by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Nothing will come of [Jill] Stein’s recount (she earned less than 1.5 million votes nationwide) but her motivations probably have more to do with the future of the Democratic Party than with the outcome of the election, or even the fate of her own party. So far, Democrats’ reactions to their stunning defeat—weeping, riots, #notmypresident trending on social media—suggest the Democratic Party will turn even further to the Left.
That could well mean the Democratic Party turns into a something like an enlarged Green Party: popular enough in progressive coastal enclaves, but not a party that can win a national election. In that case, Stein might as well stay in the headlines as long as she can.
It’s not all that far-fetched. Democrats have been drifting leftward for years, prioritizing issues like gay marriage and climate change as they reshape their coalition to rely on college-educated urban whites and lower-income black and Hispanic voters. That of course means abandoning working-class whites, whom Clinton lost by a staggering 39 points. Exit polls showed Trump’s margin among this group was the largest of any candidate since 1980.
The lesson Democrats should take away from 2016 is that they need a bigger coalition, one that includes blue-collar whites in the Rust Belt and Appalachia. The lesson they seem to have taken instead is that half the country is racist and sexist, and they don’t want those kind of people in their party.