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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Core Voters Vs. Swing Voters

There was a rather unenlightening article by Adam Nagourney in the Sunday New York Times, which appeared to be arguing that, in today’s political landscape, core voters are the important voters and swing voters are fading as a political force. Could be. But there was nothing in the article that would logically lead one to conclude that was the case. Sure, the electorate’s polarized and sure, the parties will be trying to mobilize their core supporters–but that doesn’t mean swing voters are somehow unimportant. Indeed, if the parties manage to achieve about equal levels of mobilization through their efforts, which could easily happen, then swing voters could be more important than ever, since the mobilization efforts will roughly cancel each other out.
DR could go on, but he won’t. Instead, he’ll let the DLC do the heavy lifting. Check out their broadside against Nagourney’s article here. DR doesn’t agree with everything in the DLC piece, but their central point is incontrovertible: you’ve got to go after both core voters and swing voters to succeed and concentrating on just one is a recipe for disaster.