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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Good Move, John Kerry!

I only wrote one post about the vice president issue and it was this one: “Edwards for Vice President“. Guess it worked.
I’m pleasantly surprised that Kerry had the good sense to do what seemed like the obviously best thing to do. For months, I’ve been joking with people that Edwards as vice president is such a good idea that of course Kerry will never do it. I couldn’t be happier to be proved wrong.
My views on why this move is likely to pay off haven’t changed much since I wrote the post linked to above, so allow me the liberty of quoting myself:
I believe [Edwards] would make a substantial contribution to increasing the ticket’s appeal among white working class voters in culturally conservative swing states, especially where it is most necessary–outside of the unionized working class. Even if one assumes that Gephardt has appeal to the unionized rank-and-file of the working class, as opposed to labor leaders, that still leaves out the vast majority of the white working class–well over four-fifths. And it is among these non-unionized white working class voters that Democrats have had the most trouble and where Gore got really hammered in 2000.
One particular trouble spot is among those with some college–the upwardly striving working class. Because of severe underperformance among whites with this educational credential, Gore lost the group as a whole by 6 points in 2000. Bill Clinton, on the other hand, won them by 8 points in 1996.

If John Edwards can help Kerry get close to Bill Clinton’s 1996 performance with these voters, there’s the election.

2 comments on “Good Move, John Kerry!

  1. o m aguiar on

    Just heard a hunch from a friend: Hispanics will be delighted to see Edwards on the ticket. Please verify.

  2. Marcus Lindroos on

    Most of the comments by Democrats have been favorable, with only a handful of exceptions.
    I don’t really agree with TNR’s Josh Benson (“Eyes of the Beholders”), though
    Benson thinks Kerry needs a VP with an appealing bio to woo ignorant “disengaged swing voters” who don’t know much about politics. His dream pick would be Wesley Clark (general…from Arkansas…war hero etc.). Well, I don’t think Clark would have worked. The Republicans would have a field day with *his* campaign flip-flops and his lack of political experience as well as lack of report with the Democratic base would be huge liabilities on the campaign trail.


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