Expanding The Electorate In Iowa

go vote(Editor’s Note: Three candidates lead the presidential primary race in Iowa summer polling, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Political action is expected to heat up toward the end of the year, especially as families gather for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. There is a case to be made it doesn’t much matter which one of the three is the Democratic nominee because, as Sean McElwee pointed out, “progressives do not need a charismatic leader. Instead, they need to invest in unleashing the disgruntled progressive majority.” To the extent the Iowa Democratic Party is working toward that end, there is a possibility to keep Iowa a purple state. Maybe readers do, but I don’t see that happening as school begins and summer ends. Here is McElwee’s case for electing a progressive by expanding the electorate).

If Everyone Voted, Progressives Would Win
By Sean McElwee, Al Jazeera

In preparation for the 2016 presidential election, Democrats appear united around one candidate, while the Republican contest remains far from secured. Many on the left, who view Hillary Clinton’s stances as a tame brand of liberalism, have attempted to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., to run. But the progressives do not need a charismatic leader. Instead, they need to invest in unleashing the disgruntled progressive majority. A longer-term strategy for progressives should be to strengthen unions and boost turnout among politically marginalized populations.

“If everybody in this country voted,” the economist John Kenneth Galbraith said, “the Democrats would be in for the next 100 years.” There is strong evidence to support his claim. A 2007 study by Jan Leighley and Jonathan Nagler found that nonvoters are more economically liberal than voters, preferring government health insurance, easier union organizing and more federal spending on schools. Nonvoters preferred Barack Obama to Mitt Romney by 59 percent to 24 percent, while likely voters were split 47 percent for each, according to a 2012 Pew Research Center poll. Nonvoters are far less likely to identify as Republican, and voters tend to be more opposed to redistribution than nonvoters.

Read the entire article on Al Jazeera here.

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