The messaging needed to appeal to white working-class voters often directly conflicts with the strategy needed to keep current Dem voters engaged. And because of where the center of power is concentrated in the Democratic party (donors/staffers/etc), a pivot is near-impossible.
Parties aren't monoliths. You can't just press a button and shift focus. But if you did try to force a message shift at the top, the odds that you break through without some serious change in social/racial rhetoric are very minimal in today's day and age.
And because those WWC voters *no longer see themselves as Democrats*, the odds that you get them back are minimal, but the odds you manage to lose your primary by angering current voters are way higher as a result. So what's the incentive?
Anyways, I think it's far more plausible and practical for Democrats to continue making gains in sunbelt states than it is to try and get Iowa and Missouri to be close again. And it's a better bet than reversing educational polarization.

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More from @lxeagle17

5 Oct
FWIW I still believe a default is not the most likely event; between the $1T coin, 14th amendment, and a filibuster carveout that Manchin refused to rule out, I think there's enough paths to prevent it.

But if it happens, voters will blame the party that controls all 3 chambers.
Nobody cares about the filibuster or Senate procedure.

If a voter loses their social security checks while a Democratic trifecta was in office, the response will be to blame the party that was in control for letting it happen. And that's basically all there is to it.
Want to make #VAGov one where you can credibly call the Republicans favored? you have to see an event of such groundbreaking proportions that it shifts the national mood 5 or 6 points to the right in less than 4 weeks. Something like a default.
Read 4 tweets
4 Oct
No matter what you try, you're probably not going to be able to reverse educational polarization -- backed up by data in the US and internationally.

IMO it's a better bet to maximize your current coalition's gains and hope that you sustainably drive up your popular vote margin.
Point that Nate brings up here, but it's more plausible for them to sustainably drive up their average popular vote margins and hope that carries them. A state being R+2 relative to the nation is ok if the nation's median is D+4, for example.
I'm in the minority, but I am not convinced that Democrats are long-term completely done in the Senate if this happens. Biden won 25/50 states. Let's say WI slips, but they gain two of NC/TX/AK. If you keep your vote share high enough and midterm penalties fade, you'll survive.
Read 4 tweets
30 Sep
A picture is worth a thousand words -- the realignment where suburbs snapped left and working-class counties swung right really wasn't about Trump.
"Will [insert suburban county] revert after Trump once the anti-Trump voters see he's not on the ballot?" can find examples all across the United States to back this up, but the suburban shift left started before him and probably continues after him.
And in case anyone is curious, you can generally find the same picture in reverse for white working-class counties.

Romney was amazing with suburbanites in 2012, so you'll see the suburban swing left stall...and the rural swing right often slows as well.
Read 4 tweets
29 Sep
Short of an extraordinary surge with working-class whites in southwest Virginia, I do not see where Glenn Youngkin is getting the votes needed to beat Terry McAuliffe.

Every poll shows him losing college voters by ~20 points. And he's not even trying to cut that margin down.
College voters are anywhere between 47-53% of an off-year electorate in Virginia (this stuff is impossible to estimate precisely but we can be decently confident it's in that ballpark). In polls of likely and registered voters both, McAuliffe is keeping that margin near Biden's.
The next lane for Youngkin would be to hope Black turnout craters while his base of rural whites turn out to an extraordinary degree. That's plausible, but it's not really the strategy you want to rely on, especially considering his base isn't exactly reliable with voting.
Read 4 tweets
24 Sep
On Cook's #VAGov ratings change:

What has to happen in Virginia is a combination of 3 things: McAuliffe significantly lags Biden margins with educated whites, gets low Black turnout, and faces high rural GOP turnout.

Could that happen? Definitely. Is that likely? IMO no.
Depths of the realignment in Virginia can't really be overstated here. Wexton won by 13 as Biden won by 19, and in this era of polarization, I veer towards thinking Wexton's numbers are near the floor for McAuliffe in that district, especially given his quasi-incumbency.
At the end of the day, I still think it's too big of a lift for Youngkin to successfully manage this. I'm not stupid enough to say it can't happen, because it absolutely can, but I'd be a bit wary of saying that it's a tossup (our model actually still has it as likely Democratic)
Read 5 tweets
24 Sep
If I had to take a crack at the Senate map for next year, this is probably what I think my ratings are *at the moment*. Could argue with some of these, but largely just depends on the national environment.

Also: lean is not safe. Not saying Dems can't win WI or Rs can't win NH.
Wisconsin's low vaccination rates give me a lot of pause. Can Barnes stop the driftless from sliding to the right? I don't think so. Can he make enough inroads in Milwaukee's suburbs to counter it? Maybe, but it won't be easy.
North Carolina: if Rs nominate McCrory to go against Beasley, this could end up being a tougher play than the GOP would like and I can see an argument for Ds being favored given that Beasley can drive up Black turnout strongly while maintaining decent margins with educated whites
Read 5 tweets

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