washington, dc

The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: Dems’ Shifting Coalition – They Love the Highly Educated

The following post by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from The Liberal Patriot:

They Love the Highly Educated!

Today’s Democratic party is in love! I explain at The Liberal Patriot:

“In 2022, it appears that white college graduate voters are reporting for duty once again. These voters are less sensitive to economic problems and more likely to be moved by a social issue like abortion rights, which looms large in their world view. In short, they are the perfect voters for Democrats in the current environment.

An average of the last month of public polls (where crosstabs are available) finds Democrats leading the generic ballot among white college graduates by 12 points while trailing among white working class (noncollege) voters by 25 points. Hispanic margins for the Democrats are about half what they were in the last midterm and lag behind 2020 as well, which was a relatively poor year for the Democrats among this group.

Similarly, a merge of 2022 NBC polling data finds Democrats leading the generic among white women college graduates by an astounding 27 points while getting crushed among white working class women by 22 points. Now that’s a gap.”

Read the rest at The Liberal Patriot. And subscribe!

4 comments on “Teixeira: Dems’ Shifting Coalition – They Love the Highly Educated

  1. wendell H williams on

    Here is something that would help our cause:

    If you like to call yourself a liberal, please don’t. It does not help the Democratic party by using that term publicly.

    “Liberal” is a terribly self-defeating word. It has negative connotations from the 1960’s-70’s when it was associated with liberal spending on welfare programs, culminating in the 80’s with Reagan’s assertion that black “Welfare Queens are driving Cadillac’s.”

    Liberals created welfare and over time it has been associated with being too free with spending the government’s money. Most Americans do agree that we should be conservative in managing our own personal finances as well as the government’s use of our tax money.

    It is more difficult to convince an undecided independent voter by using the term “liberal” than by replacing that term with one that carries a lot less negative baggage, “Progressive.”  

      Progressive is a much better term because its meaning is associated with the only constant law in the universe, which is “change.” Progressive or change-minded means we should not keep repeating the policies of the past over and over, as “Regressives” (Republicans) are wont to do. To achieve a better society, we need to have policies which “progress” along with the advancement of the constantly changing times. When progressive policies don’t keep up with the changing times, Republican “regressive” actions result, and we stay stuck in the past.

    Now let me make it perfectly clear that I am not apologizing for being a liberal.
    I am a proud liberal and it is o.k. to use that term among us.

    But when we are talking to people, who’s politics we do not know,

    I strongly recommend we use the term Progressive.

    The truth is that there really

    is no difference in the meaning of the two terms.

    But, “Progressive,” will get us more votes.

    Lyndon Johnson’s quipped, “Democrats look ahead through the windshield while Republicans continue to gaze in the rearview mirror.”  “True, true, true”, as Harry Truman was fond of saying.

    So, I would ask that all Democrats (candidates and activists) stop using the word “liberal” and in its place, always use the term “progressive.” And to drive the point home, we need to stop referring to Republicans as Conservatives and call them REGRESSIVES. Because they truly “are always looking in the rear-view mirror.”

    This is not just a matter of semantics. It is a matter of dead serious political consequence. It is an important sociological fact which affects voting behavior consciously or unconsciously. And semantics aside, isn’t it true that only voting behavior matters!

    It might take a while before the word “regressive” is absorbed into our lexicon. But if we all keep using it, it will.


    Wendell H. Williams
    Former Democratic Nominee
    U.S. Congress (CA10)

    • Martin Lawford on

      Does anyone believe a product is new or improved just because the ad agency printed “New! Improved!” on the wrapper? The term “liberal” became pejorative because liberal policies failed on issues like crime, education, inflation, taxation, illegal immigration and energy. If we offer the voters the same policies under a new label, the term “progressive” will soon be as pejorative as “liberal” has become.

    • Robert Gilda on

      No Democrat in a competitive race calls himself or herself a “liberal” or a “progressive.” They know, if they have any sense, that the only political labels that matter for winning or losing elections are “Republicans” and “Democrats.” The relatively low-information voters and swing voters who decide competitive elections have little or no clear conception of the meaning of “liberal,” “progressive,” “left-wing” “right-wing,” “fascist” or “semi-fascist.” They just know they’ll have a choice between “Republicans” and “Democrats.”

      That fact calls for GENERIC anti-Republican attack ads and messaging as the focus of Democratic campaigning. Ads that damage the Republican BRAND as a whole. Here in Pennsylvania we’re seeing a constant barrage of John Fetterman campaign ads attacking Dr. Oz for his personal weaknesses — his mansions, his super-rich lifestyle, his not being a Pennsylvanian. All legitimate attacks. But they don’t help other Democrats running in competitive Pennsylvania races, including state legislative candidates whose names swing voters will never recognize.

      A barrage of generic anti-Republican attack ads that damage the Republican brand and use the term “Republican” to define those who will deny women and girls the ability to make decisions about abortion and their personal lives and who will empower and protect the super-rich would help Democrats up and down the ticket.
      The simple message “Republicans say it’s not your body, it’s theirs. Vote them out” defines the choice for midterm voters, especially women, suburbanites and young people, as well as any pro-Democratic message could. And it uses the term that matters most — “Republicans.”

      We might see that type of ad from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund or similar groups this fall. But we’re not seeing them here so far. And we need to.

  2. Maria Ferrera on

    So basically, it will come down to turnout. If white college grads turn out in higher numbers, the way they usually do, and non college whites turn in lower rates, the way they usually do, then it’s a major advantage for the Democrats.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.