Edwards crudely framed the state of play in the South as a matter of race, sexual orientation, and class; in other words, culture. Said Edwards, according to the Financial Times, “Some people view the Democratic Party as strictly for gays and blacks and non-productive people,” not exactly the thing that the party faithful want to be reading as Election Day nears.
The Democrats’ challenge of retaining the Senate is compounded by a midterm electorate that is generally more rural, white, married, and churchgoing than in presidential years. For example, in 2012 less than three-quarters of voters were white. In contrast, in the 2010 midterms, that figure was 77 percent, five points higher. As Woody Allen said, 80 percent of life is about showing up.
A recent Pew Poll graphically likewise portrays the stark national divide, and the granular differences are gaping. Republicans hold an 18-point lead among non-Latino whites, while Democrats are ahead by 62 percent among minorities. Pew also gives the GOP a whopping 68 points lead among white evangelicals, but shows Republicans lagging by more than 30 percent among the religiously non-affiliated.