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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority


Meyerson: 2022 Will Be About Democratic Accomplishments vs. GOP Culture War

Harold Meyerson writes at The American Prospect:

It’s only the midpoint of 2021, but the outlines of both parties’ 2022 campaigns are already clear. Consequently, it’s also clear that the two parties’ electoral pitches will deal with entirely separate universes.

The Democrats will campaign on the real benefits they’ve delivered to the American public, more particularly the American working class (assuming, of course, that Sens. Manchin, Sinema, and their ilk don’t deep-six the entire Democratic program). Those benefits will include their largely successful effort to diminish the pandemic, their funding for infrastructure, the establishment of an expanded Child Tax Credit and affordable child care, universal pre-K, tuition-free community college, paid family and medical leave; the expansion of Medicare to include dental, vision, and hearing care; more affordable housing; and numerous advances in clean energy. It will also include some of the executive orders that Joe Biden issued last Friday, including a ban on the noncompete agreements currently imposed on tens of millions of workers, and a “right to repair” rule that will enable Americans or their mechanics to fix their own cars or tractors instead of having to take them back to the manufacturer whose proprietary software has blocked anyone else’s attempts to fix the damn things.

All to be funded by Medicare savings derived from negotiating down drug prices, by higher taxes on the wealthiest one percent, and higher taxes on corporations.

In short, a lot of very real and very helpful stuff. As Biden himself once observed, “a big fucking deal.”

Republicans will not address any of these issues with substantial alternatives, Meyerson believes.

Instead, Republicans will run on culture war issues, attacking critical race theory, defunding the police, the influx of immigrants, the threat posed by minorities voting (which will be dog-whistled under the heading of voter fraud)—in short, the threat that Democrats presumably pose to white people. Which, they have to hope, will persuade a sufficient number of those white people to disregard the Medicare expansions, Child Tax Credit, and other actual benefits with which Democrats, and Democrats alone, have provided them.

Put another way, “Democrats will run against Republicans because they opposed all those benefits. And Republicans will run against Democrats for supporting all those culture war threats, a number of which, like defunding the police, the vast majority of Democrats don’t actually support.”

In addition to the effectiveness of each party’s messaging, Meyerson believes the outcome will be determined by “who will vote,” and it will come down to Republican voter suppression versus Democratic turnout mobilization. “On this issue alone, they’ll directly engage.”

Teixeira: Social Democratic Moment, Working Class Optional?

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

EJ Dionne argues in the Post that social democracy is back. I am not so sure. His basic argument is that neoliberal economics has been discredited by the pandemic crisis and the consequent need for large scale government activism. Combined with other recent failures of the neoliberal paradigm the result is:

“a resurgence of social democracy’s core idea: that market economies can thrive only when governments underwrite them with strong systems of social insurance, new paths to opportunity for those cast aside by capitalism’s “creative destruction,” and updated rules to advance social goods that include family life, education, public health — and the planet itself.”

He goes on to cite the relative unity of the Democrats around social democratic-ish legislation and the words of German Social Democratic finance minister Olaf Scholz about progressives’ “common political project”.

Leaving aside how seriously one should take the pronouncements of Scholz, whose party has been on a steadily declining trajectory, I would describe all this as necessary but not sufficient conditions for a truly social democratic moment. This includes the discrediting of neoliberal economics. The difficult task here is *replacing* neoliberal economics with a different economic model and that will take considerable effort and time.

For example, even with generous assumptions about what Democrats are actually able to pass in the current Congress, it is safe to say that even that will not achieve the transformation of the American political economy that is necessary to provide a good life for American citizens across region, race and class. That is a longer-term project that will require more reforms, more successful elections and broader majorities than the Democrats currently command.

To put a finer point on it, if the Democrats lose control of Congress in 2022, their ability to accomplish big or even medium size things after that date drops toward zero. This is not a recipe for a transformative period in American society; transformations need some time and a period of true political dominance to succeed.

This brings up something Dionne does not mention at all–working class support. I find it implausible that Democrats can retain and exert power long enough for such a “social democratic moment” when their working class support is so shaky. The 2020 election is just the latest evidence of that shaky support. And that election was, in turn, consistent with a deep trend that has greatly undermined the center-left.

As I have previously noted, a realignment to the left has seemed to be in the offing even since the Great Recession and it hasn’t happened. That potential realignment has been in stall mode.

This is because the stalled realignment has been driven by the shift of working class voters out of left parties and the increasing reliance of such parties on highly-educated voters. That has created the stall situation where the left, even when it wins elections, is continually undermined by the bleeding of working class voters. The result is unstable governance that has fallen far short of realignment.

The proximate reason for the bleeding has been laid out in rich descriptive detail in a various papers by Thomas Piketty and his colleagues, available on the World Inequality Database website. They finger the emergence of a new “sociocultural” axis of political conflict that has been embraced by right and left parties alike and that has drawn working class voters out of the left and into right and right populist parties

Those working class defections have crippled the left for many years now. I am not convinced that, even with effects of the pandemic, we are now in a fundamentally different situation. That will take an accommodation of the left to working class values that reduces sociocultural conflict and brings enough working class voters back to the left that a dominant electoral coalition can actually be sustained.
Then and only then are we likely to see a true social democratic moment.

Scher: White House Strategy to Work Around State Voter Suppression Laws Has Merit, But Could Also Hurt Dems in Midterm Elections

Bill Scher writes at Real Clear Politics:

Last week Vice President Kamala Harris announced that, to counter the spate of restrictive voting measures which have been enacted in several Republican-controlled states, the Democratic National Committee would spend $25 million on “tools and technology to register voters, to educate voters, to turn out voters, to protect voters.”

In  remarks at Howard University, Harris said, “People say, ‘What’s the strategy?’” to which she answered, “We are going to assemble the largest voter protection team we have ever had sure to ensure that all Americans can vote and have your vote counted in a fair and transparent process.”

Few Democrats would argue against the mobilization of the largest ‘voter protection team’ ever, given the all-out GOP voter suppression campaign, which has produced dozens of vote-smothering laws in state legislatures across the U.S. However, many Democrats strongly believe a successful strategy must include putting more muscle in the campaign to pass voting rights reforms at the national level. As Scher writes,

Strikingly, Harris did not mention as part of the strategy enactment of the For the People Act, the voting rights legislation Democrats passed in the House but cannot get around the filibuster in the Senate. After Harris’ Howard speech and a West Wing meeting with President Biden, voting rights advocates were not soothed. “There is no substitute for federal legislative action,” said Michael Waldman of the Brennan Center for Justice. Several demanded Biden use his bully pulpit more aggressively. Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund said, “I told the president: We will not be able to litigate our way out of this threat to black citizenship. We must have the president use his voice.”

Democratic members of Congress are also pressuring Biden to not only push for the voting rights bill, but also a weakening of the filibuster in order to pass the bill. In an interview with Politico, House Majority Whip James Clyburn said Biden should “pick up the phone and tell [Sen.] Joe Manchin, ‘Hey, we should do a carve-out’’” of the filibuster, which means forbidding the tactic when legislation is on the Senate floor related to constitutional rights.

Scher notes, “according to reporting by The Atlantic’s Ron Brownstein, the Biden administration doesn’t have the same sense of impending doom. “Although White House officials consider the laws offensive from a civil-rights perspective,” he wrote, “they do not think most of those laws will advantage Republicans in the 2022 and 2024 elections as much as many liberal activists fear….Brownstein interviewed one anonymous White House official, who noted Biden’s ability to navigate the voting laws in 2020.  “Show us what the rules are and we will figure out a way to educate our voters and make sure they understand how they can vote and we will get them out to vote,” said this Biden aide.”

Scher write further in support of the ‘work-around’ strategy, “Democrats can and have overcome Republican-backed restrictive voting laws. In particular, academic research shows that strict laws requiring ID to vote have outright backfired on Republicans by firing up the Democratic base…The Republican intent behind restrictive election laws may be nefarious, but the impact to date has been negligible.”

However, Scher concludes, “If Democrats are to make history and keep their congressional majorities, their ranks cannot be demoralized. It’s time for the Biden administration to talk straight to the Democratic base.”

Dems have no choice, but to plan and fund an exensive ‘work-around’ strategy. But major Democratic constituencies are also demanding a more energetic full-court Biden Administration press on key senators for national voting rights reforms, along with a voting rights ‘carve-out’ for filibuster reform needed to enact both bills. Such a double-pronged strategy could shore up Democratic unity, leading up to 2022.

Brazile: Biden, Progressives & Dems Should ‘Mobilize Like MLK’ to Save Democracy

From Donna Brazile’s “Ramp it up: It’s time for Biden and all of us to mobilize like MLK to save voting rights. Many Republicans wear flag pins and call themselves patriots. But if they support voter suppression, they are stabbing American democracy in the heart” at USA Today:

The nonpartisan Voting Rights Lab found that states have enacted at least 35 laws restricting access to voting this year, affecting mail-in voting, in-person voting, voter ID, voter registration and other voting practices. Nearly all the support for these laws comes from Republicans.

Most alarming is the effort by Republicans in some states to allow legislatures, their appointees, or other state officialsto overturn election results by claiming fraud and declaring the loser of a race the winner. If this succeeds, our elections will be as meaningless as those in North Korea, Russia, China and Iran. Election outcomes will be decided by those in power, not the people.

“It’s no longer just about who gets to vote or making it easier for eligible voters to vote. It’s about who gets to count the vote, who gets to count whether or not your vote counted at all,” Biden said Tuesday in Philadelphia. “It’s about moving from independent election administrators who worked for the people, to polarized state legislatures and partisan actors who work for political parties. To me, this is simple, this is election subversion. It’s the most dangerous threat to voting … in our history.

Brazile, former interim DNC Chair and Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign manager, adds, “Following the example of Dr. King, everyone who believes in voting rights needs to mobilize for nonviolent marches and demonstrations around the country to make it clear that Republican voter suppression, which President Biden has correctly likened to racist Jim Crow laws, is intolerable.”

Further, Brazile writes, the “only hope is if Democrats can convince Manchin and Sinema to create a “carve-out” to allow voting rights bills to pass with a simple majority in the Senate. President Biden should join with fellow Democrats to urge Manchin and Sinema to agree to this needed exemption in order to prevent Republicans from rigging future elections in their favor.”

Good suggestions all. It would also help if progressives in WV and AZ redoubled their campaigns to persuade Mancin and Sinema of the critical importance of filibuster reform for the survival of American democracy.

Teixeira: The Problem With The “Biden Boom” Strategy

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

My latest at The Liberal Patriot!

“The Democrats have a plan for 2022. It’s called the Biden boom. Into that boom will be folded Democratic policy successes like the vaccine rollout, the American Rescue Plan and, possibly, a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a budget reconciliation bill providing substantial new investments in education, child care and clean energy.

This is not a crazy strategy. The Biden boom does seem to be happening….And yet…we see no evidence of any surge in the Democrats’ direction. Biden’s approval rating has been steady, but only middling good. The generic Congressional ballot has been favorable for the Democrats, but not by the kind of margin that would inspire confidence in their prospects. So we’re not as yet seeing the kind of voter movement in reaction to the Biden boom that could suggest Democrats can both overcome the traditional penalty incumbent parties typically pay in their first midterm election plus the additional thumb on the scales that Republicans will have from redistricting….

This suggests Democrats’ successes in the economic and health areas, as recounted above, will likely not be enough to tilt the playing field decisively in their favor. To do that, they will need to overcome suspicions of the party that have to do with other, more culturally-inflected concerns. This, in turn, will require the party to take some stances that the ascendant left in the party will likely oppose for ideological reasons.

Nowhere is this clearer than on the issue of crime….”

Read the whole thing at The Liberal Patriot!

Walter: How Much Will ‘Candidate Quality’ Matter in 2022?

At The Cook Political Report, Amy Walter shares her insights about the role of “candidate quality” in next year’s midterm elections:

Then there’s candidate quality. As ticket-splitting has decreased, the quality of the individual candidate has become less important to the outcome of a contest than the partisan make-up of the state and how the presidential candidate of his/her party performed there in the previous election. It wasn’t that long ago when a great candidate could beat a mediocre one, even when the partisan lean of the state was not in that candidate’s favor. Today, that’s become an almost impossible feat, with Senators Joe Manchin and Susan Collins as rare examples.

Even so, with the Senate divided 50-50, all it takes is one really bad candidate — or one exceptional one — to decide control of that body in 2023.

As my colleague Jessica Taylor has written, Trump is going to have a big influence on the kind of candidates who make it through the GOP primary process. Given that his choice of a candidate to promote — or denounce — is driven not by political analysis but by how loyal Trump perceives that candidate to be to him, there’s a good chance that many GOP Senate candidates will come with liabilities both known and unknown, that will make them vulnerable to defeat. Already, some strong potential candidates who have angered Trump in the past, like Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, have taken a pass on running for the Senate.

At the same time, Trump casts a smaller shadow than he did back in 2017-18 when potential candidates and incumbents decided not to run — or announced their retirement — because of how toxic they perceived the Trump brand to be in the midterm election. This year, it’s Biden, not Trump in the White House, and those candidates no longer have to answer for the unpredictable and unpopular decisions coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. For example, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu — a top-flight recruit for Senate Republicans — would probably have had to think twice about running in a year like 2018. If he runs in 2022, he’d instantly vault that race into one of the best pick-up opportunities for his party in the country.

At the same time, Biden’s solid — though not particularly impressive job approval ratings — also help to encourage Democratic candidates and incumbents to stick around. The fact that Democrats currently don’t have to defend any open Senate seats in 2022 is one of those small, but potentially decisive things that can make the difference between Democrats serving in the minority or the majority come 2023.

Certainly Dems would rather have more impressive candidates in 2022. Perhaps ‘candidate quality’ matters more when matched by good campaign staff quality, as was evident in the last Democratic presidential campaign.

Why Dems Might beat the Odds and Win the Midterms

There are lots of reasons to be pessimistic about Democratic prospects in the 2022 midterm elections, including precedent, gerrymandering and the Democratic proclivity for forming circular firing squads. But, if Dems are to buck the odds and the pundits, a little creative visualization can’t hurt. For starters, check out Jame’s Pindell’s “3 emerging reasons why the midterms might not be a disaster for Democrats” at The Boston Globe, in which he writes:

But while all signs historically and structurally point to a good night for Republicans, there are several reasons why Democrats might actually buck the trend lines in the contests, which are suddenly less than 500 days away….Here are three reasons why:

1. Biden is relatively popular

Political pundits will throw out all kinds of numbers and suggest they hold some hidden secret to predicting election results. But in midterm elections, there is only one rather obvious number that makes all the difference: the presidential approval rating.

In the modern polling era, there have been six presidents who have lost seats in midterm elections. Only one — Dwight D. Eisenhower, a war hero — had an approval rating of about 50 percent. When Republicans picked up seats in the 2002 elections, Republican incumbent president George W. Bush had a 68 percent approval rating.

Today, Biden’s average approval rating stands at 52 percent, according to a FiveThirtyEight average of polls.

This is one reason why Democrats haven’t lost some recent special elections, as they’d be expected to do ahead of a midterm election under a Democratic president. In fact, Democrats are actually doing better by an average of two to three percent in these contests than they did in the 2020 elections.

2. Donald Trump remains a driving force in American politics

Midterm elections are typically a referendum on the current president, but it is increasingly clear that former president Donald Trump wants to make them also about him. We haven’t seen a former president play this type of role in modern politics and it is unclear how this will all play out….The Washington Post found that a third of the 700 Republican candidates who have already signed up to run in the midterms are publicly adhering to the Trump-fueled lie that the 2020 elections were stolen. Independents and Democrats — along with a good number of Republicans — do not agree.

Instead of going on the offensive and discussing, say, inflation or Biden’s tax proposals, many of these Republican candidates will find themselves in a general election defending something deeply out of step with the electorate, only because Trump demands they do so.

3. The Senate map is actually good for Democrats

The good news for Republicans is that they only need to gain one Senate seat to win the majority. The bad news for them is that they will have to defend 20 of the 34 Senate seats up in 2022. Of those 20, five are seats held by Republicans who have announced their retirement, putting them further on defense….while the smart money is on Republicans gaining the majority in the House, it’s also on Democrats keeping control of the Senate. If Democrats can do that it means they will still be able to confirm presidential nominations and Supreme Court judges. In other words, these midterms could be a lot worse for Democrats.

None of this is to deny that Democrats have very little wiggle room on loaded issues like police reform and immigration. But these three factors, along with a booming economy and the GOP’s failure to get real about Covid, the 2020 elections and Trump’s growing legal problems, should help Dems a bit with swing voters – if they drive Democratic strategy and messaging in the 500 days ahead.

Teixeira: New Pew Validated Voter Data Show Dems Did Not Win Through High Turnout

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

I argued over and over before the election that high turnout was not the key to beating Trump in the 2020 election. The key instead was doing better among persuadable voters who were not the usual suspects. Turns out I was right, as the new Pew validated voter data (and much previous data) confirm.

Nate Cohn covers the new Pew data:

“Married men and veteran households were probably not the demographic groups that Democrats assumed would carry the party to victory over Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

But Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s apparent strength among traditionally moderate or even conservative constituencies, and especially men, is emerging as one of the hallmarks of his victory, according to new data from Pew Research.

Mr. Trump won married men by just a 54 to 44 percent margin — a net 20 point decline from his 62 to 32 percent victory in 2016. He won veteran households by a similar 55 to 43 percent margin, down a net 14 points from his 61 to 35 percent victory.

In both cases, the size of Mr. Biden’s gains among these relatively conservative groups rivals Mr. Trump’s far more publicized surge among Latino voters. Each group represents a larger share of the electorate than Latinos, as well….

Higher turnout did not reshape the electorate to the favor of Democrats, either. In the aftermath of the 2016 election, many Democrats blamed Mrs. Clinton’s defeat on low turnout and support from young and nonwhite voters. Many progressives even believed that mobilizing Democratic constituencies alone could oust the president, based in part on the assumption that Mr. Trump had all but maxed-out his support among white, rural voters without a degree.

At the same time, Democrats supposed that higher turnout would draw more young and nonwhite voters to the polls, bolstering the party.

Overall, 73 percent of Mr. Trump’s supporters voted in the 2020 election compared with 68 percent of Mr. Biden’s supporters. In comparison, Mr. Trump’s supporters were only 2 percentage points more likely to vote than Mrs. Clinton’s in 2016, according to the Pew data….

In the end, there was a far deeper well of support and enthusiasm for Mr. Trump than many progressives had imagined. An additional 13 million people voted for Mr. Trump in 2020 than in 2016. Voter records in states with party registration — like Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada and Arizona — suggest that registered Republicans continued to turn out at a higher rate than registered Democrats, and in some cases even expanded their turnout advantage over the 2016 cycle….

Perhaps another Democrat would have mobilized voters more decisively. But the strong turnout for Mr. Trump implies that it would have been very challenging for any Democrat to win simply by outmuscling the other side.

Instead, Mr. Biden prevailed by making significant inroads among moderate or conservative constituencies.

Mr. Biden’s strength among these groups was not obvious on election night. His gains were largest in suburban areas, which are so heterogenous that it’s often hard to say exactly what kinds of voters might explain his inroads….

[A]ccording to Pew Research, Mr. Biden made larger gains among married men than any other demographic group analyzed in the survey. He won 44 percent of married men, up from 32 percent for Mrs. Clinton in 2016. It’s an even larger surge for Mr. Biden than Pew showed Mr. Trump making among Latino voters, even though they do not stand out on the electoral map.

In a similar analysis, Catalist also showed that Mr. Biden made his largest inroads among married white men, though they showed smaller gains for Mr. Biden than Pew Research.

Mr. Biden also made significant, double-digit gains among white, non-Hispanic Catholics, a persuadable but somewhat conservative voting bloc. He won 16 percent of moderate to liberal Republicans, up from 9 percent for Mrs. Clinton in 2016. And Mr. Biden gained among men, even while making no ground or, according to Pew, losing ground, among women. As a result, the gender gap was cut in half over the last four years, to 13 points from 26 points in 2016.”

You want more Democratic votes? Persuade people to vote for you.

Dionne: Why The Supreme Court Should Be Expanded

Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne, Jr. comments on Thursday’s “twin rulings” from the U.S. Supreme Court, which allow states to “make it harder for people to vote” “made it easier for big donors to sway elections in secrecy.” Dionne argues that “These decisions send three important messages”:

The first is to Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and other senators still reluctant to overturn or reform the Senate’s filibuster rules. Their choice really is between defending the filibuster and defending democracy. If Manchin and Sinema allow Republicans in the Senate to kill all efforts to enforce voting rights and to check the power of big money in politics, they will be throwing in the towel on democracy itself.

Manchin, to his credit, has put together a series of provisions aimed at defending voter rights in states where Republican legislatures are engaged in both overt and subtle efforts at voter suppression. If he can’t get 10 Republicans to join him (and all the evidence says he won’t), he has to decide that his (small-d) democratic commitments take precedence over his reluctance to alter the Senate’s rules.

Second, Congress should think again before it strips the For the People Act of its provisions creating strong incentives for federal candidates to rely on small contributions. Small-donor incentives are, at the moment, the most effective way to push back against the Supreme Court’s solicitude toward the role of the wealthy in our political system.

The third is to all who have so far resisted the urgency of battling conservative Republicans’ systematic effort to pack the court with justices who will do their bidding.

From the GOP blockade against President Barack Obama’s appointment of Merrick Garland to the 2020 confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett a little more than a week before Election Day, Republicans have been ruthless in using raw power to tilt court outcomes. Two votes on the court could (and likely would) have shifted the outcomes of Thursday’s decisions the other way.

Despite some not-so-bad high court rulings on the Affordable Care Act and a few social issues, it should be clear that the 6-3 Republican majority is taking a hard-right direction against voting and worker rights, as well as curbing corporate power. As Dionne concludes, “Court enlargement must now be on the agenda of anyone who cares about protecting voting rights and our increasingly fragile system of self-rule.” Task #1 in meeting this challenge is the fight for Democratic midterm gains in the Senate and House in 2022.

Teixeira: The Nonwhite Working Class Isn’t Buying What a Lot of Progressives Are Selling

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

The default approach of a lot of self-declared progressives includes not just a lot of reasonably popular left economic stances but also a wide range of views on cultural/social issues that are not popular with the broad working class. The general reaction by said progressives when you point this out is that, oh well, those are white working class voters and they’re hopelessly reactionary.

After all, we still have the nonwhite working class. They are not put off by progressive cultural positions right? Right?

That might be due for a rethink. If nonwhite working class voters start bailing out on progressive cultural politics, the presumed coalition in favor of such politics completely falls apart.

Note well this article by Lisa Lerer in the Times, which appears to be noticing something is going on that previously had escaped their notice:

“Can progressives win broad numbers of the Black and brown voters they say their policies will benefit most?

That provocative question is one that a lot of Democrats find themselves asking after seeing the early results from New York City’s mayoral primary this past week.

In a contest that centered on crime and public safety, Eric Adams, who emerged as the leading Democrat, focused much of his message on denouncing progressive slogans and policies that he said threatened the lives of “Black and brown babies” and were being pushed by “a lot of young, white, affluent people.” A retired police captain and Brooklyn’s borough president, he rejected calls to defund the Police Department and pledged to expand its reach in the city.

Black and brown voters in Brooklyn and the Bronx flocked to his candidacy, awarding Mr. Adams with sizable leading margins in neighborhoods from Eastchester to East New York….

His appeal adds evidence to an emerging trend in Democratic politics: a disconnect between progressive activists and the rank-and-file Black and Latino voters who they say have the most to gain from their agenda. As liberal activists orient their policies to combat white supremacy and call for racial justice, progressives are finding that many voters of color seem to think about the issues quite a bit differently.

“Black people talk about politics in more practical and everyday terms,” said Hakeem Jefferson, an assistant professor of political science at Stanford University who studies the political views of Black people. “What makes more sense for people who are often distrustful of broad political claims is something that’s more in the middle.”

He added: “The median Black voter is not A.O.C. and is actually closer to Eric Adams.”
I believe this is a point I have made a number of times.

Also interesting is another article in the Times pondering the phenomenon of Adams appealing to working class nonwhites.

“As the national Democratic Party navigates debates over identity and ideology, the mayoral primary in the largest city in the United States is highlighting critical questions about which voters make up the party’s base in the Biden era, and who best speaks for them.

Barely a year has passed since President Biden clinched the Democratic nomination, defeating several more progressive rivals on the strength of support from Black voters and older moderate voters across the board, and running as a blue-collar candidate himself. But Democrats are now straining to hold together a coalition that includes college-educated liberals and centrists, young left-wing activists and working-class voters of color.

“America is saying, we want to have justice and safety and end inequalities,” Mr. Adams declared at a news conference on Thursday, offering his take on the party’s direction. “And we don’t want fancy candidates.”

Mr. Adams’s allies and advisers say that from the start, he based his campaign strategy on connecting with working- and middle-class voters of color.

“Over the last few cycles, the winners of the mayor’s race have started with a whiter, wealthier base generally, and then expanded out,” said Evan Thies, an Adams spokesman and adviser. Mr. Adams’s campaign, he said, started “with low-income, middle-income, Black, Latino, immigrant communities, and then reached into middle-income communities.”…..

Interviews on Thursday with voters on either side of Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway illustrated vividly Mr. Adams’s appeal and limitations. In parts of Crown Heights, the parkway was a physical dividing line, early results show, between voters who went for Ms. Wiley and those who preferred Mr. Adams.

Among older, working-class voters of color who live south of the parkway, Mr. Adams held a commanding lead.

“He’ll support the poor people and the Black and brown people,” said one, Janice Brathwaite, 66, who is disabled and said she had voted for Mr. Adams.

Ms. Brathwaite ruled out Ms. Wiley after hearing her plans for overhauling the Police Department, including a reallocation of $1 billion from the police budget to social service programs and anti-violence measures.

“She is someone who is against the policeman who is protecting me, making sure nobody is shooting me,” Ms. Brathwaite said.:

On the other side of the tracks, so to speak, this proletarian fighter and progressive has a different view:

“[Wiley’s] approach appealed to Allison Behringer, 31, an audio journalist and podcast producer who lives north of the parkway, where Mr. Adams’s challenges were on display among some of the young professionals who live in the area.

“She was the best progressive candidate,” Ms. Behringer said of Ms. Wiley, whom she ranked as her first choice. “She talked about reimagining what public safety is, that really resonated with me.”

Audio engineers and podcast producers of the world unite! Meanwhile, perhaps Democrats need to to reimagine this reimagining public safety stuff.