He then worked as senior staff writer for Ralph Nader. Ronald Brownstein. It was just so powerful. December 27, 2019 Jonathan Ernst / Reuters. To fight tooth and nail for something that is going to actually undermine your basic identity is not too surprising. But the most powerful factor in the new stability may be the shift in the basis of voters' allegiance to the parties. Like in 2016, the election will likely hinge on just a few states that could be decided by very small margins: Pennsylvania and Michigan, which both polls and the 2018 election results suggest lean slightly toward the Democrats; Florida and North Carolina, which lean toward Trump; and Wisconsin and Arizona, which sit precariously at the absolute tipping point between both parties. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. It was just hard to believe that one guy put all of these great songs on a single album. As long as it stays in that range, there's still that outside chance ... [Trump] can eke out narrow wins in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin and he could still win the electoral vote. Something was playing on the radio, and he literally cut in in the middle of the song and said, “OK, we're not going to wait another minute. I don't think history will have any trouble understanding why our country is in the position it's in. That doesn't guarantee the Democratic coalition will consistently control the federal government, because the Electoral College and two-senator per state rule magnify the influence of the Whites most drawn to the GOP. In 2007, the American Political Science Association presented him its Carey McWilliams award for lifetime achievement, granted to honor a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics. The immovability of the battle lines in 2020 captures how thoroughly the two parties are now unified -- and separated -- by, "That is certainly what gives Trump a floor: By stoking those cultural war fires you are going to win over a certain share of the electorate that has this more racist and sexist and xenophobic views," says Brian Schaffner, a Tufts University political scientist who has extensively studied the correlation between political preferences and cultural attitudes. With the Democratic Party identifying much more unreservedly than even 10 or 20 years ago with the demands for change, and Trump so clearly stamping the GOP in opposition to all of them, the grinding trench warfare between these competing coalitions in the 2020 race probably only previews the struggle looming through the 2020s. ... the nation’s response to this unprecedented challenge—and it could determine the pandemic’s ultimate political consequences as well. And if you have the opposite views you are very likely to be in the Democratic Party. Ronald J. Brownstein (born April 6, 1958) is an American journalist, political correspondent, and analyst. The biggest lesson of the coming year may be that for all the divisiveness that President Donald Trump has stoked, the political divide may still continue to grow wider. Pastor isn't alone when he grimly predicts, "We're really getting ready for a very deep culture war coming. The relentless geographic and demographic sorting of the parties means that the two coalitions more and more inhabit separate realities: Nationally, Clinton beat Trump in the 2016 popular vote by a little more than two percentage points, but 60 percent of Americans lived in counties that were decided by 20 points or more, according to calculations by Bill Bishop, the author of The Big Sort. Whatever the outcome on Tuesday, November 3, journalist Ronald Brownstein is warning that the political tensions in the U.S. will not be going away anytime soon. How does this seasoned analyst assess the U.S. political landscape in the 10th presidential election he has covered?  In 1989, he left the National Journal to work full-time as national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. No question. The racial, religious, class, generational, and geographic trench between the parties may look even more impassable after November than it does today. I always wanted to be a writer. "The fragmentation of society and the media fragmentation, living in different worlds ... have a [lot] to do with it," says Democratic pollster Nick Gourevitch. "Because identity politics has become so clearly overlapping with partisan politics, it makes those divisions all the more heated and uncompromising," he told me. August 12, 2020 . in English Literature from the State University of New York - Binghamton.  In 1987, he became a contributing editor for the Los Angeles Times.  In 1993, he was named their national political correspondent. I originally thought I was going to write fiction. In this Feb. 26, 1980, file photo, Republican presidential hopeful Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy do some last-minute campaigning in Manchester for New Hampshire's presidential primary. Can majority rule survive America's widening political divide? Amid such closely balanced contending forces, both parties live in constant fear that even the tiniest of blunders will lead to victory for the other.  He is currently senior political analyst for CNN and Editorial Director for Strategic Partnerships for Atlantic Media. There's a battle for the suburbs in Florida. Was there a book you studied there that changed your life in some way? Because all of the key swing states lean slightly more Republican than the nation overall, even a slight improvement for Trump might put him in position. Link Copied. Particularly White Christian folks really did think they were the country. The 2018 midterm elections further deepened that chasm, with Democrats consolidating their hold on the nation’s largest metropolitan areas in House and Senate races but failing to materially dent the Republican dominance beyond them. With. Separate polling from Pew has found that Democrats and Republicans hold views … And for some people it's enthralling.". People are much less compromising on those views, so once party politics becomes concentrated on that stuff the coalitions become much more stable. Born () April 6, 1958 (age 62) New York City, New York, U.S. Education: B.A. Because identity politics has become so clearly overlapping with partisan politics, it makes those divisions all the more heated and uncompromising. All Rights Even before the presidential race began in earnest, Trump's approval rating had oscillated within a narrower band than those of previous presidents. Robert P. Jones, founder and CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, Trump's approval ratings and support in the presidential race against Democratic nominee, The durability of both support and opposition to Trump shows how the motivation for voters' choices is shifting from transitory measures of performance, such as the traditional metrics of peace and prosperity, toward bedrock attitudes about demographic, cultural and economic change. The flip side, others note, is that the relatively centrist 77-year-old Biden may not inspire as much turnout as other potential nominees from younger people of color who consider Trump a racist. Ronald Brownstein. It’s possible, maybe even likely, that this divide will widen in 2020, with diverse major metropolitan areas rejecting Trump by even larger margins than in 2016, while predominantly white, rural areas rally behind him more firmly. Republicans think they can squeeze out larger margins from shrinking groups; as a long-term strategy, that’s a dicey proposition. All of these results underscore how Trump has intensified the long-term process of reconfiguring the parties more along lines of cultural and racial attitudes than economic class. Each party is understandably focused on ensuring that its side of the political divide turns out in slightly greater numbers than the other side, but the growth of the divide itself may be the dominant dynamic shaping American politics in the years ahead. Or it may be that this book exists, and I haven't seen it. , In 1983, he went to work for the National Journal as White House correspondent. Who wins the Senate? These underlying trends will endure whichever side wins control of the White House and Congress next year. I mean, there's still bands that I like, but I think it would more likely be a book … it would more likely be some of the novels about modern life. August 27, 2020 .  He is currently senior political analyst for CNN and Editorial Director for Strategic Partnerships for Atlantic Media. Partisan allegiances grounded in these fundamental measures of personal and national identity -- such as whether the nation must do more to assure equal opportunity for people of color and women -- appear highly resistant to reconsideration based on immediate events. What's more, Biden's national advantage over Trump isn't meaningfully different than it was a year ago, despite the searing intervening event of a pandemic that soon will have claimed 200,000 American lives. In addition, he currently serves as a senior political analyst for CNN and also served as an electoral analyst for ABC News during the 2012 election.  In 2005, he married Eileen Nicole McMenamin, the former communications director for Senator John McCain, in a nondenominational ceremony in Henderson, Nevada. Born to Run was just such a monumental achievement. It’s this combination of factors that makes American politics so uniquely volatile at this moment. Analysis by Ronald Brownstein. Why We’re Still Reckoning With Japanese American Internment. Ideas journalism with a head and a heart. That the parties are growing in their differences only compounds that fear. The country is deeply divided between two equally matched coalitions: Neither side has been able to establish a durable advantage over the other for the past half century. Republicans believe that the strong economy and Trump’s swaggering style will lead them to make small gains with Hispanic and African American men, suppress any defections from the working-class white women who backed him in 2016, and prompt greater turnout among the party’s base. His first wife was Nina Easton; they had two children before divorcing. In that way, this year's stability anticipates the volatility ahead. Ronald J. Brownstein (born April 6, 1958) is an American journalist, political correspondent, and analyst.  His father was an electrician. Brendan Smialowski / AFP. Brian Schaffner, Tufts University political scientist. To fight tooth and nail for something that is going to actually undermine your basic identity is not too surprising.  In 1979, he graduated with a B.A. Since 1968, one party has simultaneously controlled the White House, the House, and the Senate for only 14 years. What Does War Look Like in the Cyber Age? I should go back a step. And I’m not sure we have the book that fully captures that. On my left shoulder, you can see all of the LBJ books [the multi-volume biographies by Robert Caro, author of The Power Broker]. "When your identity and view of [the nation's] identity overlaps with your partisan identity so much, it's hard to ever consider shifting sides," Schaffner says. It's much easier to compromise on what should the marginal tax rate be, or what's a reasonable date for net-zero carbon emissions, but people generally don't want to compromise on issues related to how much work you should do to ... make sure that racial minorities or women are treated equally. , Brownstein was born to a Jewish family on April 6, 1958 in New York City, the son of Shirley and David Brownstein. The long-term demographic trends in the electorate—more racial diversity, more college graduates, more urbanization, more voters who aren’t Christian—benefit Democrats, but those advantages are offset by signs that those very changes are leading more white voters wary about them to back Trump.
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