At The Daily Beast, Lloyd Green explains why Hillary Clinton would be a formidable candidate for president in 2016. Bill Clinton, he notes, did well in the South and came close to winning a plurality of white voters. (Since 1952, the only Democrat to win the white vote outright was Lyndon Johnson in 1964.)
At the electoral high end, the Ivy Leaguers of the 1960s had grown up and traded their beards, tattered jeans, and placards for Wall Street, Ralph Lauren suits, business cards, and a home in Larchmont. And so Clinton won an outright majority of voters with graduate degrees and kept the GOP to less than 60 percent among affluent voters. In fact, since 1992 grad-degree voters have gone Democratic in each subsequent presidential election.
Bill’s successes served as the electoral predicate for Obama’s victories and position Hillary to pick up where Obama ultimately leaves off. Obama won reelection by forging a New Deal 2.0 coalition in the industrial Midwest, while cementing a high-end low-end coalition in the South of college-educated whites and minorities.
In addition to benefiting from Obama’s ascendant coalition of younger voters, minorities, and women, Hillary connects with the white working class and would likely improve upon Obama’s showing among this bloc. Instead of the forced optics of Obama sitting down to a beer with the prof and the cop, voters would likely be treated to moments of a relaxed Hillary knocking back a boilermaker in Youngstown or Dearborn.
Clinton could make a serious play in the South and build upon existing margins in the Midwest. North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, and Texas would be in play. Indeed, Hillary could reclaim the newest bloc of swing voters: America’s wealthy.