On June 6th The New Republic ran a home page article written by Levison and co-author Ruy Teixeira that presented the core argument of the book and which generated widespread comment. The article, titled: “Why the Democrats Still Need Working Class White Voters” presented the book’s key argument as follows:
Although long-term demographic trends, such as the increase in minority voters and the rise of the Millennial generation, are favorable for the Democrats, translating those trends into true political and electoral dominance will remain difficult so long as Democrats rely on simply turning out core Obama coalition voters. Their margins will be too thin and subject to backlash, especially below the Presidential level.
To create a stable Democratic majority, Democrats need to win the support of a significant group of voters who are now part of the Republican coalition. As the 2012 elections demonstrated, the group that has perhaps the greatest potential in this regard is the white working class.
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Andy Levison’s The White Working Class Today is a tremendous contribution to our understanding of this vital group. Too many progressives dismiss the white working class as either irrelevant or hopelessly reactionary or both. Levison shows in this compelling, empirically grounded work just how wrong they are. I don’t often describe a book as a “must read”. This is one.
Ruy Teixeira, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution and Author of The Emerging Democratic Majority
The White Working Class Today is a studious, well-researched, and timely signal to progressives that we cannot ignore today’s Reagan Democrats. Levison is a rare voice in progressive and Democratic circles today, and this book raises critical questions about how progressives should think about, define, and address the needs of the white working class.
Stan Greenberg, leading Democratic pollster, political strategist and advisor to Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Tony Blair and other progressive leaders
In White Working Class Today, Andrew Levison offers us a powerful analysis and solution to one of the most important dynamics in politics — the alienation between white working class voters and liberals. Levision fills a large void in an important discussion, explaining exactly how the Democratic coalition can break the political stalemate, bring this important group into the fold and move a stable, progressive agenda forward.
Karen Nussbaum, Executive director of Working America, the 3 million member community affiliate of the AFL-CIO
Andrew Levison’s book assesses today’s white working class from a fresh, empirically-grounded perspective, and provides unique insight for all those who want to understand this critically important segment of U.S. society and political life.
Ed Kilgore, political commentator, author of the Washington Monthly’s Political Animal