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gorillapaws's avatar

Moderate Democrats, what policies would motivate Sarah to vote in a hypothetical 2020 Presidential Election?

Asked by gorillapaws (22216points) March 16th, 2018

Sarah is a hypothetical voter who is a black, 35-year-old single-mom of 2 kids in elementary school. She lives in the industrial midwest and was laid off from her auto part manufacturing job in 2007. She got a new manufacturing job in the years that followed, but it was outsourced 2 years ago and Sarah now works 3 part-time jobs to support her family. She has an Obamacare policy, but can’t afford the large deductible and therefore doesn’t go to the doctor. She is counting on Social Security for retirement. Due to Gerrymandering, voting in a presidential election requires waiting in long lines and taking time off work (which she can’t afford).

What policies does the “moderate Democratic” platform offer Sarah to get her excited enough to overcome those large personal sacrifices to turn out to vote for a moderate Democrat candidate in a hypothetical 2020 run?

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10 Answers

thisismyusername's avatar

I bet she’d love Joe Kennedy’s position on marijuana

“f you smelled [marijuana] in a car, you could search a car,” Kennedy said. “When it became decriminalized, you couldn’t do that.”

There’s nothing African Americans love is a warm embrace of the police state and harassment of motorists, which disproportionately affects African Americans.

I suppose Sarah would also love Joe Kennedy’s opposition to medicare-for-all. She probably doesn’t want to go to the doctor at this point anyway. All they will have is bad news. Thanks Joe!

Or maybe someone like Tim Kaine (of Clinton/Kaine fame). He’s great. He has taken over $900,000 from financial sector in the past 5 years, and just voted to deregulate the banks. Go Tim!

Irukandji's avatar

Middle-aged black women already vote in relatively high numbers, and they typically vote for moderate Democrats. So you’ve kind of picked the wrong demographic to try and make your point. In fact, you’ve picked the demographic group that made up the most significant element of Hillary Clinton’s so-called “firewall” in the Democratic primary, that voted for Clinton in higher numbers than any other group in the US, and that saved the people of Alabama from having to endure the embarrassment of sending Roy Moore to the US Senate.

Good work making Sarah a single mother and placing her in the region with the lowest concentration of black Americans, though. I’m sure it will be even easier for her to live out the stereotypical life you’ve constructed for her while surrounded by white people.

funkdaddy's avatar

Specifics from the party platform, if not a specific candidate, that Sarah might be in favor of

We should raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over time and index it, give all Americans the ability to join a union regardless of where they work, and create new ways for workers to have power in the economy so every worker can earn at least $15 an hour.

We will fight to secure equal pay for women, which will benefit all women and their families, particularly women of color who are disproportionately impacted by discriminatory pay practices

Democrats will make sure that the United States finally enacts national paid family and medical leave by passing a family and medical leave act that would provide all workers at least 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new child or address a personal or family member’s serious health issue

We will make sure Social Security’s guaranteed benefits continue for generations to come by asking those at the top to pay more, and will achieve this goal by taxing some of the income of people above $250,000.

High-speed internet connectivity is not a luxury; it is a necessity for 21st century economic success, social mobility, education, health care, and public safety. Despite considerable progress and private investment in the last eight years to close the digital divide, there is more work to do. Democrats will finish the job of connecting every household in America to high-speed broadband, increase internet adoption, and help hook up anchor institutions so they can offer free WiFi to the public.

We will reform mandatory minimum sentences and close private prisons and detention centers. Research and evidence, rather than slogans and sound bites, must guide criminal justice policies.

The “war on drugs” has led to the imprisonment of millions of Americans, disproportionately people of color, without reducing drug use. Whenever possible, Democrats will prioritize prevention and treatment over incarceration when tackling addiction and substance use disorder. We will build on effective models of drug courts, veterans’ courts, and other diversionary programs that seek to give nonviolent offenders opportunities for rehabilitation as opposed to incarceration.

Because of conflicting federal and state laws concerning marijuana, we encourage the federal government to remove marijuana from the list of “Schedule 1” federal controlled substances and to appropriately regulate it, providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization. We believe that the states should be laboratories of democracy on the issue of marijuana, and those states that want to decriminalize it or provide access to medical marijuana should be able to do so.

Our schools are more segregated today than they were when Brown v. Board of Education was decided, and we see wide disparities in educational outcomes across racial and socioeconomic lines. A college degree or another form of post-secondary education is increasingly required for jobs that pay a middle-class wage, but graduation rates have stagnated for low-income students. And the high cost of college has required too many Americans to take out staggering student loans or put a degree out of reach entirely.

Democrats are unified in their strong belief that every student should be able to go to college debt-free, and working families should not have to pay any tuition to go to public colleges and universities. We will also make community college free, while ensuring the strength of our Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions. The federal government will push more colleges and universities to take quantifiable, affirmative steps in increasing the percentages of racial and ethnic minority, low-income, and first-generation students they enroll and graduate.

will empower the states, which are the true laboratories of democracy, to use innovation waivers under the ACA to develop unique locally tailored approaches to health coverage. This will include removing barriers to states which seek to experiment with plans to ensure universal health care to every person in their state.


That’s the platform a moderate candidate should be running from, with their personal take on it. Compare even a fraction of it to the currently unfolding alternative and it might move someone like Sarah to make sure she gets out to vote.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Irukandji “A new study co-authored by political science professors and a policy analyst from the think tank Demos finds that Donald Trump’s electoral college victory in November depended heavily on an increase in white voter turnout and an even bigger decrease in turnout among African-American voters—particularly in the key swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.” Source

I picked a black woman from the rust belt because black voters not turning out in the rust belt was a big reason why Clinton lost in 2016 (I’m not blaming black voters either, it’s the politician’s job to get people to vote for him/her). Her background is common and has interesting details that should align with democratic policy. She certainly would fit the profile of a Democrat in previous decades.

kritiper's avatar

A strong US military presence in the world and liberal pro-choice liberties. Limit minimum wage increases to thwart inflation. Health care for all, equally, with no chance for anyone to lose everything if they get sick. (Just to name a few.)

Irukandji's avatar

@gorillapaws Low turnout isn’t necessarily a sign of low enthusiasm. It can also be the result of voter suppression and/or intimidation.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Irukandji Dems have lost over 1100 seats since 2010. You can’t tell me that their non-existent message of slow, incremental change is resonating with voters on the left. Clinton was the second most disliked presidential candidate in history, only slightly better than Trump. So yeah, I do think low enthusiasm was a factor.

JLeslie's avatar

A black or female candidate might be helpful, but not necessary.

Tweak ACA so it doesn’t require business to offer healthcare to full time employees. Go after healthcare costs (gouging) and get the price of healthcare down so insurance and costs go down. Better than that would be socialized medicine, but let’s ignore that for now I think.

I’ll stereotype for a moment and say I doubt policies about social security or retirement really sway her vote at her age in her financial situation. People barely making it check to check seem to rarely have a long term view, especially if their parents also were lower class or lower middle class. They aren’t in the socio-economic class that obsesses about retirement. They don’t have the money to put away for a rainy day, or for a possible day when they won’t have to work anymore. She might be an exception though. To be clear, I don’t think this is a race thing at all, this is my experience across most races and ethnicities.

Education for her children probably interests her.

Inexpensive housing in safe neighborhoods with good schools.

The Democrats already address a lot of Sarah’s issues. She’s probably already voting for the Dems.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

It’s no large personal sacrifice.

Sarah, go vote.

funkdaddy's avatar

In reality, Sarah would probably not be most motivated by any particular platform. She’ll be more motivated by her peers and by tying some identity to a set of values or membership in some connected group.

That’s why people campaign like they do, rather than discussing specific, realistic, solutions to problems. They connect with groups and disparage the “other side”... they appeal to your identity.

If Sarah knows her friends will ask if she voted, then she’ll go vote.

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