Most Democrats Care More About Winning Than About Identity Politics: Liner Notes

That’s the title for my latest column at The Federalist, which again highlights the seeming disconnect between progressive elites and rank-and-file Democrats. I have been encouraged to keep flogging this hobby-horses and am glad to do it, particularly as more data piles up to support the thesis.

In this case, it’s a YouGov/HuffPost poll showing that Democrats not only care more about winning than issues (the same is mostly true of Republicans in other polls), but also do not care much about identity politics when it comes to selecting a 2020 nominee. Indeed, to the extent that they have a preference on identity, it leans marginally in favor of the white, the male and the young.

If you are enough of a political junkie to be subscribed to this niche blog, you are undoubtedly aware that this is not the portrait of the Democratic “base” we get in the media.

These generic preferences do not seem to be helping Beto O”Rourke or Pete
Buttigieg beat Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders at the moment, but it does help explain why the latter two continue to lead in the early polling, while the latter two remain competitive with Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. Nor is it a slam dunk that a white guy will be the nominee; voters ultimately make individualized judgments about the candidates who run, rather than relying on a profile. But this is the point. Elites seem to be the ones profiling and it is far from clear that the masses care.

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