Tom Edsall had a fascinating item overnight, noting that white working-class voters have been steadily moving away from Democrats at the national level for many years, leading the party to adopt a new electoral strategy.
All pretence of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.
The strategy is sound. For Dems, winning over many white voters without college degrees, especially men in this category, is a losing battle. There are easier, more realistic avenues to success by making up electoral ground elsewhere. The NYT‘s headline on the Edsall piece reads, “The Future of the Obama Coalition.”
Dave Weigel, meanwhile, flags Fox’s item highlighting the same article.
In case you can’t quite make it out, Fox Nation’s headline reads, “NYT: Obama Campaign Plans to Abandon White Working Class.” The image shows President Obama waving while sitting alongside African Americans — at a basketball game, no less.
Sometimes Republicans use dog whistles, and sometimes they abandon subtlety and go straight for the siren.
For the record, the president isn’t talking about “abandoning” the white working class; his campaign is going forward with a strategy that wouldn’t target their votes as aggressively since they appear to be difficult to obtain. Indeed, Edsall reports, “The Democratic goal with these voters is to keep Republican winning margins to manageable levels, in the 12 to 15 percent range, as opposed to the 30-point margin of 2010.”
The Fox headline wants to push the notion that the president will somehow be hostile towards the white working class. It’s not quite as racist as Fox Nation’s coverage of Obama’s 50th birthday party, but it’s close.