Do Democrats need to win over white working-class voters? | The Tylt

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Do Democrats need to win over white working-class voters?
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Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, some on the left are urging Democrats to abandon "identity politics" and instead work to win back white working-class votersBut to the contrary, many view victories in Alabama and Virginia as a referendum on Trumpism, and proof that Democrats can win elections if they spend their energy firing up their base rather than trying to win over voters they can never reach. What do you think? ✊🏻✊🏽✊🏿
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Do Democrats need to win over white working-class voters?
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Since the 2016 election of Donald Trump, many on the left have struggled to understand how Democrats lost so handily. Some, like Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, believe it's because Democrats have lost touch with the white working-class voters who used to support them, and have urged their colleagues to spend more energy reaching out to Americans who feel forgotten. 

But other's argue Democrats' obsession with white working-class men is insulting to the Democratic base that continuously wins them elections—women and people of color. After Doug Jones pulled a stunning upset in Alabama, due largely to overwhelming turn out from black women, Sally Kohn of The Daily Beast pointed to this as an example of Democrats' ability to win anywhere as long as they turn out their base. 

Exit polls showed that black voters were decisive in electing Democrat Doug Jones to the United States Senate. White voters under-performed their past turnout in general and special elections, but a strong majority of those who did show up cast their ballots for a race-baiting homophobe accused of molesting young children.

Jones was a strong candidate with a history in the state running against an alleged child molester, yet white voters still voted for Roy Moore. Democrats need not waste their time on people who will vote Republican even if it means sending a child molester to the U.S. Senate.

Not to mention, the obsession with white working voters is dismissive of the power of other, larger voting blocks. Many feel Democrats are taking their core base for granted when they focus solely on the white working class, and that can only lead to depressed turnout among people guaranteed to vote Democratic. It's not just offensive, it's bad electoral strategy.

These are precisely the voters that the mainstream Democratic Party has taken for granted for decades. The assumption that black folks will always vote Democratic may in fact largely be true, but taking that for granted is not only fundamentally ungrateful and obnoxious but dampens turnout. Even the people that generally like you don’t show up if you don’t encourage them to do so. 
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But as much as Democrats would love to double down on their base, Ruy Teixeira argues in Vox the demographic data suggests ignoring white working-class voters isn't an option if Democrats want to win in 2018. Even in the case of Alabama, while Jones overperformed among black voters, he also benefitted from support from non-college educated white voters who ultimately tipped the scale in his favor.

The Daily Beast’s Kohn and others argue that heavy black turnout and support led to Jones’s victory—period. But Jones’s triumph was not attributable to his strong showing among black voters alone, or even a combination of black voters and white college graduates. My analysis indicates that Jones benefited from a margin swing of more than 30 points among white non-college voters, relative to the 2016 presidential race in the state... without the hefty swing among the white non-college population, particularly women, there is no way Jones would have the state, or even come close.

While many pundits peddle the theory that the white working class is a shrinking voting block, especially as minorities steadily become the majority in America, the data suggests otherwise. Non-college educated whites are still one of the largest voting blocks in almost every state—ignoring such a huge chunk of the electorate is just not a good strategy. 

White non-college voters remain a larger group than white college voters in almost all states — and are far larger in the Rust Belt states that gave the Democrats so much trouble in 2016: Iowa is 62 percent white non-college versus 31 percent white college; Michigan is 54 percent white non-college versus 28 percent white college; Ohio splits 55 percent to 29 percent; Pennsylvania 51 percent to 31 percent; and Wisconsin 58 percent to 32 percent.

Some on the left are concerned that Democrats shifting their focus to white working-class voters will mean weakening their positions on issues like immigration and reproductive rights, but Teixeira believes there are other ways these voters can be reached without Democrats having to compromise on their beliefs. 

That does not mean that Democrats need to capitulate to Trumpism by, for instance, changing their position on key immigration issues like DACA. That would hardly pull Trump’s hardcore supporters from their man, and it would compromise a serious policy commitment of the party. Instead, Democrats should reach out to those white non-college voters for whom issues besides immigration are potentially more salient.
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FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Do Democrats need to win over white working-class voters?
A festive crown for the winner
#TurnOutYourBase
#WinBackTrumpCountry