an end to Trevor Dupuy’s HERO and DMSI organizations, and he reformed in 1992 as The Dupuy Institute. There was a budget increase in 1991, courtesy of the Gulf War and then it continued to decline until 1996 under Clinton (Democrat), where the budget again leveled off. Starting around 2001 under Bush Jr (Republican), the budget again continue to grow, peaking in 2011 and then declining under Obama (Democrat) and leveling off in 2015. It was as a result of that decline that The Dupuy Institute ended up de-staffing, something that we have never recovered from. In 2018 under Trump (Republican) the budget again started to increase (although TDI has not benefited from this increase).

So, the pattern is that the budget does indeed decline or remain flat under Democrats and usually rises under Republicans. There are exceptions to that (1980-1981, 1990-1993, 2000-2001, 2010-2011). But if the pattern holds true, then one is probably safe to assume that it will again decline over the next couple of years down to a lower level. The pattern is that these declines level off at a lower level that is often about 80% or so of the previous budget high. We see that in 1972-1979, 1996-2001 and to a much lesser extent in 2013-2017.

The Current Situation with the Republican Party

The Republican Party appears to have about maxed out its support in most of its core demographics. There are two groups it has had more support from in the past that it lost in 2020, which is white male college educated voters and white female college educated voters. Still, with Trump taking 74 million votes this last election, they did not leave a whole lot spare lying on the table in their core demographics. In contrast, the Democrat took 81 million votes.

We are discussing Republican Party now because they are the party challenged by the changing demographics situation. Now, I did consider entitling this post “whistling past the grave yard,” but felt that may have been a little too pejorative. But, my sense of the situation for over the last 20 years is that the Republican leadership has been very aware of the demographic clock and changing attitudes towards religion working against them, and has been trying to take action to try adjust to these changes. Many of these efforts have not been supported by many in the party.

There was certainly a “black outreach” effort early in the Bush Jr. presidency, very visibly represented by Colin Powell as Secretary of State and Condoleezza Rice as National Security Advisor. That effort does not seem to have resulted in much change. In 2000 it is estimated that the Republican Party won 9% of the “black vote.” In 2020 it was 12% of the “black vote.” This appears to have been an effort that made at best only limited progress. Certainly people can have a loaded political debate as to why. The prominent Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 and left the Republican Party in January 2021.

The other major attempt at outreach was by Bush, Jr. with the “Hispanic” vote. In this case, he was well aware of the subject, having been governor of Texas, which in 2000 was 32% “Hispanic.” He encouraged the Senate to put forward the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 (co-sponsors included Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham). This effort was scuppered by resistance led by Republican Tom Tancredo of Colorado. The bill ended up never being voted into law. Since then no comprehensive immigration reform has been attempted by either party. There is simply not enough agreement on these issues in the last 15 years for anyone to put something together that could actually get majority support.

And then, with the election of Donald Trump and his immigration policy, Republican support among Latinos appears to be have been permanently stagnated. In 2000 Bush Jr. received 35% of the Latino vote. In 2020, Trump received 32% of the Latino vote. Not a strong argument for progress.

Needless to say, the same story exists with many other populations, but these issues have been around for over two decades and the Republican Party has not been able to effectively address them in over two decades. The end result is that they appear to sliding into a permanent political minority role on the national stage.

In 1988 when they won the election, they did so with 53.4% to 45.6% of the popular vote. They did have the advantage of an incumbent (Vice President H. W. Bush) and a growing economy. Since then, the Republican margins have been much less (winner is in bold). In 1992 it was 43.0 (Clinton) to 37.4% (Bush) to 18.9% (Perot). In 1996 it was 49.2% (Clinton) to 40.7% (Dole) to 8.4% (Perot). In 2000 it was 47.9% (Bush) to 48.4% (Gore) to 2.7% (Nader). In 2004 it was 50.7% (Bush) to 48.3% (Kerry). In 2008 it was 52.9% (Obama) to 45.7% (McCain). In 2012 it was 51.1% (Obama) to 47.2% (Romney). In 2016 it was 46.1% (Trump) to 48.2% (Clinton). In 2020 it was 51.3% (Biden) to 46.9% (Trump). In the last eight presidential elections, the Democrats have had more votes in seven of them, and the Republicans only got more than 50% of the vote in one election (and only with the advantage of incumbency and a growing economy).

As I said, they appear to have been whistling past the grave yard.

The Demographics of the Last Election

The last three “political” posts referred to the sense that this latest election may be the start of a new period of single party dominance. We the looked at the changing demographics in the United States and then the change of religion. These three posts are here:

Is the United States on the Verge of Becoming a Single Party Democracy? | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

U. S. Demographics: Then and Now | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

Religion in the U.S. over Time | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

So, why does this matter? Well, let us look at who voted for whom in this last presidential election. This is from the CNN exit polls, which while not “perfect,” they are good enough for this discussion:

Race:………………Percent…….Biden…….Trump

White:……………..67%…………41%………..58%

Black:……………..13%…………87%………..12%

Latino:……………13%…………65%…………32%

Asian:…………….04%…………61%…………34%

Other:…………….04%…………55%…………41%

 

To read the first line:, “white” made up 67% of the 15,590 people polled. 41% of them voted for Biden, 58% of them voted for Trump. 

Religion……….Percent……Biden……Trump

Protestant:……43%………..39%………60%

Catholic:………25%………..52%………47%

Jewish…………02%

Other…………..08%………..69%………29%

None…………..22%………..65%……….31%

 

Of course, this is an exit poll, so the actual figures may be a couple of percent off, although it is a pretty big poll and exit polls tend to be more accurate than most other polling. The exit poll results are here: https://www.cnn.com/election/2020/exit-polls/president/national-results

Now, there are whole lot of other factors influencing the voter behavior in addition to race and religion but this is enough to look at to establish my point. Now, lets us say we have an electorate that is:

White: 76-19 = 57%

Black: 13%

Asian: 6

Hispanic: 19

Other: 4


Then a Democratic candidate with the same pull as Biden would take 53 percent of the vote (.57 x .41 + .13 x .87 + .06 x .61 + .19 x . 65 + .04 x ..55 = .5289) while a Republican candidate with the same pull as Trump would take 44 percent of the vote (.57 x .58 + .13 x .12 + .06 x .34 + .19 x .32 + 04 x . 41 = .4438). This means that popular vote would split around 53% to 44%, which is a solid and secure lead for the Democratic candidate. In 2020 the popular vote split 51.3% to 46.9%. Turn out in 2020 was 66.7% of registered votes, which is the highest turn out in any U.S. presidential election since 1900 (McKinley vs Bryan). Turnout was below 50% in 1920 (Harding vs Cox), 1924 (Coolidge vs Davis vs La Follette) and in 1996 (Clinton vs Dole vs Perot). Turnout is big issue in the final vote totals, especially as not all age groups and other groups have the same rates of turnout.

So, looking just at demographics is does appear that on the national level the Democrats will continue to hold an advantage of several percentage points over the Republicans unless:

  1. The Republicans expand their reach into the “minorities” votes (Blacks, Asians, or Hispanics). Right now, they are behind in all three, and there does not seem to be strong reason for this to change in the near future.
  2. The Republicans maximize the “white” vote to around 65%.
  3. The demographics of the U.S. changes significantly away from the growing representation of “minorities.” There is no reason to believe that this will happen. 

In fact, most likely that demographics of the U.S. will continue to slowly move to even a larger percent of people identified as minorities. So, if the situation is bad now for the Republicans, it will only get worse over time unless there is a major change. This is part of the reason why I tend to believe that we are looking at an extended period of a single dominant political party. And this is not discussing religion.

But, religion is an issue. We have gone from 1970 to there being only 8% of the population telling Gallup that they are not Christian to 31% in 2017 that do not identify themselves as Christian. Now, it would take a huge cultural shift to change that back. Most likely that 31% will remain the same or get larger over time. If it gets larger over time, then this also works against the Republicans. Going back the exit polls, in this last election 60% of Protestants voted for Trump while 65% to 69% of “other” and “none” voted for Biden. So unless there is suddenly a nationwide religious “revival,” this is not going to get any more favorable to the Republicans in the long run.

So, two long-term trends working against them sort of ensures that more often than not, the Democrats with control the House, Senate and Presidency for many decades to come. And these are not the only long term trends working against them (for example, among voters at 18-24: 65% voted for Biden, only 31% for Trump).

There are a lot of little things that play with the conclusions and overturn them occasionally. This includes who is running for each party, what policies they adopt, which scandals/controversies occur, and probably most important, whether the economy is heading up or down during an election year. But the long term pattern is looking pretty certain. 

Religion in the U.S. over Time

In addition to demographic changes, there also a shift in religious beliefs or lack thereof. The chart below shows the growth in various churched from 1780 to 1860. One will note it is primarily protestants, with Methodists and Baptists dominating. There is a very small line for Catholics. The Catholic areas tended to be where there were Hispanic populations (Texas and California) or where there were Americans of French descent (Louisiana). The state of Maryland was also established as a Catholic colony. During the time of the English Civil War, Catholic Maryland was invaded twice by Virginia, generating one “major” battle (The Battle of Severn in 1655 near what is now Annapolis, Maryland). The Battle of Severn resulted in 2 killed from the 175 Virginian attackers and 49 casualties (17 killed, 32 wounded, with 4 people executed after the battle) among the 130 defenders (38% casualties).

So this takes us up to the U.S. Civil War. The Irish Potato famine started in 1845, generating a large migration of Irish Catholics to the United States. The Irish population declined from around 8.18 million in 1841 to 5.8 million in 1861 and continued to decline to 4.21 million in 1931. The U.S. Irish population boomed. This was followed by many other immigrations from other parts of Europe. By 1950 the split of religions was:

Protestant: 69%

Catholics: 25%

Jewish: 4%

Other religions: 3%

Undesignated: 2% 

 

As of 2017, the same source (Gallup) reports:

Protestant: 38%

Catholics: 21%

Non-denominational Christian: 9%

Mormon: 2%

Jewish: 2%

Other religions: 5% (Muslims make up around 1%)

None: 20%

Undesignated: 4% 

 

Some political parties tend to make religious appeals based on Judeo-Christian heritage, but…it appears that around 30% of the U.S. population no longer identifies itself as Christian. This is a significant change. Most of that change started in the 1970s and greatly expanded in the 1990s and is continuing to expand.

Year……Percent not Christian *

1970……8%

1975…..13%

1980…..11%

1985…..14%

1990…..18%

1995…..18%

2000…..17%

2005…..19%

2010…..24%

2015…..29%

2017…..31%

 

* i.e. Designated Jewish, Other Religions,. None and Undesignated.

 

The United States has had two Catholic presidents (Kennedy and Biden), three presidents of significant Irish descent (including Reagan who was half-Irish and half-English/Scottish), two of significant German descent (Eisenhower and Trump **), one of Dutch descent (Van Buren, the only president to speak English as a second language ***), one who was mixed race (Obama), none of Italian descent, none Hispanic, none Jewish and none Mormon. 38 of our 45 Presidents were primarily English/Scottish descent and officially protestants.

** Trump is German on his father’s side and Scottish on his mother’s side.

*** Theodore Roosevelt was 1/4 Dutch.

U. S. Demographics: Then and Now

Much of what is driving the political landscape is demographics. In the United States in 1860, just before the U.S. Civil War, consisted mostly of either “white” protestants; “blacks,” most of whom were slaves; and very few “Indians,” most of whom lived on reservations. Obviously slaves could not vote but were all freed in 1865. Women could not vote until 1920. The citizens also could not directly vote for Senators until 1913. Before then, they were chosen by the various state legislatures.

The actual statistics from 1860 were:

Total Population: 31,443,321

“White”: 26,922,537 (86%)

“Black”: 4,441,830 (14%)

“Indian”: 44,021 (0.14%)

“Asian”: 34,933 (0.11%)

“Hispanic”: 155,000 (0.5%)

 

Indian is American Indian, Eskimo and Aleut. Asian is Asian and Pacific Islander. Hispanic can be of any race and overlaps with the other categories. The “Hispanic” figure is a very much later estimate and is not based upon census data at that time. I gather the other categories are based upon self-identification (or visual identification by census takers). 

Now step forward to 1930, towards the end of the period of Republican domination:

Total Population: 122,775,046

“White”: 110,286,740 (90%)

“Black”: 11,891,143 (10%)

“Indian”: 332,397 (0.27%)

“Asian”: 264,766 (0.22%)

“Hispanic”: 2,021,820 (1.6%) – figure from 1940

 

The “Hispanic” figure is a later post-census estimate.

Also the nature of the “white” population had changed, and that is a long discussion that I will avoid. It was no longer mostly Anglo, but included considerable number of people from or descended from Germany, Ireland, Italy, various Eastern European countries, etc. This immigration also brought in a considerable number of Catholics and Jews. Some of these groups also faced some discrimination.

And then we get to 1980, towards the end of the period of Democratic domination:

Total Population: 226,545,805

“White”: 188,371,622 (83%)

“Black”: 26,495,025 (12%)

“Indian”: 1,420,400 (0.6%)

“Asian”: 3,500,439 (1.5%)

“Hispanic”: 14,608,673 (6%)

“Other”: 6,758,319 (3%)

 

And to move up until today (2020, projected) – the end of what may be the period of contested control:

Total Population: 333,896,000

“White”: 255,346,000 (76%)

“Black”: 44,810,000 (13%)

“Indian”: 4,328,000 (1.3%)

“Asian”: 19,708,000 (6%)

“Hispanic”: 63,784,000 (19%)

“Two or more races”: 9,703,000 (3%)

 

So, Latino’s, other minorities and mixed race people now are up to 42% of the population. In 1980 it was 23%. This is a significant change, especially if one political party does better with some of these groups than others. 

It is clear that this shift is having a big effect on U.S. politics. Of course, that is saying the obvious, but this is a major driver in why I think one party is about to re-establish dominance. 

Is the United States on the Verge of Becoming a Single Party Democracy?



The above chart shows who controlled the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Presidency from 1855 to 2021. As can be seen, there are two periods where one party dominated. From 1859 to 1933 the Republican Party dominated. The Republican Party was formed in 1854 and first took the Presidency in 1861 under Abraham Lincoln. During that period, the House of Representatives was under Republican control for 52 out of the 74 years. The Senate was under Republican control for 62 out of 74 years. The Presidency was under Republican control for 52 out of 74 years. Republican control ended with the Great Depression. The Republicans had control of all three (House, Senate, and Presidency) for 40 of those 74 years. The Democrats had control of all three of these for six of those years.

Then the Democrats took control for the better part of 48 years (1933-1981). They controlled the House of Representatives for 44 out of 48 years, the Senate also for 44 out of 48 years and the Presidency for only 32 out of 48 years. There was only one brief period of two years where the Republicans had control of all three and for 30 of the 48 years, the Democrats had control of all three.

We have then had a period of contested control from 1981 to 2021. This 40 year period started with Reagan’s election, although the Democrats retained control of the House. The Republicans controlled all three for only six years during that time while the Democrats controlled all three for only four years of that time. The rest of that time, for 30 out of these last 40 years, control of the government was contested, with House being under Democratic control for 20 of the last 40 years, the Senate being under Democratic control for 18 of the last 40 years, and the Presidency being under Democratic control for 16 of the last 40 years. This is part of the reason why partisanship has been such an issue. 

So, the question is: are we now entering another period of extended control of the national government by a single party? In 1861 the Republicans took control of the Senate and Presidency, having already taken the House in 1859. The next shift happened in 1933 when the Democrats took the House, Senate and Presidency, ending Republican control of all three for 14 years. The shift in 1980 (when Reagan was elected) only took the Senate and Presidency, with the Democrats holding the House for another 14 years and reclaiming the Senate after six years. Now we see Democrats taking House, Senate and Presidency again. Is this the signal for the change, and does changing U.S. demographics ensure that this change sticks (subject of my next posts)?

I will address this further in follow-up “a-political” postings (as I really hate to get into political debates on this blog…they are best done over a beer).

 

P.S. I did start preparing the first draft of this post before the events of 5 and 6 January (the Georgia senate elections and the certification of the electoral college votes).