My colleague Ezra Klein wrote her latest column on the work of David Shor, a Democratic poll analyst whose main message is a criticism of the Democratic Party that its graduate professional class is too far removed from the working class, not academics. -the educated voters they need to win. Here is Ezra in a bit more detail:
The Democratic Party has been trapped in an echo chamber of Twitter activists and has woken up staff members. He had lost touch with the working class voters of all races he needed to win the election, and even progressive institutions dedicated to data analysis refused to face the hard facts of public opinion and electoral geography.
The main problem, Shor argues, is the polarization of voters through education. Voters who graduated from college leaned heavily towards Democrats and voters who did not lean heavily towards Republicans. The problem for Democrats is that most voters don’t go to college. The largest cohort of voters, in fact, is made up of whites without a college degree. And it is these voters who have flocked to the Republican Party in droves since the 2016 presidential election.
If those voters were concentrated in a few states, that wouldn’t be such an advantage. But they are everywhere, including most swing states.
Donald Trump’s Republican Party may not be in a position to win raw majorities in national elections, but its grip on non-college whites (as well as its forays into black and Hispanic non-college voters, especially men ) means he can easily gain power in a system where the geography of your votes is just as important as the number of votes you win. The Senate, in particular, will almost certainly return and remain in Republicans’ hands, and there is no guarantee Democrats will ever rally the votes to win it back. Here’s Ezra, channeling Shor:
If 2024 is just a normal year, in which Democrats win 51% of the bipartisan vote, Shor’s model projects a loss of seven seats from where they are now. Sit down with that. Senate Democrats could win 51% of the bipartisan vote in the next two elections and end up with just 43 Senate seats.
To push back the polarization of education, Shor thinks Democrats should talk less about racial justice and immigration issues – which he says have driven non-college voters, especially whites, away from the Democratic Party – and align their message on economic conditions. priorities of the non-collegiate majority. Again, here’s Ezra:
The logical chain is this: Democrats are on the brink of an electoral chasm. To avoid it, they must win states with a Republican tendency. To do this, they must internalize that they don’t like and don’t understand the voters they need to conquer. The shifting voters in these states are not liberals, aren’t awake, and don’t see the world the way people who work and donate to Democratic campaigns.
Now, for all of those bans, Shor doesn’t say much about what it would actually look like and how it differs from current practice. When he does, he usually cites two examples, one positive, the other negative. The positive example is Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012, in which Obama played down issues of race and immigration and focused on economic growth and the track record of his opponent, Mitt Romney, who had done so. fortune in private equity. The negative example is the 2016 presidential election, when Hillary Clinton attempted to counter Donald Trump’s racist messages with her own inclusive rhetoric, a move that kept race and immigration front and center and pushed non-academic whites further down the Republican column.
Shor views the 2020 presidential election and Trump’s significant gains among Hispanic voters as another example of what happens when racial and racial issues dominate a campaign and its media environment:
“Over the summer, with the emergence of ‘funding the police’ as an issue of national importance, support for Biden among Hispanic voters waned,” Shor said in an interview in March with the New York magazine. “So I think you can tell this micro-story: We raised the importance of an ideologically charged issue that millions of non-white voters disagreed with us. And then, as a result, those conservative Hispanic voters who had voted for us despite their ideological leanings began to vote more like conservative whites.
Here, I must say, I don’t think this analysis is necessarily wrong. Indeed, there is other evidence to prove this point.