by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Why are so many in corporate media insisting that Sen. Kamala Harris is a “pragmatic moderate,” as The New York Times put it? Could it be they’re hoping if they can convince voters that Harris is a moderate then maybe, just maybe they can get the old Obama coalition back together again?
For the past four years, Democrats have been trying to figure out how to reassemble the Obama coalition. They seem to think the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket will do the trick, but they’re wrong.
That’s not to say Biden doesn’t have a good chance of beating President Trump in November. Trump, whose own coalition carried him into office by the slimmest of margins, faces the unique challenge of running for reelection amid a pandemic that’s crushed the economy. His approval ratings have always been relatively low, and he’s trailing Biden in the polls.
But if Biden wins, it won’t be because he managed to re-create the Obama coalition—much less that he re-created it by adding Harris to the ticket.
To begin with, Harris is not a moderate. Voteview, which tracks individual senators’ votes based on ideology, ranks her as the second most left-wing senator after Sen. Elizabeth Warren. By another measure, she was the least bipartisan candidate for the nomination. …
… The Obama coalition was not, as many in the media seem to think, merely a surge of young, educated, diverse urbanites coming out in droves. It was not a “coalition of the ascendant” that represented a new Democratic majority of workers in the “new economy.”
No, the Obama coalition depended above all on white voters in northern states, and especially on white voters without a college degree.