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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: Persuasion, Baby – It’s a Beautiful Thing!

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from his blog:

Let’s Face It: Biden’s Running a Smart Campaign!

And–dare I say it?–it’s pretty much as I argued a Democrat should run and not the way recommended by the base mobilization is everything/get nonvoters to vote/there are no swing voters/the white working class is hopeless crowd. In other words, persuasion, baby! It’s a beautiful thing.

And the pundits are catching up too! Ezra Klein:

“The key to Biden’s success is simple: He’s slicing into Trump’s coalition, pulling back the older, whiter voters Democrats lost in 2016. The Biden campaign’s insight is that mobilization is often the flip side of polarization: When party activists are sharply divided by ideology and demography, what excites your side will be the very thing that unnerves the other side. Studies of House elections show this dynamic in action: Ideologically extreme candidates perform worse than moderates because they drive up turnout on the other side.

Biden’s theory of wavering Trump voters is the same as his theory of wavering Republican senators: He thinks they want to vote with him but need help getting over their political hang-ups about voting for a Democrat. And so he is trying to give them that help. He praises the old Republican Party, refuses to pick a side in American politics’ hottest fights. Biden has resisted calls to abolish private insurance, ban fracking, decriminalize immigration, and defund the police. It’s cost him enthusiasm on the left, but it has denied Trump the clear foil he needs. That’s left Trump confused, pathetically insisting Biden holds positions Biden doesn’t hold and getting fact-checked live on Fox.”

Gerald Seib:

“Is there a hidden Trump vote? The good news for President Trump is this: There just might be.

The bad news for the president: The universe of potential hidden supporters is heavily populated with the kinds of people who happen to be more comfortable with Joe Biden than they were with Hillary Clinton four years ago….

[W]orking-class whites are far more comfortable with Mr. Biden than they were with Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Biden projects more as working-class Joe from Scranton, a beer-and-shot kind of guy with a long history of police-union support, than as a representative of the urban, liberal Democratic elites that many blue-collar voters distrust and disdain. It’s no coincidence that Mr. Biden came out early against the movement to defund police departments.

“The guy just doesn’t project a sense that he doesn’t like white working-class people, or considers them beyond the pale, or that they aren’t worth talking to,” says Ruy Teixeira, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who has long urged Democrats to work to maintain the party’s historical allegiance of working-class voters.”

4 comments on “Teixeira: Persuasion, Baby – It’s a Beautiful Thing!

  1. Candace on

    When your contributions here aren’t about trying to take the heat off of Trump/gop by flipping criticisms of them into attacks of “concern” about the Democratic party and the people who would vote for them (just like Trump and the gop do) you’ll either try to take credit for any successes in the party or alternatively blame failures on not following your advice, advice that is frequently about telling Democrats they need to shrink their tent and be a self-doubting, worried, progressive-hating Trump/gop kiss ass.
    For a site that wants Democrats to win, I dont know why the majority of your posts keep showing up here.

    • Candace on

      “(just like Trump and the gop do)”
      yeah that was for something I said right before that and changed a bit so it needed to be deleted
      It would be great if this site could add a time limited edit your comment feature.
      It shouldn’t be a problem here because there is always a delay before your post will show up sometimes even a few days – so you aren’t editing a comment someone already responded to.

  2. ken brociner on

    Such self congratulatory ego tripping is more than a little off-putting. Not the first time and certainly won’t be the last that your blog features you telling the world how clever you are. Might be a good idea to give that routine a rest.


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