Tuesday, August 10, 2021

A Close Cousin of the Fox News Fallacy: The Base Mobilization Fallacy

My latest, with John Halpin, at The Liberal Patriot!
"As President Biden’s agenda on infrastructure and family investments slowly moves forward, it’s time for Democrats to consolidate their electoral strategy ahead of the crucial 2022 midterms. Although the prognosis looks grim more than a year out—given historical midterm patterns and Democrats’ ultra slim margins in the House (and Senate)—it is not impossible for the party to hold the line against Republican incursions.
But this requires clear-eyed thinking and practical steps to advance what is needed to hold on.
It is not the time to entertain a series of politically illogical steps such as moving sharply to the left on policy or ignoring the need to appeal to working- and middle-class voters across the country—both base and persuasion voters—with an agenda focused on pandemic control, economic recovery, and culturally moderate positions closer to the values of median voters in these swing districts....
[T]he base mobilization fallacy includes two key errors in political analysis:
1. The Democratic base is not a left-wing faction. Contrary to pundits and strategists who equate “the base” with “the left”, the Democratic base is primarily made up of normal voters who propelled Joe Biden to the nomination and led him to victory in 2020: working- and middle-class black, white, and Hispanic voters. These voters care most about tangible improvements on jobs, wages, health care, safety, and schools — and not about online culture wars or out-of-the-mainstream policy positions.
2. Base Democratic voters alone cannot win elections in moderate-to-conservative leaning districts. Persuasion of non-party members and Independents will be vital to hold, or pick-up seats given political geography and partisan trends. There simply aren’t enough Democrats in “Frontline” districts to hold the line. Democrats will need good base turnout + persuasion targets to come out ahead."
Read the whole thing at The Liberal Patriot. And subscribe!

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