Could Someone Like John Edwards Have Saved the Democrats?

It is fair to assume that if Democrats can consistently take professionals by about 10 percent, working women by about 20 percent, keep 75 percent of the minority vote, and get close to an even split of white working-class voters, they will have achieved a new Democratic majority.”

…Generally Republicans have performed well with [.white working-class voters]:  Bill Clinton was the only Democrat in the time period covered to win them, and typically the Republican candidate prevailed with this group by double digits regardless of whether he prevailed in the general election.

…Obama didn’t lead Democrats into the era of dominance described by the “Emerging Democratic Majority” authors. He led the party to a different majority by relying more heavily on the “ascendant” pieces of his coalition (minorities, women and well-educated voters) while losing strength with the white working class.

…Edwards (sans the moral failures) seems like the sort of politician who could weld together Judis and Teixeira’s majority. Edwards was an economic progressive. His memorable “Two Americas” speeches focused on economic inequality between the wealthiest set of Americans and the rest of the country, and his campaign often emphasized increasing access to health care, improving education and hammering predatory lenders. He was liberal on abortion and LGBT issues (in the context of his time), but he was for the death penalty and at least tried to appear deferential to gun owners. Maybe most importantly, Edwards was able to take liberal policy positions without projecting cultural cosmopolitanism.

…Trump aimed much of his platform and personal appeal at working-class white voters – he emphasized building a border wall, renegotiating trade agreements and giving voice to a group of people who felt they had lost cultural standing as well as economic opportunity. If the national Democratic Party had more cultural appeal to working-class whites, they might have been able to stop the bleeding enough to hold states like Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin or North Carolina.

Could Someone Like John Edwards Have Saved the Democrats? | RealClearPolitics


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