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The Challenge of Getting the Real Economy Right
Thursday, March 11 2010

The biggest challenge facing Democrats in 2010 after passing health care is getting the economy right - and this is even more important than health care. While economic growth is better than contraction and stagnation, it poses immense problems for progressives wanting the support of voters - starting with the growing gap between improving macro-level indicators and lagging micro-level ones, like job and wage growth. There is reason to believe - confirmed by this survey - that progressives are losing many blue collar and non-college voters as elites focus on “economic success."

The second big and growing challenge is the gap between the hopes of the new progressive base voters who created a progressive majority in the country in the last four years - African-Americans and Latinos, young voters and unmarried women - and their own experiences in this economic crisis - loss of employment, wages and health care and cutbacks in state services.   These voters are dominantly the “drop-off" voters - those who voted in the 2008 election but are not likely to in 2010. Democrats and progressive groups will have to craft an effective narrative - as the economy unfolds and these gaps potentially widen.