Two moderate Colorado Democrats who won in the face of the 2010 Republican tide see a way out of this dilemma. The key to a philosophically coherent cross-class coalition, they suggest, can be found in widespread unease over the loss of American jobs to overseas enterprises and the need to restore traditional American advantages in education and innovation. An Ohio Democrat with a rather different ideological profile, Sen. Sherrod Brown, broadly shares their view.
Sen. Michael Bennet and Gov. John Hickenlooper are middle-of-the-road former Colorado businessmen who fare well with moderates and independents. In separate telephone interviews, they suggested that voters in working-class precincts in Ohio and middle-class enclaves in Colorado may have more in common than political punditry normally allows.
Bennet sees one overriding question in American politics: “How do we re-couple economic growth with job growth and wage growth?” Note that Bennet focuses not just on growth in general or even job growth. He adds the essential component of wage growth, as important in Ohio’s blue-collar neighborhoods as it is in Colorado’s suburban office parks.