A bad idea is running amok in the Democratic primary — the conversation on “electability.” Thanks to the disappointing 2016 presidential election results, electability for many strategists can now be interpreted simply as “the white male candidate who is best suited to defeat Trump.”
That’s precisely the wrong way of looking at things, and it’s based on the mistaken belief that the path to victory in 2020 only requires winning back Trump supporters. It misses the much larger issue at hand: Democrats simply won’t stand a chance in 2020 if we can’t energize African American voters.
The truth is, too many voters who supported President Obama in 2008 and 2012 made a choice to stay home in 2016. In Wayne County, Michigan – home of Detroit, where Kamala Harris gave a speech addressing the “electability” conversation on Sunday – 37,000 fewer voters turned out in 2016 than 2012.