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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: Coronavirus + Economic Sputtering = Big Trouble

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

Afghanistan is in the news and may indeed contribute to Biden and the Democrats’ current poor showing in the polls. But the story that the country has veered off track was already there and in all likelihood Afghanistan-related troubles are simply building on that rather than creating a new story.

Check out the chart below from Morning Consult showing coronavirus case trends vs. consumer confidence. That’s what I call a clear relationship. The coronavirus surge has take a huge toll on what Democrats’ were hoping, not unreasonably, would be a “morning in America” situation with a roaring return to social and economic normality. No more, at least not now.

And there’s this from a very useful recent Times report on the uneven nature of current economic performance:

“[T]he recovery remains uneven and rattled by a rare set of economic crosswinds. In some sectors, consumer demand remains depressed. In others, spending is high but supply constraints — whether for materials or workers or both — are pushing up prices.

For instance, the construction sector has regained most of the jobs lost early in the pandemic, and other industries, such as warehousing, have actually grown. But restaurants and hotels still employ millions fewer people than they did in February 2020. The result: There are more college graduates working in the United States today than when the pandemic began, but five million fewer workers without a college degree.

Compounding the problem, employment in the biggest cities fell further than in smaller cities and rural areas, and it has rebounded more slowly. Employment among workers without a college degree living in the biggest cities is down more than 5 percent since February 2020, compared with about 2 percent for workers without a college degree in other parts of the country.”

As I have repeatedly noted, the Democrats have very serious ongoing problems with working class voters. This is not going to help.

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