Whatever happened to that emerging Democratic majority?

As for Judis’ advice to the new president, he argued Obama should not move slowly and opt for incremental reforms but move forcefully to a full-fledged commitment to the kind of fundamental transformation of America he promised his left-wing base.

Skip ahead to the present — a scant two years later. The reality today is precisely the opposite of what John B. Judis predicted. His permanent Democratic majority has turned out to be illusory. As a front-page story in The New York Times explained, the coalition that gave Obama his electoral majority in 2008 is fraying apart at the seams. As the story noted, “Republicans have wiped out the advantage held by Democrats in recent election cycles among women, Roman Catholics, less affluent Americans and independents. All of those groups broke for Mr. Obama in 2008 and for Congressional Democrats when they grabbed both chambers from the Republicans four years ago, according to exit polls.”

Moreover, 57 percent of voters surveyed preferred to vote for inexperienced and untested candidates rather than cast their ballot for any Democrat. The shift was also reflected geographically. “Among poll respondents from the Western United States, more said they expected to vote for Republicans this year than said they expected to vote for Democrats; majorities of voters from that region voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 and for Congressional Democrats in 2006, according to the exit polls taken in those elections.” So, contrary to Judis and Teixeira, geography is evidently not always destiny.