This is one of the best write-ups I've yet seen to help understand this election - where we're at - and why we're there.
Scorned by the same voters who once embraced the New Deal, built the Great Society, and put their hope in the nations first black president, Democrats are now locked out of power in Washington and out of two-thirds of state legislative chambers across the country.
Simply put, Democrats once vaunted coalition of the ascendant younger, multiethnic, educated, and urban failed them in 2016, and in 2014 and 2010 before that. That coalition proved to have major handicaps, part demographic and part geographic, that have been hollowing out the party for years.
Democrats may find cold comfort in Hillary Clintons nearly 3 million popular vote lead and the fact that more people call themselves liberal than ever polled. And they can, and do, fairly protest a system of representative government that allows the government to be so unrepresentative of the popular vote. But it will be up to Democrats to solve their own problem within the current rules.
But Democrats a have a deeper, structural problem beyond gerrymandering. Democrats lost the House in 2010 before Republicans had redrawn the maps.
The problem is quirky but its effects are profound: Electorally speaking, Democrats live in the wrong places.
In the 2020 presidential election, the electorate will continue to evolve in Democrats favor as minorities and millennials make up a larger share of overall voters while non-college educated whites continue to decline. Indeed, four more years of natural demographic changes alone might be enough to give Democrats the relatively tiny number of voters Clinton would have needed in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin to win the Electoral College in 2016.
Thanks for posting this Rug.
At the beginning of this year, the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania sponsored a focus group in the Denver suburbs composed of a dozen adults Republicans, Democrats and independents. Looking back almost nine months later, the two-hour discussion proved to be a prescient guide to the surprising politics of 2015.
For any conventional politician paying attention, what was said there should have been unnerving. The name Donald Trump was never mentioned, nor was that of Ben Carson or Bernie Sanders. But the sentiments expressed that evening help explain why those three candidates are in the forefront of the political conversation on this Labor Day weekend.