If a Party Doesn’t Stand for Things, Then People Won’t Stand for the Party

In other words, people have to like this crap. One of the key factors in Clinton’s losses in swing states was poor turnout among Democratic-leaning voters. In Ohio, black non-voters were more likely to think voting for Democrats would not make their lives better than black voters. While turnout in Milwaukee, Wisconsin likely was going to be somewhat lower due to Wisconsin Republicans’ full court press to suppress black votes, you still have to give people a reason to show up. National Democrats often divorce themselves from the Democratic Party, in the sense that they don’t identify as Democrats, but as individuals (who just happen to be Democrats). Combine that with local and state failures of governance–which to a considerable extent, are Democratic failures in governance–and Democrats can depress voter turnout all by themselves (boldface mine):

Many have lost faith in the government and elected leaders after watching their communities be torn apart by mass incarceration, police brutality, lopsided city budgets, struggling public schools, pothole-filled streets, untreated addiction and gun violence — problems that have long existed and that continue to fester as elected leaders come and go, Lang said…

Increasing voter turnout requires convincing people that their votes will make a difference and that it does matter who gets elected. Lang’s group is making a bet that, contrary to the view that voters are drawn in or repelled by the top of the ticket, organizers can spark excitement about the stakes involved in races that are closer to the bottom of the ballot.

Using money from a liberal advocacy group and a political action committee funded by labor unions, Lang nearly two years ago hired her first team of “ambassadors” who walked from door to door in Milwaukee’s 53206 Zip code, where about 95 percent of residents are African American, the highest percentage in the state . They asked a simple question: What needs to happen for your neighborhood to thrive?

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