Here is an excerpt of the article:
In short, notes CNN Polling Director Keating Holland, there has been a slow but steady Northern backlash to the GOP’s four-decade-old “Southern strategy.” Race and religion brought Southern whites into the Republican Party but also began pushing out a lot of affluent Northern suburbanites. Those socially moderate voters formed the core of the Rockefeller Republican constituency.
Major political realignments don’t happen overnight, however. A lot of disaffected Dixiecrats continued voting Democratic in state and local elections for a long time, even after being wooed by Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
Old habits die hard, and Southern Democratic parties slowed their decline by continuing to nominate candidates more in step with voters in their states.
The same story, only in reverse, held true in the Northeast. Thirty years ago, after Nixon but before the Reagan Revolution, the 11 Northeastern states stretching from Maryland to Maine still sent 37 Republicans to the House of Representatives and another 10 to the Senate. Today, those same states have 18 Republican representatives in the House and three in the Senate.
The numbers are more stark in New England and New York. New England no longer has a single GOP representative in the House. The 29-member New York House delegation has only three Republicans.
Republicans have driven their own litmus test on social issues to an extreme that is separating them from a majority of voters nationally. No longer are the social issues connecting with voters beyond certain districts. Economic woes and health care are major concerns on the minds of voters and the Republican idea well has dried up. It is hard to rally people around an anti-abortion or anti-gay marriage strategy when people are more concerned about losing their jobs and their standard of living.
The electorate can be fickle. When the economic crisis is over, will social issues once again be galvanizing? It’s hard to tell. However, until then, gay marriage has momentum and now has been made legal in five states. Will the triumphant return of Republicans be predicated on fighting that trend or will they focus on the core economic challenges that the country needs ideas and leadership on? Time will tell. – Glenn