Deep Thoughts

The same faith in demographic determinism that lead people to declare that Donald Trump cannot win the election is leading them to declare that the Democrats cannot boost their share of the white working class vote back to the levels of 2008 or 2012.

But perhaps I’m being unfair. After all, haven’t we spent the past eight years marveling at the unsustainably high levels of white support for Barack Obama?



  1. I wonder if Obama would win a third term. Approval ratings say yes, but I wonder how much of that is because people know he’s not coming back, so they’re free to see him as they want to, whoever they are. I still think he’d win, but don’t feel all that confident about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When you consider that Clinton won by almost 3 million votes as the most hated nominee the Democrats ever ran, I would conclude that just about any replacement Democrat would have won against Trump. Add in Obama’s strong, well-established favorable brand and history of electoral overperformance, and it seems overwhelmingly likely to me.

      Obama’s current numbers are surely getting a boost from the usual end-of-term warm feelings, which wouldn’t be there if he was running. On the other hand, if he had run, he also would have been touring the country and executing a media campaign aimed at promoting himself. Presidential candidates are supposed to be able to do that. It’s only over the past few months that this idea has crept into our discourse that says that running for president must inevitably ruin a candidate’s favorability. That isn’t actually true.


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