Political analyst Ron Brownstein recently noted that “over the past five presidential elections, non-college-educated whites declined from 54 percent of the total vote in 2000 to 44 percent in 2016.” Furthermore, “over that period, whites with at least a four-year college degree grew slightly as a share of the voting pool, from 27 percent to 30 percent of the vote, while minorities jumped from just under one-fifth of voters to more than one-fourth.” Brownstein calls “the long-term erosion of blue-collar whites as a share of the national vote unmistakable and irreversible.”
You see where this is heading. Why attempt to win back a dwindling voter bloc when other swing voters are more reachable? Democrats crushed Republicans among white college educated women in 2018 in congressional races, increasing their share from 49 percent to 59 percent. A Kamala Harris or Amy Klobuchar at the top of the ticket might play to this strength, and keep the campaign message focused on issues that matter to the once-reliable Republican voter who is now up for grabs.
There are other reasons why a moderate female candidate might be the best play for Democrats in 2020. For one thing, you can’t fight the president’s fire with fire. Ice, however, might work. Think back to what might have been the low point for Donald Trump in the GOP primary debates. He had recently attacked Carly Fiorina’s appearance. “Look at that face! … Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!”