13 percent of Americans switched parties in the last five years. Economic anxiety had little to do with Democrats changing sides to support Donald Trump.
How can Democrats win back working-class voters who have switched to the right?
The obvious solution is to become more populist. Less Hillary Clinton, more Bernie Sanders. Tax the rich, spend more on welfare, make health care universal and oppose new trade deals.
Except we have seen social democrats try this in Europe and it didn’t work.
When left-wing parties cling to a shrinking working-class electorate, they end up neglecting middle-income supporters — and satisfy neither. Parties that takes sides are more successful. Read more
Donald Trump is splitting America’s Republican Party in two — and his side is winning.
NBC News and The Wall Street Journal asked Republican voters if they consider themselves to be a supporter of the president first or a supporter of the Republican Party. 58 percent said Trump, 38 percent the party.
The Trump supporters are more likely to hail from rural areas and to be men while Republican Party supporters are more likely to be women and residents of the suburbs.
CNN found a similar divide: Trump’s support is strongest among old white voters without a college education. Republicans under the age of fifty with a degree are disappointed in him.
These trends portend a realignment of America’s two-party system in which the Democrats become the party of the affluent and the optimistic and the Republicans a coalition of the left behind.
Before such a realignment can happen, though, the Republicans need to break up. Read more
Since last year’s presidential election, the American left has been calling on Democrats to adopt a program of economic populism in order to lure back working-class voters.
This would be a mistake.
A lurch to the left may not bring back working-class whites but would disappoint middle-class voters who have been joining the Democratic Party in far greater numbers. Read more
Democrats in the United States are heaping praise on Republican senator Susan Collins for taking a stand against her party’s health reforms.
The praise is deserved. Collins, a centrist Republican from Maine, refused to support a plan that would have taken health care away from millions of low-income Americans while making it cheaper for the wealthy.
But it’s too bad the left doesn’t extend the same gratitude to conservative purists who joined her.
None of the other supposedly moderate Republicans in the Senate supported Collins in her fight against the rushed effort to replace Obamacare. They all caved to right-wing pressure.
Mike Lee of Utah, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Jerry Moran of Kansas and Rand Paul of Kentucky held firm. Read more
Democrats in the United States have obsessed about winning back working-class whites since these voters left the party to elect Donald Trump last year.
Even Ruy Teixeira, the author of the “emerging Democratic majority” thesis which holds that ethnic minorities, women and postindustrial workers will ultimately shift the balance of power away from the white working class, tells New York magazine that Democrats cannot ignore the group.
They may be a shrinking demographic, but he points out they still hold power. If Democrats can’t retain a reasonably solid, if minority, level of support among low-income whites, their electoral arithmetic falls apart, Teixeira warns. Read more
NBC News has a longread about what went wrong for Democrats in 2016 and how they can become competitive again nationally.
The report, written by Alex Seitz-Wald, touches on many of the issues we have written about since Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election in November: how the white working class in big industrial states abandoned Democrats; how the concentration of liberal and progressive voters in cities and coastal states has made it harder for them to win majorities in the Electoral College and the Senate.
Seitz-Wald argues that, unless they decide to muddle through, Democrats must choose whether to take what he calls the “Ohio path” or the “Arizona path” to address these problems. Read more