August 18, 2014

SALENA ZITO: The Democrats’ White-Voter Dilemma:

White male voters haven’t felt that the Democratic Party has their best interests at heart since Lyndon Johnson, the last Democrat to win a majority of their presidential votes. The further left the party pulls, the more each successive candidate or president loses white male support.

That is particularly true in the industrial Midwest, South and West. The only white males whom Democrats tend to attract are elites in urban areas — and, of course, in Hollywood.

Republicans have a minority problem and a woman problem. Yet, in midterm elections, minorities and women do not vote as much as white men, and they voted more Republican in 1994 and 2010. (They slipped back to Democrats in 2006.) Both former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and former President Bill Clinton recently expressed frustration over the lack of organized Democrats trying to win back the white working-class vote.

Dean is particularly dismayed that state legislative chambers have swung Republican in historical numbers. Gone are the majorities he helped to build as the Democrats’ national chairman, when he targeted values voters through ads on farm radio programs; Democrats hold majorities in only 40 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers, and they hold both legislative houses and governorships in only 13 states.

A well-regarded Democrat strategist privately acknowledges that the party probably will lose legislative control in Arkansas and Iowa in November.

Part of the problem for Democrats is that they used divisional politics and class warfare so well to suppress Republicans that it backfired and suppressed white males from turning out for them, too.

Remember when they said Obama was going to bring us together in a post-racial America? That he’d be kind of the Tiger Woods of Presidents? But, then, Tiger didn’t exactly live up to the hype either. . . .