Democrats must reach across the diploma divide

But the electoral math is all wrong, too. Marginal improvements in youth turnout won’t be enough to prevent a midterm blowout or break today’s deadlock in national politics. To do that, Democrats will need to win back suburban moderates and independents, stem the defection of Hispanic voters (who had a 16-point margin shift toward Trump in 2020) and loosen the GOP’s grip on non-college whites.

Like “free college” – another progressive hobby horse — cancelling student debts would aggravate the already pronounced bias in federal policy in favor of families whose kids go to college. According to PPI calculations, Washington spends about $92 billion a year to help college students, and just $11 billion on job training programs for everyone else.

In short, it’s not just cultural issues that are driving a wedge between Democrats and non-college voters. The party’s economic agenda increasingly seems oriented around the desires of well-educated and upscale professionals, not the majority of Americans who lack college degrees.

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