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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

How Many White Working Class Votes Are Enough?

In his National Journal column today, Ron Brownstein conducts a definitive slicing-and-dicing of the claims of the Clinton and Obama campaigns about the implications of Barack Obama’s relative weakness among white working class voters in the Democratic primaries.
While he takes sides on several of these disputes, he identifies the big question, particularly in terms of Barack Obama’s prospects in a general election, as exactly how many white working-class voters a Democrat has to have, particularly since Al Gore won the popular vote and John Kerry came close with historically low levels of support from white voters without a college education.
Brownstein ultimately agrees with TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira that any successful Democratic presidential candidate probably needs to get without shouting range of Bill Clinton’s 1996 performance of 44% among white non-college voters.

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