Wednesday, July 6, 2022

To Regain the Support of “Culturally Traditional but Not Extremist” Working Class Voters Democrats Need to Understand the Compelling Political Narrative That Leads Them to Vote for the GOP.

Andy Levison is just right about this. I highly recommend you read his excellent memo.

Levison summarizes his argument as follows:

1. As the 2022 elections approach, a critical question for Democratic strategists is why a significant group of working class voters choose to support Republican extremists even though they themselves are more accurately described as “cultural traditionalists” rather than extremists. In opinion surveys and focus groups this group of white (and now also increasingly Latino) working class voters make clear that they do not actually believe MAGA/Q-Anon/Tucker Carlson conspiracy theories or view all Democrats as literal “enemies” but they nonetheless vote for extremist candidates who assert these views on election day.
2. A major reason for this is that working class voters do not make their political choices primarily based on examining specific issues and policies. They evaluate candidates based on their broader outlook and philosophy – a perspective that the candidates frequently present as a basic “story” or “narrative” about America.
3. The basic extremist narrative is actually undergirded by three profoundly important subsidiary narratives that are nested within the larger narrative and which long predate the modern MAGA ideology. These three linked sub-narratives are not inherently extremist. They express a genuine and understandable frustration and sense of abandonment by the Democratic Party.
4. Democratic candidates can identify with these narratives and seek ways to address the legitimate concerns that are a deeply felt part of the working class experience in modern America without endorsing the extremist narrative that has incorporated and exploited them with such marked success.

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