In the News

In 2016, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Demos filed a lawsuit on behalf of Larry Harmon, 60, an Ohio resident who was purged from the voter rolls after he decided not to vote in two elections. [...]

The Justice Department released an amicus brief in the case, currently before the Supreme Court, over whether Ohio can continue to remove “infrequent voters” who fail to cast a ballot over a six-year period.

Larry Harmon, 60, hadn’t voted in a while when he drove to the high school in November 2015 to weigh in on a local referendum in Kent, Ohio. But he wasn’t allowed to cast his ballot. [...]

The Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic party is convinced it has a solution: have the party move left. “People are looking for a populism, but a multi-racial populism,” Heather McGhee, of the leftist voting-rights group Demos, said on Meet the Press this morning. “They’re looking for candidates who say, ‘I’m willing to take on the wealthy and powerful, and also I’m not willing to let the wealthy and powerful divide us from each other so that they can have the spoils of our great nation.’”

Stuart Naifeh has seen the other side, where eligible voters were snared in voter removal efforts. He is a senior counsel with the advocacy group Demos, which teamed up with the 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East union to intervene in the Broward case on behalf of the elections office.

"These data all suggest that, rather than seeing racism as a persistent problem still in need of remedy, many young white people—including those who identify as Democrats—are inclined to believe America is a colorblind society and that little remains to be done to remedy past racial injustices," researchers Sean McElwee and Jesse Rhodes wrote.


It’s worth noting, first of all, that black and Hispanic college students are more likely to have to borrow to pay for a college education and that they end up having to borrow more money to cover college costs. A study from Demos analyzing federal data found that 86 percent of black students and 87 percent of Hispanic students got loans to attend private universities, compared to 72 percent of whites.

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Heather McGhee became the president of Demos, a New York-based think tank focused on creating a democracy where all people have an equal chance in our economy, when she was just 33 years old (she turned down the job at least five times, she says, before her colleagues finally convinced her to take it).


But Huelsman said that the solution to these challenges cannot be for Democrats to stop campaigning for free public higher education. “We need a better way to talk about this,” he said, and it needs to focus on the working class, including training, and not be “a middle-class giveaway.” He added, “I’m simultaneously scared that we’ll overcorrect and say postsecondary isn’t important (spoiler: it’s really important!)”

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That kind of polarization may only intensify in coming years. In a blog post today at Demos, a left-leaning think tank, Sean McElwee points out that young Democratic primary voters and donors are both more liberal than other democrats their age and more liberal than older primary voters and donors. All of that means that the Democratic party will soon be pulled further left, McElwee predicts. [...]