After 2016 loss, Democrats know they need white male voters
When he moved to Pennsylvania about five years ago, it was a coin toss which party Brian Heitman would register with.
Since Donald Trump’s election in 2016, Heitman, who is 42 and white, has become a reliable Democrat. Last week, he voted for the Democratic candidate in a special state Senate election in Pittsburgh’s affluent southern suburbs.
“A decade ago I probably wouldn’t have even noticed this election was happening,” Heitman said, “but I’m making a point in voting in every one I can nowadays.”
The Democrats’ 2020 presidential primary may feature a historically diverse field of women and minorities, but in some ways it is testing how the party appeals to white men such as Heitman. Many Democratic politicians went into the last presidential campaign cycle taking little account of those voters, and banked on a coalition of women and minorities to carry them to victory. Trump’s victory proved that thinking wrong. Many in the party are determined now not to make the mistake again.