By Gillian Peele, Christopher J. Bailey, Bruce Cain, B. Guy Peters
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Additional resources for Developments in American Politics 2
Far more important strategically than the south, the Democrats consolidated gains in the west, expanding their geographic base. For the first time since 1964, the Democrats won every west coast state. With 54 electoral college votes, California was seen as critical from an early stage, and in 1988 Bush's victory had been wafer thin. 8 percent. The Los Angeles riots in the summer of 1992 further damaged confidence, and reinforced the image of a society riven 26 The 1992 Presidential Elections by conflicting pressures from different ethnic groups, and which no longer could serve as the promised land for immigrants.
In the 1990s, this group has become more socially and politically diverse, with the entrance of new Hispanic emigres from central and southern America. In counterbalance, the Democrats 28 The 1992 Presidential Elections have made gains among women, African-Americans, and older voters. The pattern demonstrates temporary fluctuations relating to the particular candidate: for example, the Catholic shift in support of John Kennedy in 1960, the overwhelming support among blacks for Johnson in 1964, and increased southern support for Carter in 1976.
2, over the last 40 years the proportion of blue-collar voters fell from almost half to less than a third (29 percent). Similar patterns of shrinkage are evident for the less well educated, union households, and those living in central cities. In counterbalance, there were some compensations in the increased proportion of black voters, who were almost all Democrats, and increased numbers of women voters, who tended to be more Democratic after the development of the gender gap in the 1980 election.