Hamilton Nolan, In These Times

[Nolan is addressing a debate in Democratic Party circles that asks the question: what national electoral strategy will help Democrats do well in 2022 and 2024? Often, partisans either demand to include/remove less popular items from the agenda, especially those that center racial or other constituencies and their needs. This is related to the ‘Democrats should not pander to white working class voters’ trope.

What is new here, is a redefinition of the problem as being fundamentally about the loss of union members across nine states, especially in smaller cities that used to be manufacturing hubs. Viewed with that lens, the problem – and likely solutions – are no longer about messaging, but about organizing. — Progressive Hub]

There is nothing the Democratic Party loves more than indulging in some existential hand wringing over its declining popularity in the crumbling American heartland. Indeed, this was the favorite pundit pastime of the entire Trump era. Amid the wailing over cultural differences and economic insecurity, a rarely heard word is ​“unions.” Yet, a new report adds to the evidence that the fate of the Democratic Party is intimately tied to the decline of union power. It’s also one more sign that the labor movement itself needs to throw everything it has into new organizing with a fervor that has been lacking in our lifetimes.

The new analysis, by several Democratic consultants, parses election results at a county level to argue that the simple narrative that Democrats win urban areas, Republicans win rural areas, and the suburbs are a battleground, is simplistic and misleading. In fact, the report finds that Democrats’ biggest losses in the 2020 election came in ​“factory town” counties with smaller cities that traditionally relied on manufacturing employment — counties that account for 40% of all voters.

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