What Democrats can learn from Fetterman and Gluesenkamp Perez

What Democrats can learn from Fetterman and Gluesenkamp Perez

The New York Times reports:

Did John Fetterman just show Democrats how to solve their white-working-class problem?

Mr. Fetterman’s decisive victory in Pennsylvania’s Senate race — arguably Democrats’ biggest win of the midterms, flipping a Republican-held seat — was achieved in no small part because he did significantly better in counties dominated by white working-class voters compared with Joseph R. Biden Jr. in 2020.

These voters for years have been thought to be all but lost to Democrats, ever since Donald J. Trump turned out explosively high numbers of white voters in rural and exurban counties, especially in Pennsylvania and the northern Midwest. Mr. Biden recaptured Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin two years ago largely by drumming up support in the suburbs, while working-class white voters stuck with Mr. Trump.

But Mr. Fetterman, with his tattoos and Carhartt wardrobe, and priorities like marijuana legalization, appears to have regained ground with the white working class — though whether he persuaded many Trump voters to back him, or whether he improved on Mr. Biden with the demographic in other ways, awaits more detailed data.

“It was enormously beneficial,” Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, a Democrat, said of Mr. Fetterman’s red-county incursion. “It’s really what Democrats have to try to do. I know we’ve had a debate in our party — you work to get your urban and suburban base out and hope for the best.” But Mr. Fetterman showed that a Democratic win in a battleground state could also run through rural Republican regions, Mr. Casey said. [Continue reading…]

The Seattle Times reports:

Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, an auto shop owner who was a virtual unknown before August’s primary election, pulled off perhaps the most stunning political upset in the country this year, winning a congressional seat in Southwest Washington that few saw as competitive.

Gluesenkamp Perez, a Democrat, defeated Donald Trump-endorsed Republican Joe Kent on Saturday in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, with roughly 50.5% of the vote.

The Saturday ballot count in Clark County put Gluesenkamp Perez’s lead over Kent, an Army Special Forces veteran, at more than 4,600 votes, with an estimated 15,000 or fewer votes remaining. She had led since election night, but Kent narrowed the gap in later counts.

The Seattle Times projects Gluesenkamp Perez as the winner, as an analysis shows Kent would need 73% of the remaining votes to catch up. NBC News, The Associated Press, CNN and The New York Times also called the race for the Democrat.

Gluesenkamp Perez’s victory sends a Democrat to Congress in a district that has voted Republican for more than a decade, and means eight of Washington’s 10 House members will now be Democrats, along with the state’s two U.S. senators.

It also bolsters Democrats’ chances of possibly hanging onto their House majority, with several races too close to call in states including California, Oregon and Arizona. Republicans remain favored to gain the edge to flip House control.

Kent had appeared confident of victory after the August primary, declaring the district to be “deep red MAGA country.”

Gluesenkamp Perez said the final result shows most voters in the 3rd District reject that ideology and Kent’s agenda, which focused on unyielding partisan warfare. [Continue reading…]

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