Democrats Need Populism

Democrats Need Populism
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

The challenge Democrats face today—uniting a broad coalition of working class Americans that spans racial, regional, gender, and generational lines—is far from new, but it has not always been this daunting. 

The staggering results of last November's election should be a reminder to Democrats that the racially diverse, young, educated, unmarried (women), and urban voters who comprised a significant portion of the Obama coalition do not constitute an inexorable path to Electoral College victory for Democrats. In 2008 and 2012, Barack Obama consolidated the Rising American Electorate (RAE), but also captured critical majorities in places like Sawyer County, Wisconsin; Luzerne County, Pennsylvania; and Macomb County, Michigan—all home to significant numbers of white working class voters. These were just three of the 219 counties that flipped from Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016.

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