In 2002, Ruy Teixeira co-authored The Emerging Democratic Majority. Now, two decades later, his new book is out – Where Have All the Democrats Gone? So what happened to the Democratic Party in those intervening years? A couple of major factors stand out. First, the Democrats have bled working-class voters – once the party’s base. This means that your average Democrat today is not a UAW union worker, but probably a middle to upper-class post-grad student at Harvard. Or Colombia. Or U Penn. Second, the party’s mission has been captured by extreme versions of wokeism, making progressivism synonymous with total agreement with the far Left. And while the Dems’ recent winning streak is attributable to the specific alchemy of special and off-year elections – in 2024, it will be a much bigger challenge to see how coastal elites and college grads sustain the party.
Ruy Teixeira is a nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he focuses on the transformation of party coalitions and the future of American electoral politics. Before joining AEI, he was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress from 2003 to 2022. He coedits “The Liberal Patriot” blog. His new book is Where Have All the Democrats Gone? The Soul of the Party in the Age of Extremes (Henry Holt & Company).