Elizabeth Warren Could Be Trump’s Easiest Opponent

Elizabeth Warren is rising tn the polls of the Democratic primary race, but one analyst argues she may be the perfect candidate....to help re-elect Donald Trump.

Even as she rises in the polls, National Journal’s josh Krausharr argues that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren would be the weakest opponent that Democrats could put up against President Trump in 2020:

The relevant question isn’t whether an ideologically extreme nominee can win a presidential election. As I’ve written, Trump’s consistently weak approval ratings all but guarantee that any Democratic candidate will be competitive. The question is how costly choosing such a nominee will be. The threat that Warren poses to Democrats is that she could turn an easily winnable election into a dogfight.

Even if voters aren’t dwelling on policy specifics, their ideological perception of the candidates makes a huge difference. Democrats deliberately avoided invoking polarizing cultural issues when competing for swing districts last year—a strategy that allowed them to comfortably win back the House majority. The relative few who invoked a populist message like Warren’s lost winnable suburban seats.

It’s Politics 101: When there are more conservative (and moderate) voters than liberal ones, it’s very difficult to put together a winning coalition with just a progressive base. The only way to do it is by betting that Trump is so toxic that a critical majority of voters will automatically reject him. That strategy didn’t work well for Hillary Clinton in the last election.

Warren also carries other specific vulnerabilities into a matchup against Trump. She currently relies on a faction of white liberal support, struggling to win over African-American voters to her side. If Democrats believe the key to winning is by rallying their diverse base, it’s hard to see Warren accomplishing that goal. Her nomination threatens to be a double-whammy: turning off swing suburban voters without any gains in nonwhite voter turnout.

She also would make the election a choice between two different types of disruption. Trump has demonstrated that his chaotic and impulsive approach to governance carries serious risks. But if the economy remains healthy, will voters want to choose an alternative who threatens to abolish private health insurance, redistribute wealth, and take a hostile approach toward Israel?

According to a new Fox News poll, 60 percent of Democratic voters prefer a nominee who will restore politics to normalcy over someone who would fundamentally change how Washington works. That suggests that Warren’s message risks alienating critical parts of a winning Democratic coalition.

Most nominees pivot back to the center in a general election, but Warren has staked out so much space on the far left that it will be very difficult for her to do so. Is she suddenly going to become an incrementalist after calling for a revolution in the primary? That’s hard to imagine.

Progressives look at Trump’s deep and abiding unpopularity, and conclude that this is the time to go for broke. They view Warren representing a movement that has a real chance to gain power and move the country in a leftward direction. They view Trump’s against-the-odds election as a model of how unconventional candidates can win power and make history.

But make no mistake: They’re playing with fire. Trump is highly vulnerable, but he has the ability to win a second term if the Democratic nominee appears as extreme as he is. Warren has a realistic chance of becoming the next president, but she also could jeopardize it all for the Democratic Party.

To be frank about it, what Krausharr writes here about Warren could easily also be said about candidates such as Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker, all of whom are also running for on a policy platform filled with undeniably radical “progressive” policy proposals and the theory that ideas rather than image are what will beat Donald Trump in 2020. Vice-President Biden and several other candidates, on the other hand, are arguing from a far more centrist policy position that the important thing for Democratic voters to keep in mind in the primary is the fact that beating Donald Trump in 2020 is the most important thing and that the party must put forward a candidate that can do that rather than a candidate that puts forward the most ideal policy platform.

In many respects, this is the same debate that every political party goes through in every primary race. Do you nominate the candidate that is closest to your heart, or the one that’s closest to your head? In many cases, of course, the candidate ends up being the same person because die-hard supporters come to believe that the general public will view their candidate in the same manner that they do. That’s usually not the case, though, and that’s usually why a radical candidate doesn’t do so well in a General Election compared to a more centrist candidate.

There are exceptions to that rule, of course, and 2016 is arguably one example of that, but there were several factors at play in 2016 that made a Trump victory most likely. For example, Hillary Clinton’s favorable/unfavorable numbers leading up to the election were nearly as bad as Trump’s. On the eve of the 2016 election specifically Clinton’s numbers were at 41.8% Favorable and 54.4% Unfavorable. (Source) Trump’s numbers at the same time were 37.5% favorable and 58.5% Unfavorable (Source) In that sense, Clinton was the perfect candidate for Trump to run against because she was nearly as unliked as he was. Add into this external factors such as the role that Jim Comey’s letter two weeks before the end of the campaign played and the fact that the Clinton campaign made several key tactical and strategic errors regarding the Upper Midwest and the perfect storm for Trump’s victory becomes easy to see.

That’s unlikely to happen this time, but that doesn’t mean that Trump is doomed. One way Democrats can lose again is if they end up nominating a candidate that purports to pull the party and the nation too far to left when it comes to policy. This is the problem that nominating Warren, Sanders, or Harris presents. Because of the policy positions they’ve presented, it is going to be hard for them to pivot to the center, and easy for Republicans to use those policy provisions against them both to rile up their own base and to effectively scare away more moderate voters. Democrats need to keep this in mind as they decide who to support in 2020.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, Donald Trump, Elizabeth Warren, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Gustopher says:

    that’s usually why a radical candidate doesn’t do so well in a General Election compared to a more centrist candidate.

    We actually cannot measure that. We cannot replay the election with different candidates, so we have no idea.

    But, how often does the safe choice win the general election?

    Hillary Clinton lost, after defeating insurgent Bernie Sanders.
    Obama Reelection against Romney who was the safe choice on the Republican side
    Obama won the general, after defeating the safer Clinton.
    John Kerry best the lefty Howard Dean and a few others, went on to lose
    Al Gore lost
    Bob Dole lost
    Bill Clinton did defeat the insurgent Jerry Brown before winning the general

    We can keep going back, but the general pattern is that the safe candidates tend to lose, unless they are running against other safe candidates. Not always, but more often than not.

    Historically, Biden would need to be more than just “there” to win. Moderates don’t inspire.

    Warren connects with people who listen to her. Her problem in the past has been getting people to listen to her, but she’s been a whole lot more focused since the DNA debacle.

    And, I say historically above, since we really don’t have a good precedent for this election. It’s going to get disgusting, and maybe having Joe Biden as a caretaker president will be appealing to a lot of people. Trump might do all the inspiring Democrats need.

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  2. Stormy Dragon says:

    I’m reminded of my parents, who will definitely be voting for Trump, commenting on how they hope Biden wins the Democrat nomination because he’s “the sort of Democrat we could support”. The key point being they won’t actually ever support a Democrat, so whether or not the nominee is one they “could support” is irrelevant.

    Anyone who is considering voting for Trump at this point is going to vote for Trump and just doesn’t want to admit it, so appealing to them is a useless quest. What matters most for Democrats is enthusiasm, and I don’t think anyone is really enthusiastic about Biden.

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  3. Robert C. says:

    Disagree completely. She’s the only true populist who can counter Trump’s (grifting) rhetoric.

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  4. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    That strategy didn’t work well for Hillary Clinton in the last election.

    I find myself disagreeing given that Hillary won the popular vote by a number that would normally have provided the victory. Hillary’s mistake was not going after the “change in the sofa” if you will. By not campaigning in states that traditionally “swing” blue but elect a fair number of Republicans, she provided the opportunity for third party candidates to make the difference in the Electoral College.

    I still think that the key is not in figuring out how to appeal to so-called moderates but rather to get all the Democrats to agree to vote blue. What candidate gets that result? I’m not sure that result is available in a party that has progressives and nons.

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  5. Teve says:

    @Stormy Dragon: agree 100%.

  6. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon: @Teve:
    Ditto. Look at the head-to-head polls. What you’ll see is that Trump never gets above 42-45 points against any Democrat. The difference is not in Trump’s numbers, those are set in concrete – statistically there’s no difference between 42 and 45 when you have a 3% MOE. The difference is entirely in the numbers of the Democratic candidate.

    I’m starting to think Warren is the exactly right candidate to take on Trump. She’s fearless, knowledgeable and authentic – three things Trump is not. Warren can talk specifics, Trump can’t. Warren can cite facts, Trump can only lie. I don’t think his bully boy act will work on Warren.

    The danger to Warren comes from sexist Bernie bros and the progressive Red Guard who will no doubt stab Warren in the back when she shifts toward the middle for the general.

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  7. SenyorDave says:

    Based on this logic, why not just run a blue dog like Tim Ryan? The fact is that most of Warren’s (and Harris and Booker, etc.) positions are generally popular with people. Warren is very knowledgeable when it comes to finance, and I think her overall resume is impressive. Trump hates smart women, and I think she will chew him up in debates. The people who still like Trump will never vote for anyone but him. If the economy goes south Trump gets destroyed by any democrat. If it is strong I still think the percentage of people who believe him to be unfit will sink him, but he still has a shot. This assumes his mental faculties don’t deteriorate and that they don’t find a smoking gun on one of the many investigations ongoing.

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  8. Teve says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The danger to Warren comes from sexist Bernie bros

    and Bernie is never going to drop out because he’s too zealous, which could be a problem.

    At some point it’s going to be Warren Sanders Biden and Harris on a debate stage together, and if Biden survives that we might be stuck with him, but I expect Liz to take the lead by the end of the year.

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  9. An Interested Party says:

    This looks like nothing more than concern trolling, like a trend that happened a little while ago when Never Trumpers we’re telling people who the Democratic nominee should be…and it’s rather rich talking about how “radical” liberal policies are…as if anything the trash is the White House has done or anything that Republicans really want to do is normal…

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  10. Chip Daniels says:

    The assumption in this analysis is that both Trump and Warren can be studied with the framework of normal politics, where voters look at their policies and choose which one most closely aligns with their preferences.

    But Trump can’t be viewed that way. He only has one policy, that of white cultural grievance. Everything else is irrelevant to his base.

    Examples would be the farmers/ truckers/ white blue collar workers who have suffered directly under his policies, but support him anyway.

    Anyone who supports Trump today will support him next November, regardless of who the Dems put forward.

    As others here have noted, the election will be the outcome of turnout and enthusiasm.

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  11. Kit says:

    D’s need to 1) win the presidency, 2) win the Senate, 3) have a plan, knowing that a recession will eventually strike. Two out of three doesn’t do it. Warren seems like the best bet. Maybe the only bet. Otherwise, I think I’d rather see Trump implode during a second term, followed by a once in a lifetime landslide.

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  12. Scott F. says:

    It says something about this political time in America that Warren and the policies she is advocating for keep getting identified as “radical,” when she is so unabashedly pro-capitalism. The donor class so thoroughly controls the narrative that a wealth tax that would have been modest in Eisenhower’s day is so readily characterized as beyond the pale.

    Spare me the pearl clutching.

    According to recent NBC/WSJ polling:

    …70 percent of Americans say they feel angry “because our political system seems to only be working for the insiders with money and power, like those on Wall Street or in Washington.” Forty-three percent say that statement describes them “very well.”

    A message aligned with 70 percent of Americans is not a fringe position.

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  13. al Ameda says:

    Trump fatigue is what drives the bus right now. Strategically, short of a recession, I believe it comes down to flipping the 77K voters in WI, MI and PA who gave Trump the Electoral College , and I think Warren can get it done.

    It’s still early on, but Warren has exceeded my expectations. There was a bump in the road recently – Warren unnecessarily felt the need to apologize for the ‘Pocahontas’ fake story, which to me plays into Trump’s bullsh** narrative.

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  14. Teve says:

    @al Ameda: No. You don’t flip Trump voters. you nominate someone like Warren who inspires Democratic Party voters, so that the millions who voted for Obama but sat home in 2016 show up again.

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  15. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Teve:

    Well, you do flip some, but the ones who actually are going to flip have already decided to flip and are going to flip no matter who the Dem nominee is.

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  16. Kylopod says:

    When there are more conservative (and moderate) voters than liberal ones

    It’s convenient the way he lumps conservatives and moderates together as one group, while listing liberals as separate. He could just as well have said “there are more liberal (and moderate) voters than conservative ones.” It’s equally true, and equally misleading; by wording it a certain way he’s attempting to imply moderates and conservatives are united without presenting any evidence to support that conclusion.

    In fact there’s good evidence against it. Since 1992 (according to exit polls), the Democratic presidential nominee has always overwhelmingly won the vote of self-described moderates. That applies to both winning and losing Democratic candidates. That suggests self-described “moderates,” as a whole, lean Democrat.

    In fact there’s a good case that a lot of those so-called “moderates” are basically just liberals who are turned off by the l-word (or the p-word), because of the stigmatization it has received in our political culture.

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  17. Teve says:

    @Stormy Dragon: You flip a few. But 3.6 million people voted for Obama in 2008 who didn’t vote for Hillary in 2016. Inspire those people.

  18. al Ameda says:

    @Teve: Apologize for my lack of clarity.

    I meant to convey that we need to flip those states back over. I believe that the key for Democrats is ramped up turnout.

  19. Teve says:

    @al Ameda: (thumbs up emoji)

  20. Fortunato says:

    @Teve:
    At some point it’s going to be Warren Sanders Biden and Harris

    Buttigieg.

    Mayor Pete is going to surprise in Iowa.
    When elevated, he will excel.. and inspire. Democrats, and the nation, will find their ‘next Obama’ in Pete.

    Buttigieg/Warren.

    (one can dream)

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  21. Sleeping Dog says:

    Frankly, I believe that Biden is the easiest Tiny opponent, he inspires no one who would vote for him.

    I’ve been leaning toward Warren for several months and my one concern about her is that she is doing poorly with African American voters and if they don’t turn out a Dem can’t win. Perhaps when she begins actively campaigning in the South, her AA deficit will ameliorate, since she appears to have found a way to connect with voters beyond the wonkish libs. And I agree that the despicable Bernie Bros are a barrier for her.

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  22. charon says:

    These analyses seem based on today’s circumstances, but the nominations and election occur in 2020, and a lot can happen before then.

    @SenyorDave:

    This assumes his mental faculties don’t deteriorate

    No certainty here, but I think it pretty odds on they continue to deteriorate, and dementia becomes pretty obvious.

    Some discussion at this post, and the comments thread following the post:

    https://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2019/08/even-if-trump-is-impaired-he-wont-go.html

    Consider Biden’s recent verbal mishaps. I think by next summer age related cognitive decline will become more salient in the public’s thinking. In any case, I think capturing the Senate is pretty vital and I would expect better coattails from Warren for downballot races. No one actually has much enthusiasm for Biden, they are just resigned to the idea he is electable. (Not that anyone actually knows who really is electable).

  23. Carol says:

    @Gustopher: You forget the Mondale, and Dukakis campaigns. Both were perceived as and campaigned against as liberals. It seems to me both these examples are more appropriate than the ones you cited. That’s when the pendulum swung to the right and has stayed there well entrenched since Reagan. A far left candidate simply cannot win the general election in 2020.

  24. Gustopher says:

    @Fortunato: I do think that there is a decent chance that one of the “lesser” candidates will surge — Harris doesn’t seem to hold onto support after she gets a surge of interest. And Buttigieg is possible, but so are Booker, Klobuchar and maybe even the new “no fucks to give, but lots of fucks to say” Beto.

    But, Warren isn’t going to be anyone’s VP. Buttigieg/Warren won’t happen.

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  25. charon says:

    @Carol:

    No, they were both pretty bland. Bush got a lot of mileage from his”L word” crap, but”liberal” was just the GOP demonization, these guys were not fire-breathing far lefties.

    The GOP progression to the far right was a natural result of GOP behavior, it had nothing to do with who the Democrats nominated for POTUS>

  26. charon says:

    @Gustopher:

    Buttigieg/Warren won’t happen.

    Buttigieg/anyone won’t happen. Someone/Buttigieg maybe, I hope not.

  27. Gustopher says:

    @Carol: I stopped when I could no longer remember who they ran against in the primary. But, Wikipedia is my friend.

    Dukakis beat Jesse Jackson in the primaries, and I think we can safely say that between the two of them, Dukakis was the more moderate.
    He did run against Poppy Bush, who was also the moderate choice of the Republican Party.

    Mondale was VP, so he’s really as establishment as they come. And he beat Gary Hart and Jesse Jackson in the primary.

    Moderates tend to lose.

    (I’m sure Jesse Jackson would have lost too, but that’s a horse of another color.)

  28. Kylopod says:

    @Carol:

    You forget the Mondale, and Dukakis campaigns. Both were perceived as and campaigned against as liberals. It seems to me both these examples are more appropriate than the ones you cited. That’s when the pendulum swung to the right and has stayed there well entrenched since Reagan. A far left candidate simply cannot win the general election in 2020.

    First of all, Mondale and Dukakis were liberals, but they weren’t “far left.” Second, Reagan was extremely popular in 1984 and was pretty much a shoo-in for reelection, no matter who he’d faced. Dukakis is a bit more complicated, as it’s the only election since the 1950s where the incumbent party won a third straight term, and there’s no question Dukakis was hurt by a perception as being too “soft” on crime, as well as his infamously bloodless answer to the death penalty question. But Dukakis was also a boring, uninspiring technocrat; he’s completely unlike candidates like Warren or Sanders who speak with passion and light up crowds. And the fact is that Dukakis was still running to replace a popular incumbent during a period of economic growth. That wasn’t enough for Al Gore or Hillary Clinton–but recall that they both won the popular vote, and they were both boring, uninspiring technocrats.

    The idea that any sort of candidate “can’t win” is overly reductive and simplistic, and was something people said about almost every winning candidate in the modern era, from Reagan to Clinton to Obama to Trump. None of those candidates were “far left,” of course (though Obama was often described that way, and Reagan and Trump were considered too far to the right to win). Elections can’t be reduced to one single element such as the ideology or electability of a particular candidate; they are far more referendums on the incumbent party than they are assessments of the challenger.

  29. Lounsbury says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    This and the similar comments are pure bollocks, and special pleading. Were such analysis really of any utility one could simply run

    Of course a core set of voters are set in stone for Trump – 35-40% of general electorate, but rather variable base on the State by State basis where the key is.

    The phenomena of voters that switched support from Obama to Trump rather indicates this argument from the Left is merely losing your election in advance by shutting yourself into the Left side echo chamber.

    Of course Mrs Clinton was a weak candidate – weak in her campaigning naturally and damaged by both own-goals and by Russian interference. The loss however was by a hair’s breadth and in areas of the Obama-Trump swing.

    National arguments are worthless tripe.

    This history should teach some lessons but as most comments show so far, it hasn’t contra bizarro world Corbyniste interpretations of moderates being losing path in a moderate-conservative electorate.

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  30. Scott F. says:

    @Carol:

    A far left candidate simply cannot win the general election in 2020.

    Then it’s a good thing that, as I note in my earlier comment, that “far left” isn’t an accurate description of Senator Warren.

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  31. Scott F. says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I’ve been leaning toward Warren for several months and my one concern about her is that she is doing poorly with African American voters and if they don’t turn out a Dem can’t win.

    I’ve always liked Warren and I’ve been impressed by her campaign so far. That said, it’s her weakness with African American voters that has me thinking it is way too early to write off Harris. If Biden falters, and between his past campaigning record and his age it should be expected, Harris is in the best position to pull the AA vote Biden currently has in his camp as Obama’s VP.

  32. Kylopod says:

    @Lounsbury:

    National arguments are worthless tripe.

    You know what’s really worthless tripe? Sweeping, simplistic, absolutist statements like “A far left candidate cannot win” or “National arguments are worthless tripe.”

    If one wants to make a case that, other things being equal, a candidate more on the left is weaker than one in the center, that’s a reasonable argument to make. I’m not saying I totally agree, but it’s at least reasonable. One might suppose that they’d lose, say, 2-3 points compared with the centrist. But anyone who believes such a candidate “can’t win,” no matter what the surrounding circumstances, doesn’t have any idea what they’re talking about. It’s the type of thing people with a totally cartoonish, caged-match understanding of politics say. Elections are not binary, either-or affairs; their outcomes are always dependent on a complex tangle of factors.

    Similarly, while it’s true that presidents in our system are elected by an electoral college, that doesn’t mean that national considerations are irrelevant or meaningless. In theory I suppose it might be mathematically possible for a candidate who leads in the popular vote by 40 points to lose the EC. But in practical reality that’s never going to happen, and in fact, it’s extraordinarily unlikely a candidate who leads by just 5 points will ever lose the EC. The popular vote and the EC are just not that separate from each other. Even in elections where there’s been a divergence between the two, such as 2000 and 2016, the divergence was not that great; the popular-vote winner only led by 1-2 percentage points, and the EC winner won by getting razor-thin margins of less than 1% in one or a few states (and in the case of 2000–and 1876, for that matter–the EC outcome was fishy). National considerations are very important; they just aren’t all-important.

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  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    You forget the Mondale, and Dukakis campaigns. Both were perceived as and campaigned against as liberals.

    In addition to the other things noted, Republicans have been running against whatever Democrat it is as “too liberal” since Mondale. It’s just bog standard. And guess what? If Biden is the choice, he’s going to be too liberal and turn the country into a 3rd world socialist sh!thole, too. It’s just how it’s done since Reagan.

  34. Kylopod says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Indeed.

    This conversation is similar to ones I’ve had with people who claim Obama is a Muslim.

  35. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Scott F.:

    Harris has been my alternate choice and I agree she could get out the AA vote, as could Booker. What concerns me about Harris, is that she allows herself to be captured by tangential issues, i.e. debating forced busing, along with not speaking clearly on a number of issue, such as, dissembling over Medicare for All and open borders. I like Harris and believe that potentially she’s a strong candidate, cut right now she gives all appearances of a weak, inexperienced campaigner.

  36. Jim Brown 32 says:

    I’m sorry, but outside of politicos… no Democratic candidate has the ability to excite the larger culture. Especially not black culture. The only ones I could drop off in a black barber shop or church who come off as authentic and actually connect with people beyond politics are Harris and Biden. Yes, that includes Booker.

    What I see not recognized here is that there is a real schism between white liberal women and black women which Obama suppressed. It’s now, and has been, plainly on the surface since 2016. Evidenced by the reduced turnout. I have a female relative who is quite the LGTBQ activist in a deep southern city. She’s a pretty good bellwether for enthusiasm….. There will be a major turnout problem for Warren.

    I get it… a sizeable niche audience loves her music. That doesn’t mean she has crossover appeal.

    Btw …Gabbard has all the tools and the moxie. Unfortunately she plays Bluegrass instead of Pop. She should make a run for Gov of Hawaii to build up some Executive bonifides…find an authentic, custom message, and run again.

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  37. Gustopher says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Have you seen Warren at She The People?

    Warren has an uphill climb to win over black voters, and she may fail, but authenticity isn’t her problem, once people listen to her.

    This is likely going to be a base election, and our candidate is going to need to fire up the entire base — white progressives, black and brown folks, and the unions. Two out of three might win the primaries, and right now no one hits three out of three. Everyone is going to have work to do to shore up a third of the base.

    My instinct/guess, based on the She The People performance and how it was received, is that Warren is going to be able to hit all three.

    Buttigieg, who is really my favorite (I listen to NPR, and apparently they have trained me to love him, plus he has a one-eyed dog, while I have a one-eyed cat), hits one of the three but I don’t see how he expands on that.

    (Beto has a turtle named Gus, which might be even more carefully targeted pandering than Buttigieg’s dog, but he’s cool and I don’t do cool)

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  38. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    Since moving the Cow Hampshire from St Louis, I’ve lost the day to day contact in the community that I had with African Americans and the opportunity to pick up the small neighborhood papers that hit on the current issues of concern. That at least gave me a sense of where the AA community was on a number of issues. I appreciate your input and perspective.

  39. Jen says:

    What concerns me about Warren is not her policies (which as others have noted are nowhere near the “far left” nonsense that she’s being cast as by both Republicans who desperately want to vote for someone other than Trump but have convinced themselves she’s far left, and the media who are trying to do the Warren v. Bernie thing). My worry is the unstated undercurrent of misogyny in this country, including from women. I’m already seeing more of the “well, I’d vote for a woman but not her” directed at Warren that we saw directed at Clinton in the last election.

    I think Harris is stalled out, no one is talking about her much at all in NH. If Buttigieg stays on his current path, I think he’s going to surprise people. In addition to a fairly strong presence at the IA state fair, he had a strong weekend here in NH. He had 450 people show up for a house party–that is not typical. Large crowd in Nashua on Friday too. I don’t think he’ll be at the top of the ticket, but as far as early states go, I think that in both IA and NH, he’s probably closer to being in the top 4 for the long run than Harris is, which makes me happy for Pete, but really, really wary about the optics, as it reinforces the criticism about the lack of diversity in the two states with the earliest contests.

  40. EddieInCA says:

    No Democrat can win the White House without 85%+ of the African American vote and high turnout from the AA Community. If Hillary had gone to Detroit a few times, and Milwaukee a few times, she’d have been President. If you all think that you’re going to get both high turnout and 85%+ AA support with Warren, you’re delusional.

    Trump will lose the popular vote but will win WI, MI, PA, OH, and maybe even Florida with Warren as his opponent. And before. you all start pitching Warren/Harris or Warren/Abrams, that ticket will lose 36 states. The majority of Bernie Bros are NEVER going to vote for a woman.

    Additionally, douchebags like Susan Sarandon will continue to muck up the process with purity tests. Fvck you, Sarandon. How did voting for Stein work out for you?

    Get real people. Look at the world we live in, not the world you want it to be.

  41. Fortunato says:

    @Gustopher:
    re: Buttigieg is possible, but so are Booker, Klobuchar and maybe even.. Beto.

    I’d love to see Klobuchar in either slot on the final ticket. I think she (like Pete) would shine if given the spotlight. I’m also certain Amy would mop the floor with Donny Two Scoops.
    Steel spine, pragmatic, seasoned and thoughtful. Klobuchar strikes me as the very best version of Biden. Peak Biden, if you will.
    IMHO Booker and Beto are Showmen. I like them both, but (unless forced) wouldn’t choose either as POTUS.
    Lot’s o’ Hat, few Cattle.

  42. Blue Galangal says:

    @Fortunato: Buttigieg has major issues with the African American community & voters. He’s a small town mayor. Is he more qualified than Trump? My peace lily is more qualified than Trump, but why we need yet another white man with problematic race issues when we could have Harris or Warren is beyond me.

    Klobuchar is equally problematic. The rage issues, the pettiness, the way she treats her staff (including other women) is disqualifying. Let her stay in MN. We’ve already had one temperamentally unfit inhabitant in the Oval Office. Again, why her, when we have the eminently qualified Harris or Warren?

    I don’t think Beto has the stick-to-it-iveness. I really wish he’d run for the Senate, though.

    tl;dr – the more Warren campaigns, the more her numbers increase. I too worry about that undercurrent of misogyny but is the answer to that an Indiana (!) mayor who tells African Americans he doesn’t need their vote? Mmm, no.

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  43. Jen says:

    @EddieInCA:

    No Democrat can win the White House without 85%+ of the African American vote and high turnout from the AA Community.

    You are absolutely correct, and this is what concerns me. There is a huge disconnect between the AA community/support and the broader Dem vote. This sets us up for a big problem.

    Biden: Strong AA support, no enthusiasm, no passion from other parts of the Dem coalition. This will affect turnout.

    Warren: Lots of enthusiasm from Dem coalition, muted/lacking support from the AA community.

    I think Biden is too old, frankly. He mixed up Vermont and NH this weekend–which would be understandable if we were in the home stretch of the general election. Not this early. Not with his third presidential race. NH is FITN primary, that’s *why he was in the state.*

    The winning formula has to be strong AA support, and enough of a change that the base is excited about voting. Right now we have one or the other, not both.

  44. Jen says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    but is the answer to that an Indiana (!) mayor who tells African Americans he doesn’t need their vote?

    When did he say that? He’s been working hard on the AA vote, released an entire plan, etc.

  45. EddieInCA says:

    @Jen:

    Almost agree with you.

    I agree 100% on the Warren stuff. You said what I wanted to say, but you said it better.

    As for Buttegeig, I feel about him the same as Warren. LA, NY, Miami, Dallas, Seattle, Houston, Chicago love the guy… Milwaukee, Ann Arbor, Wilkes-Barre, not so much. In other words, again, if Democrats think they can win the Electoral College with a small gay man from the midwest, they’re delusional.

  46. Jen says:

    if Democrats think they can win the Electoral College with a small gay man from the midwest, they’re delusional.

    Well, I thought that there was no chance the EC would go for a black man in 2008, so I’ve decided I’m not going to try and predict what excites voters. Buttigieg is pulling big crowds in NH. It’s still early and for all I know he might peak shortly, but I think he’s got a career ahead of him somehow, somewhere.

  47. Fortunato says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    re: Buttigieg has major issues with the African American community..

    About a week ago, on Morning Joe, Jonathan Capehart (WaPo) gave a synopsis of a fascinating story he’d just written, titled: What I learned about the Democrats at a family barbecue in North Carolina. (the article is behind a paywall at WaPo, but you can also find it in the Winston Salem Journal)
    Johnathan (50ish, gay, black) told of his informal interview of a group of primarily 60+ year old black family members and friends, nearly all of them from either NC or VA (i.e. rural south).
    The fascinating part of the story – this group’s nearly universal attraction to and praise of Mayor Pete. Capehart also relayed a widely shared admiration for Elizabeth Warren.
    Granted, it’s an informal poll of only 26, but I’m choosing to find it meaningful.

    And, re: Is he more qualified than Trump?

    I’m going to choose to let that one just hang out there.

  48. EddieInCA says:

    @Jen:

    Well, I thought that there was no chance the EC would go for a black man in 2008, so I’ve decided I’m not going to try and predict what excites voters.

    With all due respect, then you weren’t paying attention. In June of 2008, Obama took the lead over McCain, and other than one week, August 20, when McCain took a small lead in a few polls, Obama only increased his lead until almost Election day. On Oct 3, Obama had a 10pt lead over McCain in several polls. Obama, unless there was a catastrophic polling error, was going to win easily. And that’s what happened.

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  49. Fortunato says:

    I found Mayor Pete’s, “Ma’am, I’m not asking for your vote,” quote Blue Galangal had referenced.

    It’s a quote that’s been taken entirely out of context and crafted into a cudgel. By a lot of people.

    Interesting.
    In looking for that quote I found a number of.. slights of Mayor Pete, from a variety of sources. Many of which reek of political thuggery.
    Say it ain’t so, Joe.
    (actually, it has Kamala written all over it)

  50. Kylopod says:

    @EddieInCA:

    In June of 2008, Obama took the lead over McCain, and other than one week, August 20, when McCain took a small lead in a few polls, Obama only increased his lead until almost Election day.

    In other words, Obama led the polls less often than Hillary in 2016.

  51. Jen says:

    @EddieInCA: Yes, I know–I think I didn’t convey what I meant clearly.

    In 2008, when Obama was running for the Democratic *nomination* (which is what we’re discussing here, or at least what I am discussing) I wondered if he’d be able to overcome the rather considerable prejudice I still saw in parts of the country.

    You do not and cannot “know” that a gay man couldn’t win the EC any more than I worried/wondered if a black man could win in 2008. Obviously once the general election campaign started it became evident he could–and we simply don’t know if Buttigieg could do the same.

  52. Fortunato says:

    @EddieInCA:

    On Dec 3, 2007, just prior to the Iowa Caucus (Jan 4, 2008), Pew Research reported that Barack Obama trailed Hillary Clinton by 26 points.

    Gallup showed the exact same 26 point drubbing at the time.

    Clinton was soundly beating Obama, everywhere, until Obama pulled the upset in Iowa.
    (Huckabee won a convincing victory in IA, with 34% of the vote in a crowded R field. McCain came in at #4, with 13%)

  53. Jay L Gischer says:

    The things I keep coming back to is Warren’s polling trendline and her reported focus on town hall meetings.

    He trendline amazes me. It just keeps trending up, and up at a fairly steady pace. Whatever she’s doing, it’s working. This is in contrast to Harris, who got a big surge from one debate, but then it all seems to be leaking away as she goes back to her previous level of support.

    So what is Warren doing? She’s going to these town halls, where she can have a direct interaction with voters, and see what her impact is, and refine her message. This is what Ronald Reagan did for years as a he did a speaking tour in the early sixties. This is what standup comics do before a big tour – take their stuff in front of a live audience at small clubs or surprise appearances and workshop the crap out of it. This is what Trump did with all those rallies, and the show before that.

    So, I think Warren can improve her standing with African-American voters, just like she’s been doing with other voters. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are already working on it. Can we see a trendline about that?

    I think what we learned from 2016 is that crazy bold statements about what the candidate will do (“build a wall!”, “Free college”) are things that the general electorate likes, not dislikes. Mind you, I don’t like them that much, but it’s clear to me that lots and lots of people do. They take it as an indication of where your heart is. Policymaking – lawmaking, is hard, and full of complexities. This is a republic, and so we elect people to deal with the complexity, but we want to know where their hearts are.

  54. Marsha C says:

    @Gustopher: Instructively one might also look at two very different candidates that Democrats ran against Richard Nixon. In 1968, facing mounting opposition to the Vietnam war, Democrats played it safe and ran with a mainstream Democrats Hubert Humphrey, the vice president in the outgoing presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. Popular votes cast: 31,710,470 votes for Nixon, Humphrey 30,898,055, Independent George C. Wallace 9,906,473. In electoral votes, however, Nixon received 301, Humphrey 191, and Wallace 46. The 800,000 votes Humphrey didn’t receive cost him 120 electoral votes, while Wallace’s less than 10 million votes garnered him 46 electoral votes!

    Four years later, after Nixon had become very unpopular not only with the country at large but with his fellow Republicans, he ran again, this time against Sen. George McGovern. Nixon received 46,740,323 popular votes to McGovern’s 28,901,598, a sizable 3-2 imbalance to be sure. But the electoral college vote was wildly disproportionate even to this disparity–520 to 17 in Nixon’s favor.

    In Bush v. Gore in 1990, Gore had nearly half a million more popular votes than Bush, but Bush had more electoral votes (271 to Gore’s 266). Third party candidate Ralph Nader received 2,882,955 but zero electoral votes. And, as we all know, Trump received 62,980,160 to Hillary Clinton’s 65,845,063 (6.5 million votes cast for third party candidates) but Trump ended up with 304 electoral votes to Clinton’s 227.

    I’m sorry to say that at this point, whether Democrats go with Biden or any of his more progressive challengers like Warren or Bernie, or any of the other candidates running at the moment, structural factors embedded in the electoral system make it likely that Democrats will lose the presidency in 2020. Whomever they chose, a wave of recrimination will follow, with both centrists and progressives walloping one another with, “I told you so!” None of the pundits will take the time to analyze the uphill battle that ANY Democrat will have had to face.

    Our last best hope is that Republicans, for whatever reason, don’t run Trump again.

  55. Kylopod says:

    @Jen:

    In 2008, when Obama was running for the Democratic *nomination* (which is what we’re discussing here, or at least what I am discussing) I wondered if he’d be able to overcome the rather considerable prejudice I still saw in parts of the country.

    Even after the general election began, there were quite a few doubters. There was talk of the Bradley Effect, talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, talk about Republican skulduggery in the vote-counting (many Dems to this day still believe John Kerry was cheated victory in 2004 due to irregularities in the Diebold machines). And while Obama did lead the polls most of the time, he didn’t really start to run away with it until the crash of the banks in mid-September. When McCain acquired his (what would turn out to be) temporary lead following the convention, there was panicking among many Dems.

    In hindsight it’s easy to say the doubters were wrong. But the fact is that I encountered numerous people who told me Obama couldn’t win, that nominating him would be suicide for the Dems, and they said it with the same smug certainty as some in this thread have said about several of the current candidates. That’s why I have trouble taking the present declarations seriously. Nobody knows how an election will go until it happens, and as I said earlier, blithe, sweeping statements that a particular candidate or type of candidate “can’t win” reveal a totally cartoonish understanding of politics and are the types of statements that have been shown to be false many, many times in the past. One can always find distinctions between then and now. No election is exactly like other elections, and no candidate is exactly like other candidates. But you should always be skeptical when people try to reduce an election to some simple formula or write off entire categories of candidates.

  56. Scott F. says:

    @Fortunato:

    Actually, this far ahead of the Iowa caucuses in 2007, we were hearing these same electability arguments in light of a woman and a black man being in the lead. One of the more electable alternatives??? Joe Biden.

  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @EddieInCA:

    How did voting for Stein work out for [Sarandon]?

    I assume it worked just fine. Her conscience is clear, and that’s all that matters.

  58. Fortunato says:

    @Scott F.:
    And a decade earlier, in 1987, Joe Biden was widely considered to be among the strongest and most electable candidates of that Democratic primary.
    That was until reports of plagiarism and exaggerating his academic record would force him to exit the race, prior to the Iowa caucus.

    In this, his third attempt, should Joe secure the nomination you can be certain the GOP’s dark money PACs won’t bring any of this history to light.

    ha
    ha-ha-ha
    HAAAAAAA-HAAA-HAAAAA!

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Blue Galangal: Alas, the word “man” in your question covers the problem just fine.

    We nominated a woman last time, and that didn’t work at all.

  60. Teve says:

    The things I keep coming back to is Warren’s polling trendline and her reported focus on town hall meetings.

    He trendline amazes me. It just keeps trending up, and up at a fairly steady pace. Whatever she’s doing, it’s working. This is in contrast to Harris, who got a big surge from one debate, but then it all seems to be leaking away as she goes back to her previous level of support.

    So what is Warren doing? She’s going to these town halls, where she can have a direct interaction with voters, and see what her impact is, and refine her message. This is what Ronald Reagan did for years as a he did a speaking tour in the early sixties. This is what standup comics do before a big tour – take their stuff in front of a live audience at small clubs or surprise appearances and workshop the crap out of it. This is what Trump did with all those rallies, and the show before that.

    Which is the big reason I’ve been very positive about her. She’s proven to be compelling in small, less theatrical venues, and she’s putting in the work, and she’s authentic, and she’s slowly building support in a way none of the others are.

    And nine out of ten positive qualities a person could have, she has, and Trump conspicuously doesn’t.

  61. SenyorDave says:

    @EddieInCA: No Democrat can win the White House without 85%+ of the African American vote and high turnout from the AA Community.

    That makes sense for the big picture. I pulled some data and discovered something interesting. AA women make up about 59% of the total AA vote. It is safe to say that AA women loathe Trump. I would be shocked if he got more than 5% of the AA female vote. But while Trump is certain to do better among AA men than AA women, he still would be very lucky to get 15% of the AA male vote. If you use 95% for female AA voters and 85% for male AA voters, the weighted average is 91%. And I think that is a realistic number for pretty much any Democrat running against Trump. Are AA voters more enthusiastic about Biden than Warren – I believe so. We will see if this continues as the lower candidates start to disappear, and Biden and Warren start getting more face time. Biden will have a lot of trouble with Warren, not to mention Harris and Mayor Pete, they are much quicker than he is at this point. Biden makes mistakes, and they will be noticed more among only a few candidates.
    Another thing to remember is that Trump has a pretty low ceiling of support, and while his supporters love him, those who don’t support him tend to really dislike him. He ran in 2016 against someone who was very damaged as a candidate, had problems with likeability anyway, and generally ran a mediocre campaign. Even with all that she still probably wins if Comey doesn’t open his mouth at the end.
    I think if the economy goes south Trump gets destroyed. Even if that doesn’t happen I think he loses. A fairly strong economy doesn’t seem to translate into a lot of security for the middle class.
    Lastly, Trump got a pass in 2016 in the debates. With all the talk about his mental issues, I think him not being able to complete a sentence much less a paragraph, is not going to be a good look for him.

  62. Jen says:

    It’s ridiculous to hang on each new poll that comes out, but the new Monmouth University poll is out, showing Warren, Sanders, and Biden in pretty much a 3-way tie.

    Caveats: very small sample size of fewer than 300 voters, with a big MOE of 5.7%.

  63. gVOR08 says:

    Warren seems to have a plan for winning the primaries. I wonder if maybe once she’s done that she has a plan for driving Black turnout in the general.

  64. michael reynolds says:

    Black voters are smart, unsentimental and tactical, they didn’t move to Obama till he showed he could get white votes. I think they think Biden is the best shot. And based on current polls, he is. But if we start seeing Warren beating Trump regularly in head-to-heads black voters will pay close attention.

    Warren and Stacey Abrams? Black voters would turn out for that ticket. Of course it’d likely lose too many men, but still I don’t assume Warren is a non-starter with AA’s. I think as befits an oppressed minority that they take this very seriously and want to win. If Warren looks like she can win, and especially if she has a POC running mate, the black vote will come out.

    Warren will also bring out the worst in Trump. He will hate her. He won’t be able to control himself and he’ll go so far off into misogyny it may turn the women’s vote even more against him.

  65. michael reynolds says:

    Also, don’t forget that Warren will have this influential couple you may have heard of campaigning with her: Barack and Michelle. Add in Stacey Abrams.

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  66. Kylopod says:

    @gVOR08:

    Warren seems to have a plan for winning the primaries. I wonder if maybe once she’s done that she has a plan for driving Black turnout in the general.

    It’s very unlikely she can win the primaries without significantly improving her AA support. That in itself wouldn’t guarantee good AA turnout in the general election (Hillary did extremely well among AAs in the 2016 primaries), but she would certainly be better positioned than she is now. The bottom line is that there’s still time. If she can’t improve her AA numbers, she won’t win the nomination.

  67. Teve says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Warren will also bring out the worst in Trump. He will hate her. He won’t be able to control himself and he’ll go so far off into misogyny it may turn the women’s vote even more against him.

    Yeah his ugliness will be in full force.

  68. Gustopher says:

    @gVOR08: Warren can competently and passionately discuss red lining, wage discrimination, predatory lending, and banks targeting black customers for subprime loans. Pocketbook issues that affect black and brown folks.

    Add in Abrams and the Obamas campaigning for her, and the inevitable white supremacist outrages, and I think African-Americans would be pretty motivated.

    I don’t buy the naysayers complaints that blacks would stay home rather than vote for her. I have more respect for them than that.

    Now, BernieBros…

  69. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: I wonder why he will want to lock her up.

  70. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher:

    I wonder why he will want to lock her up.

    That’s easy: faked Indian heritage.

    Remember our continual discussion about the difficulty telling snark apart from reality these days? As I wrote the above line I realized there’s a serious possibility Trump will say something like this. If she becomes the nominee I think it’s almost inevitable he will.

  71. Jen says:

    @Gustopher:

    I don’t buy the naysayers complaints that blacks would stay home rather than vote for her. I have more respect for them than that.

    Gawd, I hope so. The fact that black voter turnout declined in 2016 was seriously depressing and something that needs to be paid close attention to. Also, our estimates of 85% mentioned above are out of whack, apparently the record high was 66% in 2012. It fell to 59.6% in 2016. Source.

  72. Kylopod says:

    @Jen:

    The fact that black voter turnout declined in 2016 was seriously depressing

    It was also entirely predictable once Obama was no longer on the ticket.

  73. Jen says:

    @Kylopod: But did you look at the chart at the link? It didn’t just decline, it fell to a level that hadn’t been seen in 20+ years.

    From the piece:

    It’s also the largest percentage-point decline among any racial or ethnic group since white voter turnout dropped from 70.2% in 1992 to 60.7% in 1996.

    It wasn’t just Obama not being on the ticket. There’s something to pay attention to in that data.

  74. Monala says:

    @Jen: 85% was the percentage of AA voters who voted for the Democrat, not the percentage of eligible AA voters who turned out.

  75. Kylopod says:

    @Jen: It dropped from a record-high, but where it landed was not particularly low: it simply returned to pre-Obama levels.

  76. Monala says:

    @Jen: Yes, but the black voter turnout returned to 2004 levels, which was the pre-Obama high. This suggests that the slow-steady pre-“Obama bump” growth is still possible.

    As a couple of commenters at Balloon Juice often point out, we also have to take into consideration the impact of voter suppression activities after the 2013 Shelby v Holder decision as a contributor to the drop in black votes in 2016.

    Jen, I respect your views a lot, but I kind of cringe at the suggestion (which may not have been your intention) that the outcomes of elections should rest upon black voters, because if the desired outcome doesn’t happen, the tendency of some on the left is to then blame black voters. We’re 13 or 14% of the population; we can’t carry national or state-level votes ourselves. Yes, we need to encourage greater black turnout and fight against voter suppression, but it’s wrong to place the burden of Democratic victories on African-American shoulders.

  77. Kylopod says:

    @Monala:

    We’re 13 or 14% of the population; we can’t carry national or state-level votes ourselves.

    But AA turnout still matters. I’ve mentioned the stat before: if there’d been just a 1% increase in AA turnout in the states of PA, WI, and MI, Hillary would be president now. That doesn’t mean anyone’s blaming blacks for Trump. Notice that our discussion has been entirely oriented to how the candidates can attract black votes; if there are any fingers being pointed, it’s at the candidates, not the voters. But it’s also important to realize that every major demographic subdivision–black, white, Latino, young, old, male, female–matters, and in close elections even relatively small fluctuations can have profound consequences.

  78. Monala says:

    @Kylopod: No, I know that no one in this thread blamed AA voters. I have just seen it happen all too often, so I am cautious when it seems like a discussion might head in that direction. It’s also true that I rarely see the same discussion focus on Latino or Asian turnout, even though both are significantly lower than AA turnout (so there’s more room for growth), and the Latino population is larger than the AA population, so increased Latino turnout could have a bigger impact. The link I mention in the next paragraph also notes that voter turnout for naturalized Latino and Asian citizens is higher than that for those who are native born, the reason(s) for which are also worth exploring.

    At the bottom of the link Jen posted, there is a link to another article which talks about how turnout in 2018 was at all-time highs for a midterm, across all races.

  79. Monala says:

    Relevantly, I just saw this article in NYT, about how black male turnout is comparable to black female turnout, once you control for the number of black men ineligible to vote due to felonies.

  80. Kylopod says:

    @Monala:

    the Latino population is larger than the AA population, so increased Latino turnout could have a bigger impact.

    It could, though I’m not sure it does in terms of how it’s distributed in the states that matter most electorally. Latinos are concentrated the most in the Southwest and Florida. The latter is, of course, dominated by conservative Cuban-Americans. In recent years Dems have made significant gains in states like CA, NV, CO, NM, AZ, and TX, but the electoral benefits haven’t been fully realized yet. Dems will be helped if they’re finally able to win AZ, and winning TX would be massive, of course. But as long as they continue to fall short in those two states, they get nothing for their efforts, and Republicans still have a path to victory elsewhere.

  81. Monala says:

    @Kylopod: I think you’re making my point. Democrats winning Texas would be a huge victory, maybe even swinging the Electoral College, and it’s the state with the second largest Latino population in the nation. So why isn’t there much more discussion about how to increase Latino turnout in Texas? (Instead of the resigned comment you made: “But as long as they continue to fall short in those two states, they get nothing for their efforts.”) I recall reading one article in the mainstream media about efforts in one county in Texas to encourage Latino voting that had turned the county blue.

    Speaking of which, I wonder whether Julian Castro as a VP candidate would help swing Texas.

  82. Jen says:

    @Monala:

    Jen, I respect your views a lot, but I kind of cringe at the suggestion (which may not have been your intention) that the outcomes of elections should rest upon black voters, because if the desired outcome doesn’t happen, the tendency of some on the left is to then blame black voters.

    Oh goodness, no, no, no that is not what I was saying, suggesting, or even implying.

    All I was getting at was that a) black voter turnout had been improving; b) it declined in 2106; and c) it is an important voting bloc for Democrats, so ignoring them or assuming they will march in lock-step to vote for whomever the Democratic candidate is arrogant and unwise.

    The bottom line, IMHO, is this: the way that the Electoral College functions and how it places a higher value on rural voters in sparsely-populated states means that no candidate can assume that simply meeting minimums will propel the Democratic candidate to victory. Enthusiasm for a candidate IS important. The youth vote IS important. The black vote IS important.

    Picking Joe Biden because, eh, meh electability I don’t think cuts it. Picking Warren and assuming that black voters will “come along” is equally problematic.

    There’s quite a bit of time before voting starts and I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to find a candidate that people feel good about voting FOR.

  83. An Interested Party says:

    Btw …Gabbard has all the tools and the moxie. Unfortunately she plays Bluegrass instead of Pop.

    More like she’s on the AM station with all the daft conspiracy theories…

    Speaking of which, I wonder whether Julian Castro as a VP candidate would help swing Texas.

    A Warren-Castro ticket would be very interesting…

  84. Kylopod says:

    @Monala:

    So why isn’t there much more discussion about how to increase Latino turnout in Texas?

    I think there has been such a discussion. The problem is that it’s hypothetical at this point. Texas, which last voted Democrat in 1976, is seen as a much more uphill battle than merely keeping states like WI or MI as Democratic as they’ve usually been in the past few decades. Remember how I said a mere 1% increase in black turnout would have handed Hillary those states? Beto O’Rourke improved much more than that in both Latino turnout and support, as well as improving among whites and blacks–and still wasn’t able to win the state. So there’s definite potential there, but it’s academic until it actually happens.

  85. Teve says:

    Warren/Castro would be good. You know Trump would start calling them “Pocahontas and the Mexican.” 😀

  86. An Interested Party says:

    @Teve: Buttigieg would also be an interesting VP choice…he seems to know exactly how to take apart the phony hypocritical Christians like Pence and his ilk…

  87. Teve says:

    @An Interested Party: if Trump really is losing his marbles, and Warren and Buttigieg are the ticket, Trump could give them an even more …interesting nickname.

  88. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Monala: I think a Warren-Castro ticket would have a lot of potential to threaten the GOP hold on Texas and Arizona.

  89. Blue Galangal says:

    @Gustopher: To add to that, Warren is not afraid to make the big plays, like “Free college!” She’s good at sticking on message and keeping her communication clear. Then when the headline runs, it says “Free college,” and that’s the takeaway people will associate with her. You’re seeing this already on Twitter.

  90. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    I really like an awful lot about Warren. Probably my current personal favorite in the Democratic field. I wish she had chosen to do the Fox News town hall like Bernie did. She’s been caricatured so ridiculously over there that simply showing she’s not the insane far left Indian faker would reduce the impact of some of the attacks. And while I tend to discount “electability” arguments in general (and the more Biden relies on it, the less I like them this cycle in particular!), there are always exceptions. One of Clinton’s issues was that the right-wing universe had been so poisoned by BS and lies that low-information voters were legitimately more scared of voting for her over Trump. I don’t like that fact, but it seems inescapable to me. And after Hillary, probably the most reviled Dems (again, primarily thanks to wildly misleading attacks) are Pelosi, Warren, and AOC (pay no attention to the BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS misogyny they refuse to admit to).

    Basically, for Warren to win the general, I worry she would have to do what Clinton couldn’t, which is prove to a sliver of that rather large segment of the voting population that she’s nothing like the monster she’s been caricatured as. Ignoring/fighting/disparaging Fox plays well on sites and with voters that she would win anyway. It’s not about winning Fox voters over, its about not letting your opponent completely define you and in a tight election reducing the fear driving your opponent’s turnout is a good thing. But she doesn’t seem interested in that engagement, which is my only real concern with her.

  91. Tom says:

    Democrats are doomed. Trump will win.