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There are a few more points to add here.
raymondusa, you said the man you spoke with at a fundraiser couldn't produce any evidence of a connection between the Oklahoma City bombing and Iraq. However, in the very earliest reports of the bombing that day, there was a frantic search for an Iraqi businessman who boarded a flight from OKC to Baghdad (via JFK I asssume) that morning. So there was a early scramble to blame it on Saddam. Later they presented Timothy McViegh to the public. A cop stopped McVeigh because he had no license plate on his car. McViegh could blow up the Murrah Building, but didn't have it in his soul to steal a license plate. Dang.|
The attempt to categorize American voters into identifiable or stereotypical groups is not new. A 1988 study by the Pew Center for the People, the Press, and Politics, grouped American voters into about nine subcategories. This followed a popular trend in advertising at the time to find new ways to target products to consumers.
Most European ethnicities have merged into the American "melting pot." Even Roman Catholics will split between the major parties on issues like abortion. Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are identifiable groups, as are white males, women, gays and lesbians. Despite their growing numbers, South Asians from India haven't quite become a force yet. American Indians have never been a strong voting block. Ben Nighthorse Campbell won election to the US Senate as a Democrats and then became a Republican, which made a lot of people angry at him.
The research ran into a little bit of trouble. One category was called "Reagan Democrats." It was an accurate definition of the voting segment but some people complained because it defined a demographic group based on a candidate's name. So they re-named it "God and Country Democrats." It's this group of voters that Ross Perot took from Bush in 92 that gave Clinton the win.
Also, the role of redistricting is important. Each 10 years, the congressional districts in the USA are re-drawn. With computer modeling, it has become possible to design districts that will maximize the partisan influence of which ever party controls the state legislature, which re-draws the lines. It's called gerrymandering (soft g), and the general test for it is to see how closely the popular vote is reflected in the congressional delegation. So if 60% of voters in a state vote Republican, but all of the congressmen and congresswomen from that state are Democrats, then there's probably some serious gerrymandering of the districts.
The goal when gerrymandering is to assure that your own party wins each of its districts by about 55% while the other party wins its districts by huge margins, like 80%+. Putting all of the opposition voters into one district restricts them from contributing to a win in another district.
The two biggest structural factors in determining who becomes president in the USA are the electoral college bias and racial dynamics of the south. There is a Republican bias in the electoral college due to small conservative states in the west. There is also a Republican bias in the electoral college's winner-take-all rule that effectively eliminates the role of black voters in the south.