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Thomas Edsall: The Fate of Biden’s Agenda Hangs in the Balance

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Thomas Edsall has a new article on how the Democrats have abruptly been transformed into the party of upper class White professionals with cosmopolitan and modernist values over the past two election cycles. As True Cons voters have become Democrats, it has shifted the internal balance of power within the Democratic Party.

New York Times:

“These developments handicapped Democrats in the past, but changing income and education patterns of partisanship — changes that intensified during the Trump years — will inevitably work to Democrats’ advantage.

In the past two presidential elections, Democratic gains among high income and well-educated voters — the kind of voters who benefited from redistricting in 2000 and 2010 — accelerated.

Thomas J. Wood, a political scientist at Ohio State, recently posted a chart on Twitter showing the income levels of white voters in each of the 19 presidential elections since 1948.

In the first 17 of these — through President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012 — whites with incomes in the 96th to 100th percentile were consistently the strongest supporters of Republican presidential nominees among all white income groups. In 2016 and in 2020, with Trump as the nominee, that pattern abruptly shifted.

These super affluent whites not only shifted to vote Democratic, but they became the least Republican income group after decades of being the most Republican. …”

The Democrats are the party of Pete Buttigieg and wine track voters.

First Things:

“Looking over the election results for all the races in the country’s wealthy suburbs reinforces the point. America’s rich have turned to the Democrats and they aren’t turning back. Under the first definition of the country’s “rich suburbs,” Democrats will occupy 51 of the 63 wealthy suburban seats (81 percent) in the 117th Congress. Under the second definition, Democrats will hold 44 of 61 wealthy suburban seats (72 percent). In this latter version, seven of the Republicans’ seventeen rich suburban seats are in a single state, Texas. While this may make the wealthy of Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San Antonio a Republican counter-elite, the Democratic party quite sensibly sees them as the last holdouts against the natural gathering of all American elites under its banner. After all, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee targeted ten Texas Republican-held House seats as part of its 2020 “Red to Blue” campaign in the state for concentrated fundraising, organizational support, and spending. Six of those ten were six of Texas’s seven “rich list” seats. Although Democrats failed to flip a single one of these targets, it is clear that wooing the rich is the cornerstone of the party’s effort to turn Texas blue.

Democrats took the House in 2018 thanks in strong measure to the votes of rich suburbanites in places like Loudon County, VA, Hunterdon County, NJ, and Lake County, IL. Republicans’ strong showing in 2020, coming within six (and possibly five) seats of a most unlikely House majority, shows the party doesn’t need to win those seats back to win the House. The Democrats’ contradictory top-bottom coalition will eventually disintegrate of its own accord anyway, and Republicans should take a hands-off approach in letting it do so. Concentrating on winning seats from small and medium-sized cities like Las Cruces, NM, Des Moines, IA, and Bakersfield, CA, as well as from middle-class suburbs and exurbs of the largest cities, is the better path forward. …”

In spite of the laughable fantasy that Joe Biden is FDR, this is who the Democrats are now … the people who used to be the Republican Party.


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