The Democratic Party Is Waging a War Against its Very Own Base

At a critical juncture before the 2020 elections, the leadership of the Democratic party is, perplexingly, abandoning key constituencies of its base, including young people, women, and people of color, as well as the policies that fire them up. In chasing a narrow swath of white swing voters, the leadership has ignored a broader coalition of voters, who have delivered blue victories time and time again. Not only that—at times, it’s actively antagonizing them.

Even though the multiracial coalition that re-elected Obama in 2012 and stayed home in 2016 was large enough to change the outcome of the election, the Democratic leadership has focused on voters who swung from Barack Obama to Donald Trump. Party leaders have also taken to kneecapping up-and-coming progressives. Earlier this year, the DCCC—the party’s House campaigns arm—announced that it will blacklist firms that work with primary challengers, despite their delivering exciting new talent, reflective of its base, like congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressleyof Massachusetts.(snip)

The idea that the party needs to focus on the so-called center simply isn’t supported by data. The path forward for the Democratic Party is investing in the electorate of the future, not trying to win a smaller proportion of white voters that voted for Trump. This strategy will pay dividends for decades. Without a sharp pivot, Democrats risk again losing an entire generation of future Democrats who are disengaged and increasingly skeptical of the American political system.

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