Rich, Successful, Democratic (and Leaning Gore)

While this AP report is primarily yet another story on people holding out to see if Al Gore runs, it provides further insight into the break down of traditional divisions between the two parties. Republican propagandists would have you believe that successful businessmen are invariably Repubicans, while Democrats are a bunch of losers who are fighting for government welfare. Silicon Valley is an excellent example to contradict these stereotypes.

The story quotes a Silicon Valley fund raiser as saying “The candidate of Silicon Valley is Al Gore. But he’s not running.” AP notes that “Silicon Valley tends to be libertarian” but this isn’t the hard core anti-government libertarianism which obsesses over whether everything from meat inspection to roads can be privatized. This is more a socially liberal, fiscally conservative viewpoint which wants to keep government off our backs, and finds that Republicans have broken this promise. The anti-science, flat earth views of the right are also less likely to be taken seriously by those working in high-tech fields. Silicon Valley, like many independents and former Republicans, has gradually been moving towards the Democrats:

Bill Clinton’s candidacy got a boost in 1992 when high-tech leaders, many of them Republican, endorsed him over President George H.W. Bush. Still, Clinton collected just $150,000 that election cycle from Silicon Valley, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Gore hardly did much better in 2000, when he took in about $650,000 to George W. Bush’s $1.3 million. Bill Bradley, Gore’s rival for the Democratic nomination, also beat him with $1 million.

Since then, the region has grown more wealthy and more liberal, becoming a frequent stop along the California money trail. In 2004, Democratic nominee John Kerry raised $4.7 million to George W. Bush’s $1.9 million.

It isn’t clear if people holding off on committing are solely waiting for Gore to run as opposed to using this possibility as an excuse to avoid committing to a candidate:

Some activists say the possibility of a Gore run has become a fig leaf for those who do not want to choose between Clinton and Obama.

“There are a handful of high-profile Clinton-Gore people who are sitting this out and are using Gore as an excuse,” said Wade Randlett, who is raising money for Obama. “It’s an excuse that’s really solving a problem for them.”

This desire to avoid choosing between Clinton and Obama could leave hope for another candidate if they should show an ability to contest for the nomination. I doubt that the big-government populism of John Edwards would be received well among the libertarian-leaning businessmen of Silicon Valley, but this could present an opportunity for Bill Richardson. Richardson has already attracted attention for some of his libertarian-leaning positions, and having broken into double digits in Iowa now makes him a credible candidate.

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17 Comments

  1. 1
    citizen says:

    doesnt matter who runs 4 dems. if republicans put forth a good canadate who christians vote 4 it will be a walk. bush got more votes then anyone ever. and he was not that popular.people will come out in droves to vote against clinton.last poll says 44% ofc voters wouldnt say they wont vote 4 hillary. the only reason anyone would vote 4 her is they think bill would run it when she wins, wont happen.obama a muslim, that will be the day. Either one would lose a national election.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Citizen,

    You make a number of incorrect assumptions here:

    1) Christians do not vote as a block. The religious right does not speak for all Christians

    2) Bush got more votes than anyone ever, but Kerry got almost as many. Bush had the advantages of being an incumbent during a war time atmosphere. Under those circumstances Bush did very poorly–usually such an incumbent would win by a landslide

    3) Republicans won prior to 2006 by using a successful misinformation campaign. Voters are no longer fooled, and rejected the Republicans in 2006. Far more people now identify themselves as Democrats than ever before–including larege numbers of former Republicans and independents. Having lost their credibility, it will be difficult for Republicans to earn it back.

    4) Obama is not a Muslim. Those of you who believe all these false claims coming out of the right wing noise machine are turning into a smaller and smaller minority. Having hte facts against them, Republicans only win when they can con people like you into believing the nonsense like this which they spread. (Hopefully it won’t come down to Hillary running).

  3. 3
    citizen says:

    all the facts are with bush we didnt fool the american people 4 20 years. weve won most elections 4 two decades. cause our message resinates.you did win in 06. democracy at work. but your week. congress approval ratings are lower than bush.this is a center right country. and i ment to say white christians. the massive majority of this country.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Citizen,

    Facts with Bush?

    Are you speaking of all the discredited claims he made before the war, which were exposed as intentional twisting of intelligence?

    Are you speaking of the frequent distortions of science wenn it conflicts with his policies?

    Are you speaking of the claims that abstincnce based education is effective?

    Are you speaking of the facts on health care which showed the failings in Bush’s Medicare D scam? Those would be the facts over which Bush threatened to fire Executive branch employees if revealed in testimony before Congress.

    It is the constant revelation that Bush’s policies are all based on lies which is causing the educated, such as those working in Silicon Valley, to abandon the GOP.

    Approval ratings on Congress mean nothing about party line questions. Neither party has enough votes to control Congress at this point. I’d give Congress a poor approval rating.
    This is a center right country, which is why the far right extremists in the GOP have lost, and the centrist Democratic Party has won the last election. This includes the votes of many white Christians.

  5. 5
    citizen says:

    acting on bad intelagence isnt misleading. no bill is perfect at least hes passing bills like pescription drugs with medicare. dems have tried to do that 4 ever, and bush did it.no child left behind was passed bypartisen. bills arent perfect. but hes passing historical bills that rep and dems have tried 2 pass 4years ……. so play monday morning qb but if bush actually did all things libs say, hed be in jail right now. its lies.all facts all facts are with bush…………

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Bush didn’t act on bad intelligence. He intentionally distorted the information.

    The Medicare bill was primarily a huge payback to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, while doing a terrible job of covering prescriptions.

    No child left behind was passed as a bipartisan measure, but Republicans failed to provide adequate resources to the schools to meet the requirements, turning it into a set of unfunded mandates.

    You have none of the facts on your side.

  7. 7
    citizen says:

    not one shred of evidence he distorded info to go to war. if he did he would be in jail. we went to war besause of mmd we thought he had. and 10 other reasons saddam was breaking his ceace fire agreement. no evidence at all he mislead.none

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    Citizen,

    You clearly have not been paying much attention the last few years if you really think there is no evidence Bush lied the country into war. Perhaps he should go to jail, but first he would have to be impreached and convicted in the Senate, which is politically impossible at this time.

  9. 9
    citizen says:

    we impeached clinton for lying to a grand jury. im pretty sure we could impeach bush 4 lying to fight a war 4 no reason.but its not the case or he would have been impeached already.

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:

    Bush probably could be impeached, but what good would that do? Clinton couldn’t be convicted, and neither could Bush. Its more important to try to fix some of the problems left by Republican rule than to engage in futile political gestures as the Republicans did.

    Clinton was primarily impeached because Republicans couldn’t accept that he won. His lying about an affair was too trivial to justify impeachment if not for the political motives.

  11. 11
    citizen says:

    u or i would go to jail 4 lying 2 a fed grand jury. and republicans have led our country the past 20 years making it the powerful and great nation it is today. winning 5 of 7 pres elections and just lost congress a few months ago 4 first time sincec 94. and pushing past soviet union. all rep. u have only had a little 8 year hicc up with clinton.

  12. 12
    Ron Chusid says:

    Citizen,

    Only in the imagination of the right wing noise machine. In reality most cases like this do not lead to prosecution.

    Democrats ruled for years. Republicans ruled for years. The Republican era came to an end due to the Republicans coming under the control of extremists who lost the support of most of the country. If the Republicans hadn’t managed to block a recount in Florida, and then mslead the country post 9/11, the Republican era would have ended in 2000. Instead, Republicans ruled longer, but also created more ill will and will have a much harder time recovering.

  13. 13
    battlebob says:

    The Republican Party in it’s present form will be dead as a doarnail after 2008. Then it will be Dems who will rule the roost until they too secumb to their own hubris too be replaced by Repubs once again.
    The sticky point is Iraq where Dems seem to be unable to force Bush into a timely withdraw of troops.
    If they don’t then Dems become joint owners of Iraq and it will be harder to remove Repubs next year.

  14. 14
    battlebob says:

    The worst thing for the military turns out to be the Repub Party.
    Repubs love the money that flows into the military war machine because business get rich. The import part of funding troop efforts are ignored by Repubs who see troops as necessary evil but embraced by Dems who understand the strength of a military is defined by people; not things.
    Dems will emphasize rebuilding the ground troops versus more useless high-tech stuff that is not needed.

    So say goodby to many more JSF squadrons, nuc subs, B2 bombers and F22 fighters. Say hellow to improved body armor, better equiped hummers, more hand-held survailence satellites and an emphasis on small unit actions; which will be the future wars for the next century.

  15. 15
    Ron Chusid says:

    Battlebob,

    Most likley we will see another cycle of Democrats followed by Republicans dominating at some point in the future. However, the possibility for a new party to replace the Republicans is far greater than in the past.

    The Republicans run the risk of being limited to the deep south, and can only recover by making a drastic change in direction. It is possible that they will be resistant to doing this, making more Republicans consider Democrats or a third party. The ability to use the internet for fund raising, organization (even at a local level), and spreading the message makes it possible for a third party to at least surpass the Republicans outside of the south, and possibly even win.

    It all comes down to whether reasonable people can take back the Republican Party. if they can’t, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a real third party come along and replace them.

  16. 16
    battlebob says:

    Ron,
    That is the big question…Can funding from the internet replace the big money donors for either party?
    At this point, I don’t think so but it could happen in the 2010 election cycle.
    Once that happens and both parties can be left behind then new parties can spring up.
    If public financing of elections ever took off then both parties will be dumped or else change their model to something not DC centered.

  17. 17
    Ron Chusid says:

    Battlebob,

    The other model to start could be self funding such with Bloomberg. That won’t fund a real party indefinately, but could give it a good kick start.

    If Ross Perot hadn’t turned out to be such a flake, he might have had an outside chance to actually win. He did lead in the polls at one time.

    Agree it is doubtful that a third party could win this year, but with many in both parties dissastified with the choices I wouldn’t rule it out. More likely we can see the groundwork for something which could grow if the Republicans don’t move back from the far right.

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