Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Medicaid Expansion

Missouri votes for it it.

I tell this story a lot, but I think it's a useful one because it's one reason why red/swing state Democrats can be shy about supporting popular lefty measures, and by definition it isn't because they're unpopular. They're popular in those red states!

The way the press covers this stuff is that Dems can't support crazy lefty economic policies in swing states because those old white guys in diners can't handle the communism. But that isn't actually how it works.

As a now former senator explained to me, as he was justifying not getting behind a minimum wage ballot measure which actually passed, if he did support it, "the Chamber would go after me." He didn't mean "the Chamber" would run a bunch of ads about his support for increasing the minimum wage. That would have been a favor! It was popular! It passed overwhelmingly! He meant they would have dumped a bunch of money in the race nuking him on other issues. Any issue at all. Staying out of it was one way to just keep their money out of the race.

It isn't that these things are necessarily unpopular in swing/red states, it's that those races are hard to win generally and if you don't support lefty economic things, maybe you can prevent some outside money from telling voters how much you love murdering babies.

Of course that raises the question of... just why should people vote for you?