1,599 844 �Joshua Green
of policy ideas that lie closer to the hearts of most Democratic voters— and especially the Democratic voters of the future—than Clinton’s do. That’s why the “revolution” he’s repeatedly called for won’t be quelled for long, even though Clinton will be the one accepting the party’s nomination in Philadelphia. This is as much a demographic certainty as a political one.
In their 2002 book, The Emerging Democratic Majority, John Judis and Ruy Teixeira predicted that Democrats would enjoy an advantage in national elections because the major demographic groups that make up their coalition ( young people, minorities, and single white women) were all growing as a percentage of the electorate, while the groups that Republicans rely on (married white people and seniors) weren’t keeping pace. This proved prescient. In 2008 and then 2012, Barack Obama successfully activated what the journalist Ron Brownstein dubbed the “coalition of the ascendant” to win the White House.
Yet the rise of this new coalition has also had underappreciated policy implications. “The groups that dominate the party now are different than the ones that dominated 20 years ago—they’re further left,” says Teixeira. Indeed, millennials, minorities, and single white women all favor a more activist and interventionist government, particularly in the economic realm, than do other Democrats. Consider:
• A 2011 Allstate/national Journal Heartland Monitor study found that black, Latino, and Asian voters were twice as likely as white voters to say that government should play “an active role in regulating the marketplace.”
• A 2015 annual survey of college freshmen conducted by the University of California at Los Angeles found that more students identified as “liberal” than at any time since 1973.
• A December Democracy Corps poll found that unmarried white women favor Clinton over Trump by 27 points, while their married counterparts prefer Trump by 12 points.
These groups not only favor more liberal policies, they’re growing impatient for them. “They’re fed up with the lack of progress,” says Teixeira. In hindsight, it shouldn’t be quite so surprising that Sanders won more than 80 percent of voters under 30 in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, or that young single women have flocked to him rather than Clinton. “There’s growing evidence that these groups are open to the boldest possible reforms,” says Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg. “But they won’t engage unless they think you’re leading from the outside and willing to break down this system in which moneyed interests dominate government.” Sanders fit the bill.
To her credit, Clinton recognized this shift in the Democratic coalition and moved to accommodate it. She has embraced same-sex marriage, criminal justice reform, and tighter Wall Street regulations, while spurning calls to cut entitlement programs— a mainstream Democratic position as recently as a few years ago. “[You] deserve a president who will protect, and then expand, Social Security for those who need it most, not cut or privatize it,” Clinton declared in her March 15 victory speech. Most striking, she’s turned against the Trans-pacific Partnership, a trade deal she helped negotiate as secretary of state.
All this looks as if it will be enough to secure her the nomination. It may not be enough to satisfy Democratic voters under a future Clinton administration. “Minority voters, unmarried single women—these voters are very open to big policies,” says Greenberg, who lays out his own predictions in a new book, America Ascendant. “Whether it’s investment taxes, changing corporate governance, or progressive income taxation, they are supportive of the broadest possible changes.”
The rising Democratic coalition will continue to grow. Greenberg estimates that 73 percent of likely Democratic voters already belong to this group. Take millennials, Sanders’s most ardent supporters. Eight years ago, when Obama first ran, many weren’t eligible to vote. This year they’re as large a share of the voting-age population as baby boomers. By 2020, when a President Clinton would come up for reelection, millennials will easily outnumber them.
The important thing to understand is that Sanders is a vehicle, not the catalyst, for the increasing liberalism of the Democratic electorate. No one should make the mistake of assuming that just because he’ll go away, the agenda he speaks for will, too. “Sanders isn’t just a flash in the pan,” say Teixeira. “His success indicates something much deeper. For better or for worse, the Democratic Party is a party in flux and moving in a more progressive direction. And if you’re going to lead the party, you ignore those elements of discontent at your peril.”
including 467 superdelegates
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Ted Cruz’s stealth weapon against Trump The bottom line Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination, but the party’s future lies with Bernie Sanders’s supporters.
the GOP politicians who have said the Senate shouldn’t hold hearings on anyone Obama nominates, added that the president “probably won’t do that because this appointment is about the election.” Instead, Hatch speculated, Obama would nominate someone to please the Democratic base.
On March 16, Obama called Hatch’s bluff, announcing his nomination of Garland, the centrist chief judge of the U.S. appeals court in Washington, D.C. Following Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnell, Hatch promptly doubled down and said lawmakers should stonewall the Garland nomination. “Doing so will keep what should be a serious confirmation discussion from becoming denigrated by the toxic politics of this election season,” Hatch said in a statement on his website. “This approach to the Senate’s adviseand-consent role isn’t about the individual the president has chosen,” the Republican added. “It’s about the broader principle.”
By sending Garland into the partisan maelstrom, Obama has made the battle about a particular individual, one who will test the Republican strategy of maximum obstruction. In a Rose Garden ceremony, the president said that in discussions about Supreme Court vacancies during his White Houseuse tenure, “the one name that has comeome up repeatedly, from Republicans ns and Democrats alike, is Merrick errick Garland.” (Obama previouslyeviously passed over Garland nd to select two women justices stices who are perceived as more reliably liberal: Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.)
Obama highlighted Garland’s supervision, under the Clinton administration,ation, of the federall investigation into to the 1995 Oklahoma homa City bombinging and the successful sful prosecution n of homegrown wn terrorist Timothy othy Mcveigh. Between U.S. Department tment of Justice stints, nts, Garland was a partner ner at a corporate law firm in Washington.n.
At 63, Garland, a judge for the past 19 years, would be the oldest Supreme Court nominee since President Richard Nixon chose 64-year-old Lewis Powell in 1971—a factor that under ordinary circumstances might endear him to Republicans, who would prefer justices appointed by Democrats not to stay on the bench for very long. For all Garland’s ideological moderation, though, his installation in Scalia’s place would undoubtedly tilt the court to the left, giving Democratic-appointed justices a 5-4 advantage that could lead to liberal victories on such topics as abortion, affirmative action, campaign finance, and regulation of business.
The other reported finalists for the Scalia vacancy were Sri Srinivasan, an Indian-born colleague of Garland’s on the D.C. appellate bench, and Paul Watford, a black judge on the U.S. appeals court based in San Francisco. Of the three, Tom Goldstein, a prominent appellate lawyer in Washington and co-founder of the Scotusblog website, ranked Garland as the best qualified and, the Republican roadblock notwithstanding, the most confirmable. Garland, Goldstein w wrote before the announcement, is “essentially from central casting.”
As an intermediate-levelinterme appellate judge, Garla Garland has generally deferred to federal regulatory agencies in their confrontations with business. He wrote for his court in 2015 when it upheld a 75-year-old ban on federalfed contractors makin making federal campaign contributions. In oth other cases, he’s led panels that backed the Nation National Labor Relations Board when it ordered an IndianapolisInd company to reins reinstate workers who were fire fired after holding a strike to protest actions taken agai against a co-worker, and when the NLRB ruled against a California lumber supplier t that withdrew recognition of a union.
Given Republicans’ intransigence, Garland’s most salient characteristic might be his proven willingness to wait. President Clinton first named him to fill a vacancy on the D.C. appeals court in 1995, but the nomination languished before a Republicancontrolled Senate whose majority said the Washington court had too many members. After winning reelection in November 1996, Clinton renominated Garland. In March 1997, he finally won approval in a 76-23 vote; Republicans who opposed him said it wasn’t personal, and they were merely protesting an unnecessary judgeship. If a Democrat is elected this fall, Garland could follow a similar path to a seat on the top court. �Paul M. Barrett
Age Hometown Chicago Education Harvard BA in social studies, 1974; JD, 1977
Second Circuit Judge Henry Friendly; Supreme Court Justice William Brennan The bottom line The nominee for Scalia’s vacant Supreme Court seat was previously endorsed by Orrin Hatch, who now opposes hearings.