Obama & White, Working Class Voters II

David Paul Kuhn at Real Clear Politics looks at Obama's difficulty with white working class voters. The Archie Bunkers, as Kuhn terms them, have not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in decades, but Obama can't afford to do as badly among these voters as Kerry did, or Mondale, or he risks losing his re-election effort.

Kuhn provides a good historical overview, and a sound rebuttal to those who envision an emerging Democratic majority. Unfortunately, in his narrow focus on the role of economics in politics, I think Kuhn underestimates the way other issues, such as the culture war issues, dispose white, working class voters to back one candidate over another. Even Bill Clinton, who campaign and governed as a champion of the economic interests of white, working class voters did not win a majority of them because those voters care about more than the economy or, put differently, if a white, working class voter thinks a Democratic candidate is hostile to their culture values, they are more likely to believe that a Democratic candidate does not have their back on economic issues either.


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