Focusing on kitchen table issues like health care helped Democrats in 2018, and can be a model for success in 2020. That’s according to Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, a liberal public policy research organization.
Speaking to Alexis Christoforous at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit, Tanden reflected on changing voter patterns in this year’s midterm elections and what it could mean for the future.
Tanden says that white women are concerned about economic issues like health care and wages — and that it could help Democrats in 2020.
“If you can get white non-college-educated women to even swing a bit back to the Democratic Party as we demonstrated in 2018, if you can do that in 2020, that is a model for success,” Tanden explained. “Suburban women have really moved dramatically. I mean, white college-educated women used to be the backbone of the Republican Party, and now they’ve become … they are the resistance leaders. They’re the people who are fueling campaigns.”
According to exit polls, young white voters who typically voted Republican in 2012 and 2016 supported Democrats in the 2018 elections.
Looking at healthcare
Tanden says health care will be a critical issue for Congress in the years to come.
“I think what the new leadership should do is really focus on costs around health care,” said Tanden, who previously worked with the Obama administration on the Affordable Care Act.
“Premium cost, prescription drug cost – I see real opportunities in arenas where candidate Trump talked about issues, like lowering prescription drug costs, high premiums. There are steps that they could take in the Congress,” she continued.
“They should pass bills out of the Democratic House and … say to President Trump, ‘if you believe in what you said as a candidate, then you’ll push these things through the Senate.’”
And with a Democratic House, Tanden said Republican efforts to undermine the ACA will be difficult.
President Trump will also face resistance on issues of immigration, Tanden said, flatly rejecting any chance that Trump will get his $5 billion border wall, even with a government shutdown on the line.
“Democrats were willing to offer the wall for Dreamers, essentially,” Tanden said. “It’s like a deal he should have taken since he supported both, and he refused that deal. And I think you don’t get the same deal over when you’ve lost” the House.
“My hope is that there can be a deal around Dreamers, but I don’t think the wall is an issue he was going to get once he was so … I think, really divisive in the last weeks of the campaign.
Kristin Myers is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.