Wednesday, June 30, 2021

New York's Working Class Message

Tom Edsall's latest column should be required reading for all Democrats. He has very interesting data from the initial New York mayoral returns courtesy John Mollenkopf.
"Adams’s biggest margins were in Black majority non-college tracts, where he won with 59.2 percent to Wiley’s 24.4 percent and Garcia’s 4.7 percent. In Black majority college-educated tracts, Adams won a plurality, 37.5 percent, to Wiley’s 32.5 percent and Garcia’s 13.0 percent.
Counting all the census tracts with a majority or plurality of adult voters who do not have college degrees, Adams won decisively with 42.1 percent — compared with Wiley’s 19.7 percent and Garcia’s 10.3 percent. Both Wiley and Garcia continue to pose a threat to Adams because they have more support among college educated voters, who make up roughly 40 percent of the Democratic primary electorate. According to Mollenkopf’s data, in census tracts with a majority of college-educated adults, Adams’s support fell to 14.7 percent, Wiley’s rose to 26.2 percent and Garcia won a plurality at 34.9 percent."
Edsall ferrets out a slew of interesting comments on the implications of these results. My favorites are from Nolan McCarty and Jonathan Rieder:
McCarty, author of Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches and many other seminal political science studies:
"The outcomes are more evidence of an innumerate punditry that conflates the share of educated, professional voters who support the Democratic Party with their electoral clout. It remains true that a majority of Democratic voters are working class without college degrees. So it is the same dynamic in New York that played out in the presidential race. While other candidates battled over of the support of the highly educated segments (of all races), Biden understood where the votes were."
A point I've been know to make!
Rieder, author of the classic Canarsie: The Jews and Italians of Brooklyn Against Liberalism:
"The local discussion of crime gets entangled in the national culture war within the Democratic Party and within “liberalism.” As with “limousine liberalism” before it, what some dub “woke” liberalism flourishes in the zones of the educated and often affluent whose lives, neighborhoods and moral understandings differ from those of working and middle class people."
[The party remains caught in what has become a 50-year] battle between what used to be called ‘lunch-pail’ Democrats and more righteous ones, between James Clyburn and AOC.
For all the gradual shrinkage of white non-college voters, the Democrats still require a multicultural middle to include non-affluent and lesser educated whites in their majority coalition. And that will be hard to secure if the party is identified with ceding the border, lawlessness, ignoring less privileged whites, exclusionary versions of anti-racist diversity that smack of thought reform, phrasing like Latinx that large numbers of Latinos find off-putting, esoteric or perplexing, and so much more."
What he said. Anyway, I recommend the entire Edsall column.

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