What Does It Mean If Our Base is the Battleground?

Democracy Elections Future Politics

            Puerto Escondido       Now this is interesting to sports fans, fellow travelers, radio listeners, and hardcore aficionados.  What if our constituency is the battleground for the 2024 presidential election?  I don’t mean our states, that’s a different animal, but our herd, and how they turn and run in those states and other states around the country could be the kingmaker.


What am I talking about?  One of the key things to watch according to “Upshot” that might decide the 2024 election is that…


            …Democrats and Republicans alike have an incentive to focus more on Black, Hispanic and young voters than on white working-class voters.


This is based somewhat on speculation, rather than some particular insight into how candidates and their campaigns are tailoring their message.


            You don’t hear any changes yet in the Republican primaries.  For example, if you look at the recent inability of Republican candidate Nikki Haley to say the word “slavery” when talking about the Civil War, until forced by public outrage.  Or, in another case, the continued harangue by Republican Ron DeSantis about the “woke” young and all immigrants, many of whom are Hispanic.  Finally, of course, former President Trump certainly hasn’t gotten the message, and there’s a better than even chance that even if he did get the word, his deep antipathy to all of these groups might make him unable to change his spots.


            No, it all comes from the polls, which say that these voters are either increasingly alienated or undecided.  Being able to move them to one side or the other could swing the election.  Most of this is a drift away from President Biden, so his ability to reclaim these core parts of his 2020 support could also be key.


            Regardless, for the rest of us, it’s an opportunity to raise issues that transcend the culture wars.  Affordable housing and tenant-friendly initiatives might come to the forefront, for example.  Increased support for living wages, lower prices, and workers’ rights would have appeal.  Something other than talking about the border and migrants, like a real immigration policy, would be a good move.  A pundit recently was kicking at the welfare-industrial state, whatever that is, but more support and continued investment in welfare and industrial policy, suddenly could be a vote getter and a game changer.   How about some attacks on predatory lenders, more advocacy for fair and equal taxation, an end to perks and privileges for the rich and Wall Street, and real policies on equity.  This is the opportunity for the kind of populism that appeals to what people want, rather than bias and xenophobia.


            Any and all of this might appeal to these battleground voting constituencies, especially if inflation cools off, wars recede, and progress is made on fake news and misinformation.  A lot of these issues would seem easier for Democrats to embrace, but wouldn’t it be a sweet irony to see Republicans forced to pivot to survive and snuggle up closer to some of these positions.  Not only might that help determine the presidency in the US 2024 contests, but it might even break the constant and continuing deadlock in Congress.


            Seems impossible, but we can dream, can’t we?