|From 40seats.com. Click to enlarge.|
The independent, pro-Republican Party group 40 Seats has published a map of caricatures of Republican-challengers to incumbent Democratic Party representatives (Hat Tip: the conservative National Review). Eighty-five "promising" Republican challengers are shown.
The map is interesting for multiple reasons. First, it is clear that the Republican Party has suffered east of the Mississippi River. Swing moderates in the suburbs have voted for the Democrats in the last two elections. Now the economy is down and Democrats are in trouble for supporting an unpopular health care reform bill. The political environment has changed so much that the swing suburban moderates are now leaning Republican. This has made the eastern United States a promising area for Republican gains.
Second, the map shows how the southwest, once a de facto given in the most part for Republicans, has seen a rise in Democrats. However, the change in political climate has given Republicans hope for regaining lost territory.
Finally, the racial make-up of the Republican Party's leadership is slowly changing. Since the 1930s the Republican Party has been thought of as the party of Whites (and Cuban Hispanics) Now that is beginning to shift as several Americans of Black African and Southeast Asian descent are depicted on the map. If one considers Republican candidates for governor then Americans of Hispanic and Asian Indian descendant are now becoming members of the once almost all white Republican Party leadership class. Minority outreach and leadership is key to long term Republican several as American becomes increasingly ethnically diverse.