The Daily Escape:
The Grist Mill, Chelmsford MA – photo by Michael Blanchette. The original mill was established in the 17th century by Captain Samuel Adams, an ancestor of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams.
We dodged a bullet on Jan. 6, but the gun is still loaded.
Trump says he plans to be the GOP presidential nominee in 2024, and there doesn’t seem to be much standing in his way. After all, the Republican Party’s leader attempted a coup to overthrow our democracy, and they refused to punish him for it.
Most of Republican voters won’t even admit that the GOP was responsible. Trump got 74 million votes despite all that went wrong under his leadership. The Republicans won House seats. They lost 2 Senate seats in Georgia by just 150,000 votes out of 9 million cast.
Had the Republicans only lost 2 seats instead of 3, Mitch McConnell would still be Senate Majority Leader.
Biden’s 43,000 votes in AZ, GA and WI are why Trump isn’t on his second term right now. With a reasoned response to Covid, including encouraging masks/distancing, had he sent more relief to Americans, he would almost certainly be the president today.
And it’s far from certain that Trump would be a two-time loser. Data from an NBC News poll shows that there are signs across racial and ethnic demographic groups that Republicans are fast becoming the party of blue-collar Americans and the change is happening quickly:
The blue-collar voter shift has policy implications for both Parties. Blue-collar voters tend to want different things from the government than those with white-collar jobs, on issues such as trade and even Wall Street regulation. Here’s another way to look at the growing GOP share of White blue-collar voters:
Among white-collar voters, the numbers have remained stable, with Democrats seeing a one percent increase and Republicans seeing a tiny drop. Turning to Hispanic voters, the Republicans are also dramatically improving their share by 57% in ten years:
Looking at these numbers, the big jump in the GOP’s blue-collar growth took place during Trump’s presidency. If the Republicans continue to try and peel these groups away from the Democrats, it means that they will be tied even more closely to Trump.
This is where we’re at as a country. There are two ways to appeal to these groups that are moving away from the Dems. A cultural appeal, and an economic one.
It’s obvious that what spoke to most of those who moved to the Republicans, was a cultural appeal, not economics. Trump signed the biggest tax cuts in US history for wealthy people. He tried awfully hard to repeal health care benefits and never produced anything better. He rolled back safety regulations.
He appealed to this cohort almost exclusively on cultural grounds. If some of these voters were to become motivated by economics, they should vote for Democrats next time, since they offer a far friendlier economic agenda. As a reminder, Democrats must be successful EVERY TIME the Republican Party attempts to steal an election. They only need to be successful once.
Moreover, the Big Lie, the claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump via massive voter fraud, is now a standard Republican talking point. So the national media allow them to say it repeatedly:
This was last Sunday. Even after an insurrection based on a lie, it’s become a Party talking point. The Capitol riot mob has become the Republican Party. And the moderators were ineffective in their efforts to push back.
OTOH, Democrats need to react to this clear Republican strategy to continue to peel off Dem voters based on cultural issues, along with a few conspiracy theories like Trump’s Big Lie that the presidential election was stolen in broad daylight, and that few believe Covid is an existential threat.
Andrew Levinson at the Democratic Strategist says Democrats need some out-of-the-box thinking to win in 2022 and 2024. He says that White working-class people can hold traditional attitudes about cultural and racial issues while supporting a range of progressive economic policies. He thinks that running as economic populists with vaguely Red cultural values, even in solid Red districts, will eventually bring success.
According to a USA Today/Suffolk poll released over the weekend, 46% of Republicans would join him if Trump made an effort to create his own party. That means about half may be still be open to persuasion by Democrats if they come with the right message.
Building a plan that will successfully counter the GOP’s effort to continue peeling away Democrats should be what all of the Democratic Party leadership are working on right now.