SECOND ANNUAL RABBLE-ROUSER ROUNDUP & FAT CAT SCHMOOZEFEST benefiting The Texas Observer at La Zona Rosa MOLLY IVgS h r e jiM HIGHTOWER musical eatertaiment, by The Gourds/Eliza Gilkysonljimmy Lafave and The Horsies SUNDAY, JANUARY 19 2003 7 PM La Zona Rosa * 612 West Fourth Austin, Texas Ticket into 512477-0746 tickets on sate at The Texas ObSenter 307 Wit ith St 78701 or www.texasobserve<014 THE .TEXAS OBSERVER Democrats, continued from page 11 Democratic deficit among male voters in twelve states, enabling Gore to win those states. During the 1990s, the number of professionals in this country grew by 30 percent and is projected to be the fastest-growing occupational group through the current decade. Though they currently comprise 15.4 percent of the workforce, professionals also make up more than 20 percent of the voters in this country since they vote at higher rates than other groups. Back in 1960, when professionals represented a much smaller part of the work force, they supported Nixon by 61-38 percent. Over the four most recent presidential elections, professionals have supported the Democratic candidate by an average of 52-40 percent. Judis and Teixeira cite several reasons for this shift. As a group, they include many more women and minorities than 20 years earlier. Their sense of autonomy is increa ingly restricted. Doctors, once GOP bedrock, now look to the Democrats in their fight to wrest control of health care from insurance companies. Rick Perry's veto of a bill pro viding swifter payments to doctors was not atypical. It was a typical Republican response on medical care and is leading to a new political alignment in the medical profession. In addition, today's professionals grew up in the '60s and '70s. A large number care fervently about the environment, consumers' rights, women's rights, diversity and campaign finance reform. While they may balk at large government programs, they are social liberals who believe government has a responsibility to level the playing field through incremental reform and will support tax increases to reduce the deficit and fund such things as environmental protection and public education while protecting Social Security and Medicare. This brings us to the prodigal sons of the Democratic Party. Judis and Teixeira see evidence that an increasing number of white working-class voters are returning to the fold, particularly following the recession of the early '90s. Unionized white voters particularly responded, giving Clinton an average 23 percent margin in 1992 and 1996 after going for Reagan in '80 and '84 and barely favoring Dukakis in '88. Unfortunately, there has been a decline in union membership over the past three decades, but there have been other important changes in the working class ranks as well. Women now make up almost half of the white working class. And there has been a shift in these occupations from factories to hospitals, schools, offices, retail and government employment. Working-class white voters also grew up in the '60s, '70s and '80s, meaning they, too, care more about quality of life issues and economic security and less about race than their parents' generation. While Gore lost the white rural working-class vote by 20 points, he won the urban vote by 3 points. Nationwide, he received 52 percent of the white working-class women's vote but only 40 percent of the men's vote. The authors' emerging majority, then, hinges on a set of reasonable assumptions. "It is fair to assume," they write, "that if Democrats can consistently take professionals by about 10 percent, work 1/17/03 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 31
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