THE WORD REPETTI
As Josh Barro points out today in a New York Times piece, if the Democrats are to retake the House this fall they’ll need the help of a diverse bloc of conservative voters. In Southern districts, voters on the right tend to skew older, whiter and more conservative than those in the rest of the country, and they tend to vote as a bloc, according to Jim Manley of Common Cause. This is likely to be a factor in this year’s midterm elections. Mr. Barro cites the research of Stewart Joyce, a conservative-leaning professor at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, who found that black candidates with higher-than-average political identification are more likely to succeed in political positions from which they came up. If the rise of the Tea Party is any indication, if progressives want to unseat members of the GOP in the next election, it will probably have to do so with help from disgruntled conservative voters — and congressional leaders in the new Congress will need to make an effort to build bridges to this “risk-averse” coalition.
No matter which party they choose to vote for, the left and right need to work together to win the future. As I pointed out in a piece for The Observer, this is why we should all be rooting for an economic populist to win the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. Given all the trends that are working against us, it’s no surprise that the populist left, the Democratic establishment and the white working class have been so interdependent throughout our nation’s history.