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Good Morning. A high turnout should usher in a democratic turnaround. What happened?
Americans under 40 vote relatively low. You are also leaning to the left politically. The same goes for Latinos and Americans from Asia.
This combination has contributed to a widespread belief that increasing the turnout would benefit Democrats. People of Bernie Sanders to President Trump have made this claim. Me too: “The real silent majority in the country prefers Democrats,” I wrote in 2017.
I now think that is at least partially wrong and I want to explain it today.
First a little background: A decade ago, journalist Dave Weigel – now a reporter for the Washington Post – introduced what he called expert responsibility. The idea was that journalists make a lot of analytical judgments and that we should revisit them occasionally to recognize what we understood right and wrong. This is a token of respect for the readers and may improve our work in the future.
Over the years, several journalists picked up on Weigel’s idea, especially towards the end of the year. I do that with today’s newsletter.
I’ll start with the more pleasant side of accountability. In hindsight, I feel good about pieces that explain why Trump was It is unlikely to win re-election, why the Democrats should hope Joe Biden will run for president and why the US would struggle to contain the coronavirus.
I feel less good about writing off Biden largely after losing New Hampshire and Iowa and being gullible about the 2020 polls. The Red Thread: Politics is less predictable than we journalists sometimes imagine. I’ll try to remember it better.
This idea also helps explain the misperceptions about voter turnout. Voter turnout rose in 2020, but Democrats fared worse than expected. Yes, they defeated Trump, but they didn’t recapture the Senate (for now) and lost ground in the House of Representatives and state legislatures.
How could that be when the large populations with low turnout – millennials, Latinos, and Asian Americans – are leaning to the left?
Because the rare voters in these groups are less liberal than the frequent voters. “For example, Latino non-voters seem to have a higher opinion of Trump than Latino voters,” said Yanna Krupnikov, a political scientist at Stony Brook University. Overall, non-voters split roughly evenly between Democratic and Republican Leans, according to a recent study by the Knight Foundation.
Once you’ve figured it out, the pattern makes some sense. It’s about social class.
People who don’t vote (or don’t vote until 2020) are more likely to be workers – that is, they don’t have a college degree – than reliable voters, Knight concluded. And working class Americans are more conservative on several big issues, including abortion, guns, and immigration. They also trust less institutions and elites.
The fact that voter turnout soared this year and Democrats did not do as well as expected is another example of the party’s struggles with working class voters. and not just working class whites. Whether Democrats can figure out how to do better may be the biggest emerging question in American politics.
Have you changed your mind about anything lately? Send an email to [email protected] and put “Mind Change” in the subject line.
THE LATEST NEWS
Each December, Times Magazine celebrates some of the notable people who have died during the year in an issue called The Lives They Lived. The latest one is out this morning and includes:
Chadwick Boseman, the actor who built his career portraying giants of American history.
Mimi Jones, a civil rights activist best known for participating in the 1964 St. Augustine Swim-In.
Bill Withers, the three-time Grammy Award winner whose songs turned the love, struggles, regrets and joy of working people into art.
Tom Seaver, the greatest New York Met of all time.
Cecilia Chiangwho, with a little help from Henry Kissinger, escaped the war in China and shaped Chinese food in the United States.
Subscriber Support makes the Times journalism possible. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can become one today.
ART AND IDEAS
Building a podcasting empire
For the past two years, Spotify has been trying to become the go-to place for podcasts and music.
In May, the company signed a more than $ 100 million deal with popular podcaster Joe Rogan. Spotify has also signed exclusive deals with the Obamas, Kim Kardashian West and Prince Harry and his wife Meghan. And it has bought high profile podcasting companies including Gimlet Media – the maker of “Crimetown” and “Reply All” – and The Ringer, which focuses on sports and pop culture.
Why is Spotify so invested in podcasts? She sees it as an opportunity to do more Money from advertising allowed as music alone. Podcasts allow advertisers to “have a closer relationship with the user,” a Spotify executive told CNBC, adding that advertisers also like the user data the company is tracking.
Deals with stars like Rogan are another draw for advertisers, an analyst told The Times: “Spotify is not only buying Joe Rogan’s extensive and future content library, but also its loyal audience.”
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook
What to hear
Would you like to fall in love with Mozart, opera or piano? It only takes five minutes to listen, and this list is a good place to start.
Read this interview with actress Carey Mulligan, who starred in Promising Young Woman, an upcoming dark comedy about approval and revenge.
Scooby Snacks, Everlasting Gobstoppers, Burple Nurples: The Times art critic Maya Phillips wrote an ode to the candy “invented in the fictional worlds of television and movies and conjured up from the imagination like Peter Pan’s colorful cakes”.
Now is the time to play
The pangram from yesterday’s Spelling Bee was Moon walk. Today’s puzzle is up – or you can Play online if you have a Games subscription.
Here’s today’s mini crossword and a clue: The elf in “Elf” (five letters).