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Race was the biggest factor in 2016 — but economics is still Democrats’ winning message


[D]emos, another liberal think tank, sees things differently. Recent research by the group finds support for putting more of the emphasis on race. [...]

When Demos tested progressive economic messages, the think tank saw bigger gains among both the Democratic base and persuadable voters when the messages made explicit reference to race, including white people. [...]

”Some people say, ‘You’re only trying to get black and brown folks,’” said Causten Rodriguez-Wollerman of Demos. “But guess what: White folks like this. And people of color like this even more.”

Rodriguez-Wollerman said that for decades, Republicans have dominated the storytelling around race and have elegantly married it with an economics narrative. For example, they’ve managed to tie the story of unemployment to illegal immigration. This, he says, is why Democrats need to tell a race-forward story of their own.