The 2016 election defeat for the Democrats wasn’t just a fluke, writes Thomas Edsall of the New York Times. And they didn’t just lose white working-class voters, either. The whole article is a bit of a long read, but very informative.
Sifting through the wreckage of the 2016 election, Democratic pollsters, strategists and sympathetic academics have reached some unnerving conclusions.
What the autopsy reveals is that Democratic losses among working class voters were not limited to whites; that crucial constituencies within the party see its leaders as alien; and that unity over economic populism may not be able to turn back the conservative tide.
Equally disturbing, winning back former party loyalists who switched to Trump will be tough: these white voters’ views on immigration and race are in direct conflict with fundamental Democratic tenets.
Geoff Garin is a partner in the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group which, together with the Global Strategy Group, conducted the surveys and focus groups for Priorities USA. Garin wrote in an email:
“The biggest common denominator among Obama-Trump voters is a view that the political system is corrupt and doesn’t work for people like them.”
Garin added that “Obama-Trump voters were more likely to think more Democrats look out for the wealthy than look out for poor people.”