They worry about the potential emergence of a mostly male and increasingly interracial working-class coalition for Republicans that will cut into the demographic advantages Democrats had long counted on. They speculate that the tremendous Democratic gains in the suburbs during the Trump years might fade when he leaves office. And they fret that their inability to make inroads in more rural areas could forestall anything but the most narrow Senate majority in the future.
“We just need to acknowledge that Trump’s poison was deeper in the bloodstream of the American electorate than we thought,” said Bradley Beychok, the president of American Bridge, which ran a $62 million ad campaign to hurt Trump among White working-class voters in three northern states that Biden won.
Upping the stakes further is the grim math of the midterm elections in 2022, when historical trends favor a Republican takeover of the House and continued Senate control, especially if they can hold the two Georgia seats in a runoff Jan. 5 that will again test the party’s reach among college-educated White and working-class Black voters. Democratic losses in the House combined with post-election retirements could reduce the party’s majority to a razor-thin seven-seat margin if the two outstanding contests are called for Republicans.
“We won back the House and the White House in the suburbs, but my sense is we are leasing that support — we don’t own it,” said Robby Mook, the manager of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign who led the House Majority PAC this cycle. “With Trump gone, that lease is up for renewal. If we don’t hold on to our gains in the suburbs or replace it by winning back working-class White voters, we will have a problem.”