Are Democratic Voters Abandoning Identity Politics?

Polls reveal that the top two contenders for the Democratic nomination for president are former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders, respectively.

With multiple women and people of color in the race, we might expect that liberal voters would throw their support behind them instead. Often we hear from the Left that gender and race are important factors for 2020 candidates.

Perhaps voters - even those on the Left - are demonstrating that they are not playing the identity-politics game. Instead of supporting a candidate because she's a woman or because she's a person of color, voters are giving greater weight to other factors. That’s a good thing!

It's also not surprising either. It's consistent with recent Monmouth polling of Iowa caucus-goers. Some 87 percent of Democratic voters said the race of the nominee does not matter and 77 percent said the gender of the nominee does not matter.

It also harkens back to polling IWV conducted among 2018 midterm voters. We found that overwhelmingly voters (85 percent)  felt that gender is NOT a determining factor in deciding who they would vote for. A significant majority of Democratic voters also felt that way.

Now, that Biden and Sanders are in the lead, the media should scrutinize their positions. However, Biden and Sanders also enjoy "progressive privilege" which allows them to dodge questions other candidates would have to answer. Biden has a questionable past with women and Sanders is hypocritical about wealth (he has multiple homes and advocates for socialism). Their progressive credentials give them a pass in the media, which is not given to conservatives candidates.

If the Left can embrace candidates on dimensions other than gender and race, perhaps they can stop demonizing those who they disagree with.

 



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