The Thesis That Drove American Politics Crazy

Episode 235 · September 9th, 2022 · 32 mins 38 secs

About this Episode

In 2002, President George W. Bush stood astride the post–September 11 political world and Republicans looked poised to do the unthinkable and strengthen their positions in Congress in a midterm year. Yet liberal scholars John Judis and Ruy Teixeira published a provocative thesis: A new Democratic majority would “emerge” by the end of the decade. Traditional middle-class and working-class Democrats would be joined by growing ethnic minority populations, especially Asians and Hispanics; by working, single, and highly educated women voters; and by a growing share of the professional class, paving the way for a new majority. After President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012, the thesis seemed airtight and its guidance likely to live long after the decadal horizon its authors had adopted. Except, just after the majority “emerged,” it started to crack. Then came Donald Trump.

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