In the Washington Post Monday, pollster Richard Morin writes about how George Bush’s plummeting poll numbers have rendered the red-blue political map close-to-obsolete.
"States that were once reliably red are turning pink," Morin points out. "Some are no longer red but a sort of powder blue." The Washington Post‘s polling director goes on to note that "In fact, a solid majority of residents in states that president Bush carried in 2004 now disapprove of the job he is doing…[and] views of the GOP have also soured in those Republican red states."
Residents of states Bush carried in 2004 now trust Democrats over Republicans to deal with our nation’s biggest problems–48 to 42 percent. And in the 2004 blue states, George Bush’s approval rating has declined even further from 45 to 33 percent.
Morin quotes pollster Dan Jones at the University of Utah, "Bush is dragging down every Republican officeholder in the nation, even here." Which, actually, doesn’t surprise The Nation one bit–one of our most loyal readers is the Mayor of Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson.
I would suggest that the hues are not just red and blue, or pink and powder blue, but green and yellow and purple and beige. And that until we see electoral reform that changes the way votes are counted, districts are proportioned and views are represented, the political map will fail to reveal our true colors.
Just after the 2004 election, The Nation argued that the red-blue stereotype propagated by the television media was hyped–that, in fact, many states labeled red or blue were almost evenly divided.
And as the Bush administration implodes, we see a diverse opposition emerging to confront it–its lies and ineptitude on Iraq policy; its extremist positions on fiscal policy and trade; its brazen approach to everything from Katrina response to domestic spying to social security privatization.
This is a moment of change–a time to act boldly not only to capture the new shades of red and blue in 2006, but to reform our system so that the political map of the future is drawn using a color palette that represents the great diversity of this country.
Nation Event Note
The Nation is visiting Yale University on Wednesday, April 26, 2006. Click here for details on a free public event, sponsored by the Roosevelt Institute, featuring Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel.