Steven Hayward:

“…This is all a long preface for setting up notice of Thomas Edsall’s column in the New York Times today, “The Democrats’ Left Turn Is Not an Illusion.” Edsall, keep in mind, is a liberal, though he’s long been critical of his own side, and keenly attuned to the populist rejection of establishment liberalism. His warnings, however, went unheeded. Here are a few excerpts from today’s article:

Over the past 18 years, the Democratic electorate has moved steadily to the left, as liberals have displaced moderates. . . From 2001 to 2018, the share of Democratic voters who describe themselves as liberal has grown from 30 to 50 percent, according to data provided by Lydia Saad, a senior editor at the Gallup Poll. . .

Well-educated whites, especially white women, are pushing the party decisively leftward. According to Gallup, the share of white Democrats calling themselves liberal on social issues has grown since 2001 from 39 to 61 percent. Because of this growth, white liberals are now roughly 40 percent of all Democratic voters.

Edsall does not shrink from pointing out some truly astonishing findings in the survey data, like this:

White liberals are well to the left of the black electorate on some racial issues. Take the issue of discrimination as a factor holding back African-American advancement. White liberals are to the left of black Democrats, placing a much stronger emphasis than African-Americans on the role of discrimination and much less emphasis on the importance of individual effort.

Hmmm. . . Maybe this is related to the polls showing surprising levels of black approval of Trump, and the apparent apathy of Hispanic voters about Democrats.

Toward the end Edsall quotes Harvard’s Yascha Mounk (mentioned here recently), who warns his fellow liberals:

One of the dangers for the Democratic Party — and the left-leaning parts of the establishment more broadly — is that they confound their actual audience with a small but highly visible group of activists…”