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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Colorado Strategy v. The Ohio Strategy

At The New Republic, William Galston identifies two developments that should concern Obama supporters:

The first was a Ron Brownstein interview with David Axelrod, who said that he saw Michael Bennet’s 2010 senatorial victory in Colorado as “particularly instructive.” As Brownstein noted, Bennet prevailed by mobilizing “enough minorities, young people, and socially liberal, well-educated white women to overcome a sharp turn toward the GOP among most of the other white voters in his state.” The second event was DNC chair Tim Kaine’s selection of educated, new economy Charlotte, North Carolina, as the site for the 2012 Democratic convention. In the process, he rejected three Midwestern finalists: St. Louis, Minneapolis, and, most notably, Cleveland.

Taken together, these clues suggest that the Obama’s 2012 campaign will focus more on the Democratic periphery—territory newly won in 2008—than on the heartland, where elections have been won and lost for the past half-century. This could turn out to be a mistake of epic proportions. Why? Because the United States looks a lot more like Ohio than like Colorado.

He goes on to explain that white working class voters still outnumber the highly educated professionals who make up the president's natural constituency.