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Of course the entire premise of this entire diary is wrong - The Dems consistently win the working class vote by large margins. What they lose is a specific subset of it - middle income blue collar whites. what you and Sirota are doing is buying into a Republican narrative that marginalizes huge swathes of America as somehow not real. The idea that the GOP won the working class is about as silly as saying that the Dems win the wealthy vote simply because they happen to do very well among non-Christian and/or non-white upper class voters with graduate degrees.
by MarekNYC on Mon Oct 20th, 2008 at 10:46:51 AM EST
PS The reasons why the middle income blue collar whites shifted had nothing to do with your purported denigration of manual work but rather it was race and insufficient hawkishness. It started in 1968 with a backlash against civil rights and opposition to the Vietnam war and continued with Reagans similar themes on welfare queens and standing up to the commies.
by MarekNYC on Mon Oct 20th, 2008 at 10:57:09 AM EST
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Have you got a summary of the numbers? Seems that this isn't a difference of opinion but of fact.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Oct 20th, 2008 at 10:58:34 AM EST
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Here's the 2004 Exit Poll.  Note Kerry won with voters earning at or below $50,000 per year.  Among the working-class and the poor, he won by wide margins (K63-36B among <$15,000, K57-42B among $15-30k).

Sirota's claim is factually inaccurate.  But they allow certain groups to play the "I never left the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me" game.  "Facts are stupid things," as Reagan said.

Key distinction, of course: Race.  Obama, last I saw, was running a few points ahead of McCain among the white working class.  But his margins among Latinos and black folks -- two groups much more likely to be working-class than whites -- are enormous and probably even wider than the headline numbers at that income level.

Which is why we point out that neglecting the race dynamic makes the argument about Democrats' directon fatally flawed.  The conclusion -- "Dems need to be more populist or we're going to bitch and moan non-stop!" -- might be a good one, but the premise is simply wrong.  The shift has a lot more to do with the culture wars than with enormous changes in the Democratic platform.  The Dems have been running on basically the same platform for about 70 years, the only major changes being Truman's addition of universal health care, the Kennedy-Johnson switch on civil rights, and the party's support for Roe.

But a key goal of Sirota's perspective has always been excuse-making for backwardness, not change.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Oct 20th, 2008 at 11:15:04 AM EST
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Adding, for now, adjust everything on that exit poll by 8-9 points to get the current status of Obama, since he's running 8-9 points better than Kerry.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Oct 20th, 2008 at 11:16:10 AM EST
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