Racial Resentment? Economic Insecurity? Does It Even Matter As Long As The GOP Has Sinema & Manchin?
Look, I've never been a Biden fan-- nor did I vote for him-- but the idea of Trump being seen by America voters as somehow better than Biden says something absolutely terrifying about American voters. Maybe the 48-46% favorability that the new Harvard-Harris poll shows is an outlier-- I hope so-- but Biden has been doing some good things, something no one rational could ever accuse Trump of. Biden pulling U.S. forces out of Afghanistan, and doing so so successfully, is amazing. If his two infrastructure bills-- both being held up by a corrupt bipartisan conservative cabal-- passes, he will probably be judged as the most successful president since... hmmmm... I hate to say it: LBJ.
Last night, Trump issued one of his typical crackpot statement as his blog, an attack on anyone questioning his Big Lie, in this case Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Mike Lee (R-UT), who took his bogus claims seriously enough to investigate them-- and find them meritless. Señor Trumpanzee's latestest evidence of mental decline and derangement:
I spent virtually no time with Senators Mike Lee of Utah, or Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, talking about the 2020 Presidential Election Scam or, as it is viewed by many, the “Crime of the Century.” Lindsey and Mike should be ashamed of themselves for not putting up the fight necessary to win. Look at the facts that are coming out in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and other States. If this were Schumer and the Democrats, with the evidence we have of Election Fraud (especially newly revealed evidence), they would have never voted to approve Biden as President, and had they not, all of the mistakes that were made over the last month, which are destroying our Country, would not have happened. Mike Lee, Lindsey Graham, and all of the other Republicans who were unwilling to fight for the Presidency of the United States, which would have included at least an additional four Republican Senators, two in Georgia, one in Michigan, one in Arizona, are letting the Democrats get away with the greatest Election Hoax in history-- a total con job!
We are losing our Country! The Democrats are vicious and fight like hell, and the Republicans do nothing about it. RINOs fight harder against Republicans than they do against Democrats. They want to be so politically correct, even if that means losing our Country, which is happening now. The evidence on determinative and wide-ranging Election Fraud is staggering. Your Republican Presidential candidate won in a landslide, but has so little backing from Republican “leadership.” They should be ashamed of themselves. Why don’t they have hearings? Or even if just Republicans had open public sessions, we would all hear the irrefutable facts. Remember, the Fake News Media does not report the truth!
Early this morning, writing for Sabato's Crystal Ball, Alan Abramowitz asked an important question about those Trump followers who read a statement like this and take it on face value-- people incapable of critical thinking, who he refers to as non-college white voters-- Can Democrats Win Back the White Working Class?
"The past 30 years," he wrote, "have witnessed a dramatic inversion of the class foundations of the American party system. White voters without college degrees, once the cornerstone of the Democratic electoral coalition, have swung sharply toward the Republican Party. Meanwhile, college-educated white voters, once a solidly Republican voting bloc, have been shifting toward the Democrats. The result is a party system in which, among white voters at least, education has become one of the main dividing lines. Growing support among white working class (non-college) voters for the Republican Party has sparked a debate among political analysts and Democratic strategists about the underlying causes of Democratic decline within this shrinking but still very important voting bloc and what, if anything, party leaders can do to regain some of the lost ground."
There appear to be two major explanations for the political realignment of the white working class, and they have different implications for Democrats’ chances of a political comeback with this group. One school of thought, perhaps best represented by progressive scholar Ruy Teixeira, blames Democratic decline largely on the party’s prioritization of cultural and racial justice issues over traditional bread-and-butter economic issues. According to this theory, Democrats have failed to address economic problems such as the decline of manufacturing jobs and unfair trade competition that have led to growing economic insecurity among white working class voters. At the same time, many of these voters have been turned off by the Democrats’ increasingly liberal positions on issues such as gay rights, affirmative action, and immigration.
A second school of thought, represented by scholars such as Michael Tesler of the University of California, Irvine and John Sides of Vanderbilt University, argues that economic discontent has little to do with the flight of white working class voters from the Democrats. In their view, the main factor behind the shifting party allegiance of these voters is the success of Republican leaders like Donald Trump in appealing to the racial resentments and grievances of non-college white voters.
These two schools of thought have different implications for the ability of Democratic candidates to win back support from white working class voters. If economic discontent is the main driver of the shift to the GOP, Democrats could potentially win a larger share of the white working class vote by emphasizing concrete actions and policies to address these concerns while perhaps playing down liberal positions on cultural and racial issues. On the other hand, if racial resentment and grievances are the main drivers of white working class flight from the Democrats, paying more attention to the economic concerns of these voters might not be very effective. Moreover, downplaying or abandoning liberal positions on cultural and racial issues would potentially risk alienating voting blocs that make up key components of the party’s current electoral coalition including Blacks, Latinos, and college-educated whites.
Abramowitz's own research found that "economic insecurity had very little impact on white voter decision-making in 2020. However, I find that the rejection of the Democratic Party by white working class voters goes beyond racial resentment alone. Instead, I find that support for Donald Trump among white working class voters reflected conservative views across a wide range of policy issues including social welfare issues, cultural issues, racial justice issues, gun control, immigration, and climate change. In other words, the rejection of the Democratic Party by white working class voters is fundamentally ideological. This fact makes it very unlikely that Democrats will be able to win back large numbers of white working class voters by appealing to their economic self-interest."
In the 2020 election, non-college whites preferred Trumpanzee over Biden by close to a 2 to 1 margin while white college graduates favored Biden by close to a 3 to 2 margin. "White working class voters did not just vote for the Republican presidential candidate, they also identified overwhelmingly with the Republican Party and leaned strongly to the right in their views on policy issues. In contrast, white college graduates were almost evenly divided between Democratic and Republican identifiers and leaned to the left in their views on policy issues." Notice in this chart that 62% of non-college white voters approve of the job Trump did. That explains the Harvard-Harris poll finding and why Trump could put out statements like the one last night with a straight face.
"[W]hite working class voters tend to support conservative policies in every major issue domain, not just a few," wrote Abramowitz. "They are just as conservative, if not more conservative, on traditional social welfare issues involving the size and role of government as they are on newer cultural issues such as abortion and gay rights. Most importantly, the across-the-board conservatism of white working class voters goes a long way toward explaining their current support for the Republican Party... The class divide in candidate preference among white voters in 2020 is almost entirely explained by the fact that non-college white voters are now far more conservative across the board than are white college graduates. One important question raised by these findings is why non-college whites now hold much more conservative views across the board than white college graduates."
Racial resentment and party identification are by far the strongest predictors of conservative ideology. Evangelical identification has a significant impact as well, but its effect is not nearly as strong as the effects of racial resentment and party ID. Family income has almost no effect on ideology and economic insecurity has a negative effect, which means that greater insecurity is associated with less conservative policy preferences.
These findings indicate that while ideology was by far the most important predictor of candidate preference among white voters in 2020, ideology was itself largely explained by feelings of racial resentment. Conservative policy preferences among white working class voters on a wide range of issues were closely connected to their racial attitudes and specifically to their belief that white people have been losing ground in American society because of unfair advantages enjoyed by Blacks and other nonwhite groups.
...These findings indicate that efforts by Democratic leaders to win back the support of white working class voters who have been voting for Republican candidates in recent years by appealing to their economic interests or shifting to the right on issues like immigration and gay rights are unlikely to bear much fruit. Moreover, tacking to the right to win votes from a shrinking population of white working class voters might turn off large numbers of college educated white voters with liberal views on these issues.
Nevertheless, the DCCC and DSCC are still recruiting "Republican-lite" candidates-- and doing all they can to disadvantage progressives in every single race they are involved with. The DSCC prefers DINOs like Conor Lamb to John Fetterman in Pennsylvania, for example, Cheri Beasley and Jeff Jackson to Erica Smith in North Carolina, Alex Lasry and Sarah Godlewski to Tom Nelson or Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin, Val Demings to Alan Grayson in Florida... The DCCC will reflexively spending virtually all its energy defending worthless conservatives like Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX), Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR) and Lou Correa (Blue Dog-CA) from challenges by progressives Jessica Cisneros, Mark Gamba and Mike Ortega-- even while the Blue Dogs muddy and destroy the Democratic Party brand in a pointless pursuit of right-leaning voters, not just in campaign tactics but-- worse-- in policy decisions.
Last night you may have seen Ryan Grim's Intercept essay about No Labels (a traditional ally of the DCCC) promising conservative donors that Biden's infrastructure bill can still be killed. Grim wrote that No Labels "remains optimistic that it has been able to delink the bipartisan infrastructure bill away from the larger reconciliation package that includes the bulk of the Biden agenda, with the possibility of outright killing the bigger bill still in play, according to a note sent by the group’s executive director to its donors. 'It is now clear that the reconciliation package will be delinked in time from the infrastructure bill and will be less than $3.5 trillion (if it passes at all), in theory making support from House Republicans for the infrastructure bill more likely,' the email from Margaret White reads. The message goes on to applaud Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema for her relentless fight on their behalf." Funny, how the glaring villainy of Sinema, Manchin, Gottheimer, Schrader, etc. takes so much onus off McConnell and McCarthy.
Now watch this, as the CBS Morning News crew just worked so hard-- and failed-- to get Bernie to change his messaging about the Biden/Democratic Party domestic agenda that is under attack by special interests and the corrupt conservatives who service them in Congress and on K Street: