Democratic Party relied more on women and Americans with advanced college degrees, while the GOP depended on men and voters with some college experience
The 2016 election not only altered the political parties’ hold on the Electoral College map, it altered the parties themselves. WSJ’s Aaron Zitner explains on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero. Photo: EPA
The 2016 election not only altered the political parties’ hold on the Electoral College map. It altered the parties themselves.
Women constitute a larger share of the Democratic Party, based on votes cast for Hillary Clinton. The proportion of wealthier Americans and those with advanced college degrees also expanded, compared with the 2012 election.
Men make up a bigger proportion of the Republican Party, based on votes that President-elect Donald Trump received, as do voters with some college experience but no four-year degree. Many of those voters have two-year associate degrees that provide an entry into many types of skilled labor.
The picture of the two parties comes from exit polls conducted during the past two elections. Those polls show whether Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton won a particular voter group. White voters without a four-year college degree, commonly called working-class whites, favored Mr. Trump by 39 percentage points, one reason that he won Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania, states where those voters are plentiful.
THE TRUMP TRANSITION
In addition, the polls show the makeup of each political party—what share of its members come from which voter groups. Under Mr. Trump, for example, Republicans drew almost half their presidential votes—some 48%—from working-class whites. Mrs. Clinton, by contrast, drew only 20% of her votes from this group.
In 1992, Bill Clinton had to pander to white bigots to win the presidency. In 2016, Hillary can call them what they are.
The day after the first presidential debate, all anyone wanted to talk about was the coup de grace: Alicia Machado, “Miss Housekeeping,” “Where did you find this? Where did you find this?” But the most remarkable exchange of that night had come earlier, when with a few blunt words Hillary Clinton reduced Donald Trump to peevish incoherence and, remarkably, conveyed the distance her party has traveled in the past quarter-century. If you listened carefully, you would have heard a kind of Sister Souljah moment, in reverse.
It happened after moderator Lester Holt pressed Trump on his birtherism. “Mr. Trump,” he said, “for five years you perpetuated a false claim of the nation’s first black president was not a natural-born citizen. You questioned his legitimacy. In the last couple weeks, you acknowledged what most Americans have accepted for years: the president was born in the United States. Can you tell us what took you so long?”
Trump tried to shift blame, pinning birtherism on the Clinton camp and its conduct during the 2008 Democratic primary. This is false. But more interesting than Trump’s answer was Clinton’s response. She didn’t just dismiss his claim. She pushed back in the strongest way possible. Trump “has really started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen,” Clinton said. “There was absolutely no evidence for it, but he persisted.” She continued, tying the birtherism to a larger critique: “[R]emember, Donald started his career back in 1973 being sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination, because he would not rent apartments in one of his developments to African Americans, and he made sure that the people who worked for him understood that was the policy. He actually was sued twice by the Justice Department. So he has a long record of engaging in racist behavior.” Clinton’s message was simple: From the beginning of his business career to the launch of his political one, Trump swam in a rank pool of prejudice and racist insinuation. And then, with Trump established as both a beneficiary and catalyst of American bigotry, she dropped the story of Machado, a former Miss Universe, on his head. “[O]ne of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest,” Clinton said. “He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman ‘Miss Piggy.’ Then he called her ‘Miss Housekeeping,’ because she was Latina.”
The cyberattack aimed at the Democratic Party is evolving in some unsavory ways.
Less than a day after a hacker, or group of hackers who go by the name, Guccifer 2.0 published personal information belonging to high-ranking members of the party, some lawmakers are getting bombarded with ugly messages.
Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, said in a message to colleagues on Saturday that’s she has received “scores of mostly obscene and sick calls, voicemails and text messages.”
The representative from California was one of nearly 200 party officials whose personal emails and phone numbers were published online as a result of the hacking at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Pelosi called the cyber breach “an electronic Watergate break-in,” and a “sad course of events” for the party and the nation.
Given the raucous and unconventional nature of this year’s presidential race, lawmakers fear the cyberattack is an attempt to influence the election in November. The fallout forced former Democratic Party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to announce her resignation just before the party’s national convention last month.
Her departure came after leaked internal messages revealed suggestions that the party favored presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over her former rival, Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.
Lawmakers fear this is just the beginning.
An emergency meeting among party officials and cybersecurity experts was expected to be held Saturday.
Michelle Alexander, legal scholar, human rights activist, and author of a recent essay in the Nation titled, “Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote,” joins Chris Hayes to talk about the presidential campaign, criminal justice, race, and the Democratic Party.
Bernie Sanders and his supporters don’t consider moving Hillary Clinton to the left a goal or even really a victory of any kind. They want to change America, not the stated positions of another candidate. And while he may not be beating her in the delegate race at the moment, there’s an argument that Sanders has already won by getting the issues he cares about into the political blood stream.
If Sanders hadn’t been in the race, for example, would Clinton have taken a firm position on the Keystone XL pipeline, the minimum wage and the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, Asia trade deal?
In the early weeks and months of the campaign, she was vague on all of them.
“I can’t comment yet, because I haven’t seen it,” Clinton said last July in response to a question about her position on the trade deal.
Clinton had praised the deal in its early stages when she was secretary of state, but she spent the first six months of her campaign saying she couldn’t weigh in without seeing the details of a final deal.
South Carolina’s Democratic primary on Saturday will test the strength of Hillary Clinton’s support among one of her core voting groups, African-Americans, and show whether Sen. Bernie Sanders can connect with young minority voters as he has with young white voters.
The state is likely to be the most hospitable for Mrs. Clinton on the nominating calendar so far. African-Americans made up more than half the voting pool in the state’s 2008 Democratic primary, and national polls show that these voters strongly support the former secretary of state.
Mr. Sanders’s best hope is to ring up large margins among young voters, who flocked to his campaign in the Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada contests. But South Carolina has a far larger share of African-Americans — about 28% of the state’s population in 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau—than the earlier contests, which could benefit Mrs. Clinton.
As the results come in on Saturday night, after polls close at 7 p.m. Eastern time, the following regions will give clues to the outcome:
Charleston County and the Coastal Growth Centers: The coastal population centers are drawing new residents at a high rate, many of them former northerners. If Mr. Sanders is going to keep the race close, he will need to post strong numbers in these areas.
Young Americans are anxious to “disrupt” and upend a broken status quo, Roosevelt Institute expert tells Salon
What explains the runaway success Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has had so far among young Americans?
Earlier this month, Salon spoke with leading Democratic Party pollster Stan Greenberg about what he learned from conducting focus groups with millennials. “They think the system’s rigged,” he told us.
Greenberg’s findings were intriguing, and they suggested that the next generation of Americans are itching to shake up an economic and political system they associate with corruption, inequality and stagnation.
But as useful as focus groups can be, they also have their limits — which is where “The Next Generation Blueprint for 2016,” a new, in-depth survey from the Roosevelt Institute (which also helped produce Greenberg’s focus groups) comes in.
Recently, Salon spoke over the phone with Joelle Gamble, national director for the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, about the survey and what makes young people in America tick. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
You report a feeling among millennials that the social contract that has been in place since the New Deal is in some ways broken. What do you mean by that?
The “Blueprint for 2016,” our survey of 1,000 young people from 160 schools, did give us a sense that there was a desire to reimagine, for a changing America, the basic building blocks of our economic, civic and social well-being, because we felt like the rules as they are right now are just broken. A lot of folks have grown up in an environment where the job market wasn’t what it was promised to be. We’ve graduated or are going to graduate, if we went to college, with a lot of student loan debt. We see a lot of our family members, even ourselves, not feeling safe on their own streets.
So we feel like this contract, this promise between government and its citizens to provide the basic building blocks of our economic, civic and social well-being just wasn’t fair, which is why we thought issues like education and the economy and human rights come to the top of the agenda, and why our Blueprint calls for candidates and elected officials to prioritize action in these three areas, not just during their terms, but aggressively in their approach to their first 100 days after the election. Because we believe that these are necessary in order to secure and achieve a vision that embraces the human dignity of everyone.
The long and sometimes arcane ritual of electing the next U.S. president begins on Monday in more than 1,100 schools, churches and libraries across Iowa, a state that wields political influence far greater than its small size.
After more than a year of up-close and personal evaluation of the candidates, Iowans will gather with their neighbors on what promises to be a cold wintry night to kick off the state-by-state process of picking the Republican and Democratic nominees for the Nov. 8 presidential election.
The starring opening-night role of the largely rural Midwestern state in the presidential drama, now four decades old, is a source of pride for Iowa voters, who spend months evaluating the candidates, looking them in the eye and asking questions.
“Iowans see it as a great privilege and a great gift. They take their role very seriously,” said Tom Henderson, chairman of the Democratic Party in Polk County, home to Iowa’s biggest city, Des Moines.
The caucuses will begin on Monday at 7 p.m. CST, and results are expected within two or three hours. Most gatherings will be in schools, community centers or other public locations, although at least two Republican caucuses will be in private homes and one Democratic caucus will be held at an equestrian center.
Turnout varies by community, with up to 1,000 people typically gathering in cities like Des Moines, while a few dozen or less may gather in more sparsely populated areas.
The state Republican and Democratic parties run their caucuses separately, although in some areas they hold them in different parts of the same building. Republicans will have more than 800 caucus sites, and Democrats will have about 1,100.
The two parties also have different rules. Iowa Democrats gather in groups by candidate preference in a public display of support, a tradition that can allow for shifts back and forth. If a candidate does not reach the threshold of support of 15 percent of voters in a caucus needed to be considered viable, that candidates’ supporters are released to back another contender, leading to another round of persuasion.
Republicans are more straightforward. They write their vote privately on a sheet of paper that is collected and counted at the site by caucus officials. A surrogate or volunteer from each campaign may speak to their neighbors in a last-ditch plea for support, adding to the uncertainty going into the process.
Neither party is offering voter turnout estimates this year, although many Iowans predict the Republicans will surpass the 121,503 who turned out in 2012. In the last contested Democratic caucus, in 2008, excitement over Barack Obama’s candidacy spurred a record turnout of 239,872.
Iowa, the 30th most populated state, and tiny New Hampshire, which holds the second nominating contest on Feb. 9, have traditionally served as early filters to winnow out the losers and elevate the top contenders for later contests.
But Iowa Republicans recently have had a spotty record at backing the ultimate presidential nominees. Neither the Republican winner in 2008, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, nor the winner in 2012, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, managed to win the party nomination.
Iowa Democrats did back the party’s last two nominees: John Kerry in 2004 and Obama in 2008, which ultimately launched Obama’s drive to the White House.
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. — Centrist Democrats were wiped out in the 2014 elections and in their absence emerged a resurgent liberal movement, embodied most recently by the surprisingly competitive presidential campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
But the suddenly ascendant left — its populist overtones becoming part of the mainstream Democratic pitch — is worrying Democrats who want to compete on Republican-leaning turf. The party lost every competitive gubernatorial and Senate race in the South last year. And Democrats didn’t fare much better in the heartland.
Now, as Bernie Sanders’ surge foreshadows a new burst of progressivism, moderate Democrats are looking to their counterparts in Washington with a plea: Don’t freeze us out.
“The national Democratic Party’s brand makes it challenging for Democrats in red states oftentimes and I hope that going forward, the leaders at the national level will be mindful of that and they will understand that they can’t govern the country without Democrats being able to win races in red states,” said Paul Davis, who narrowly failed to unseat Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback last year.
Davis and his ilk were partly victims of a historically dismal year for Democrats, who saw their gubernatorial ranks fall to 18. Their candidates were weighed down by perceptions that President Barack Obama was too liberal. Now, Democrats in red states are worried that the party’s shift toward an even more polarizing, populist tone could turn off the swing voters they need to mount a comeback in 2015 and 2016, when a handful of GOP-tilted states with Democratic governors are on the ballot.
“It’s important that the Democratic party be ‘big-tent,’” said Vincent Sheheen, who lost last year to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. “So if the result of that kind of rhetoric is an antagonism toward or a hostility toward the moderate elements of the Democratic Party then yeah, it’s big trouble and big problems.”
“We’ll never take back Congress unless we can win in the South. We’ll never take back governorships unless we can win in the South,” he added.