The Corner

Epitaph of the Democratic Congress: We Ignored Key Voters

Political analyst Charlie Cook has written an article in National Journal called “Democrats Paved the Way for Their Own Decline.”  It puts together some of the reasons Democrats lost so badly in the mid-term elections. He points to the fact that President Obama’s approval rating among working-class whites has fallen to 27 percent as evidence that Democrats have forgotten the priorities of their party that made it the majority after the New Deal. Building the middle class has taken a back seat to the special interest agendas of elite liberal constituencies.

As Cook notes: 

Sen. Chuck Schumer recently committed the classic case of a political gaffe, once defined by Michael Kinsley as “when a politician tells the truth—some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.” The Democratic Left went crazy when Schumer suggested that the early focus on health care reform in 2009 and 2010, when he says Democrats should have been concentrating on economic growth and job creation, had cost them greatly…(after Obama’s election) we then saw a grand pivot to the environment and health care, with grave consequences for the party. At another time and in different fashion, both are important priorities, but the focus on these issues has effectively decimated the Democratic Party in specific areas and among specific voter blocs. The evidence is the difference in the partisan makeup of the Congress that will be sworn in next month, compared with the one from eight years ago.

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