Three critical positions threaten a national Democratic resurgence. The first, and the most divisive, is immigration policy. Most Americans do not embrace the xenophobia of the Trump base, but they also do not favor such things as sanctuary cities, even here in California. They are not likely to celebrate immigrant law-breaking as does state Senate Leader Kevin de León, now challenging the more centrist Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s bid for re-election.
The second vulnerability revolves around a strong move to a single-payer federal system, a position endorsed by increasingly powerful groups like the Democratic Socialists of America and New York’s Working Families Party. To be sure, this may be more attractive to most Americans than GOP attempts to scuttle the current Obamacare system, but it would require a massive tax increase that would alienate moderate, middle-income voters. A plan to impose this system on California was deemed so expensive — essentially more than doubling the state budget — that Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon had to table it to the chagrin of the progressive lobby.
The third, and perhaps most critical, policy area relates more broadly to culture. Just as the antediluvian stances of a Roy Moore may make middle-of-the-road voters gag, many Americans also would have a hard time embracing such things as reparations, race and gender quotas, transgender issues, campus speech codes and even football protests celebrated by progressives. This aversion to identity politics appears particularly true for the middle American voters who swung in 2016 to Trump and the GOP.