IT'S PENNSYLVANIA AND OHIO, STUPID!
For those of us who want Trump to be ousted in 2020, this Huffington Post story is essential reading. It should help guide our strategy for victory.
Of course, Democrats should compete in all 50 states, but in current presidential politics, only five states really matter: Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
The only way we win Florida again (as Clinton and Obama did) is to hope African American and Hispanic demographics tilt the state back in our favor. For decades, conservatives and white evangelical Christians have been pouring into the South from the Northeast and Midwest, making those states redder than ever. Amendment 4, the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative that passed last year, may also help.
Georgia is also a bright spot, demographically. But, as the Stacey Abrams loss proves, we still have a way to go.
Virginia has turned blue because Northern Virginia is solidly Democratic -- more moderate than liberal, though. And who knows how the "blackface" upheaval will affect us there.
Tennessee, where I lived from 1970 to 1979, is a lost cause, despite liberal pockets in Nashville and Memphis. Missouri is almost a lost cause, too.
But back to PA, OH, MI, and WI. Unfortunately the voters there have become older, whiter, and more Republican.
Electoral math dictates that we should ask ourselves a central question: Which Democratic candidate has the best chance to win the the Midwest? This is one of the reasons I was sad to learn that Sherrod Brown would not run.
Bernie should be complimented for energizing the youth vote, but as this study clearly shows, the dominating demographic FOR THE NEXT 40 YEARS is older, wealthier, whiter, and more Republican voters. As to the latter, "Older voters preferred John McCain by 8 points in 2008, Mitt Romney by 12 points in 2012, and Trump by 7 points in 2016."
It's great to run up youth numbers in California, Oregon, New Jersey, et. al. But those are states already safely in the Democratic column. Because turnout rates are far higher among older Americans than young people, this has far less effect in the critical swing states which skew to the older cohort.
Beto pushed the envelope in Texas in 2018, but, according to the Texas Observer, "Of Texans ages 18-24 who are eligible to vote, fewer than half, 48 percent, are registered to do so, which is 7 percent less than the national average of 55 percent for that age group."
This is why automatic voter registration is critical. The Observer continues: "If Texas were to begin signing voters up automatically, the state would immediately gain about 1.9 million new registered voters, the second most in the country behind California. Of those 1.9 million, about 700,000 could be expected to show up to vote.”
Automatic voter registration, early voting, restoration of Section 5 of the VRA, vote-by-mail, an end to partisan gerrymandering are all key reforms we must continue to push.
But again, which candidate or ticket can best carry PA, OH, MI, and WI? (And so glad the DNC chose Milwaukee!) My hunch is a Joe Biden - Kamala Harris offering. Biden is liberal in most areas, but more economically centrist in the ways that will attract older Democrats and so-called "Republican Lite" voters. He is also FAMILIAR and DEPENDABLE. Older people, in general, are most resistant to radical change. And remember, the Obama-Biden ticket won Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin TWICE.
Harris is a solid, exciting and energetic campaigner who could help boost minority turnout in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Milwaukee, where Hillary underperformed.
IT'S THE MIDWEST, STUPID!