The loss of white supporters of House Democratic candidates can be seen in the data. In 1992, white voters split 50-50 between Democratic and Republican House candidates; in 1994, after the Hillarycare debacle, they voted Republican 58-42. By 2010 and 2014, whites voted for Republican House candidates by a 24-point margin, 62-38. The defection of seniors is most striking when comparing exit poll data from 2006 and 2010. In 2006, seniors of all races voted 52-48 for Democratic House candidates; in 2010, they voted 58-42 for Republican House candidates.

The only way for Democratic Party leaders to stop the hemorrhaging, in Schumer’s view, is to take on the task of using the government to intervene in the private sector, pushing to raise wages and revive job opportunities for working men and women.

“Large forces – technology, automation and globalization – are not inherently malign forces,” Schumer said, but the burden is on Democrats “to figure out ways for the middle class to adapt to these new forces – to be able to thrive amidst these forces.” The only counterweight “that can give you the tools to stand up to the large tectonic forces, that can mitigate the effects that technology creates on your income, is an active and committed government that is on your side.”…

The Affordable Care Act has “framed where the Democratic Party is,” Cook said. “If I would sum up my assessment, it was huge, it did play a central role in framing everything.” By 2014, health care reform “lost a little bit of its oomph, but it still is more important in setting things up than any other issue was over the last six years.”