I wanted to call attention to this passage in Ezra Klein’s piece in the New York Times on progressive pollster David Schor’s gripes about the present trajectory of the Democratic Party:
Shor believes the party has become too unrepresentative at its elite levels to continue being representative at the mass level. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the people we’ve lost are likely to be low-socioeconomic-status people,” he said. “If you look inside the Democratic Party, there are three times more moderate or conservative nonwhite people than very liberal white people, but very liberal white people are infinitely more represented. That’s morally bad, but it also means eventually they’ll leave.” The only way out of this, he said, is to “care more and cater to the preference of our low-socioeconomic-status supporters.”
which is amplified by this quotation:
“In the summer, following the emergence of ‘defund the police’ as a nationally salient issue, support for Biden among Hispanic voters declined,” Shor said in a March interview with New York magazine. “So I think you can tell this microstory: We raised the salience of an ideologically charged issue that millions of nonwhite voters disagreed with us on. And then, as a result, these conservative Hispanic voters who’d been voting for us despite their ideological inclinations started voting more like conservative whites.”
You may notice that closely resembles things I have been drawing attention to for some time.
If you believe that affiliation is dispositive and that Democratic voters will continue to vote for Democratic candidates because they’re Democratic candidates, that’s nothing to worry about. But if you believe as I do that, while affiliation is an important factor not only it not the only factor but it has been attenuating as a factor among the very voters on whose support many Democratic candidates depend. In many jurisdictions it wouldn’t take a massive switch of blacks or Hispanics to the Republican Party to deny Democrats who were expected to win election—just a few percentage points. That’s only impossible if affiliation is dispositive.