Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Why Do Democrats Overrate the Partisan Importance of Changes in Voting Laws?

Matt Yglesias has an interesting thought about this:
"The smart analysts all say that the partisan narratives around this [voting law changes] are mostly wrong. Virginia’s very dramatic pro-voter and allegedly pro-Democratic changes to election administration, for example, didn’t really have the intended effect.
One way to think about these misperceptions is that after Obama’s two successful election campaigns, his main communications and message operatives sold out to go do corporate work. The veterans of his organizing operations, by contrast, had fewer marketable skills and generally more left-wing convictions, so they stuck around in politics and took over the Democratic Party — telling everyone that investing in organizing and turnout rather than in rigorous message-testing is the way to win.
More broadly, ideologues on both sides like to overrate the idea that you can manipulate the composition of the electorate because it implies there are no electoral benefits to moderation. Yet it’s clear that Susan Collins won Maine even though Trump lost the state, and Jared Golden won the ME-1 congressional race even though Biden lost that district. That’s not because of some incredibly complicated series of turnout differentials; it’s because both Biden/Collins crossover voters and Trump/Golden crossover voters are real people who exist."
Message, persuasion, moderation where necessary. The Democrats shouldn't let the heavy breathing about voting laws distract them from this very central part of politics.

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