It will be officially dead when/if the DNC chooses Keith Ellison as the new Chair. It was a lot of people’s first panicky instinct after the disaster of 11/8 (I went to a lot of 11/8 funerals, believe me, no bagpipes, but lots of crying). But once the real numbers came out we were able to see what a chimera that “disaffected white Obama voter turned Trump voter” really was.
Steve Phillips laid out in the Times in “Move Left, Democrats” how the real target should be the outsized amount of third and fourth party voters who want the party to be true to its FDR base of working people (of all colors) and less of a corporate shill pretending not to be (sorry if that is unfair to Hilary, but there it is).
The far more important — and largely untold — story of the election is that more Obama voters defected to third- and fourth-party candidates than the number who supported Mr. Trump. That is the white flight that should most concern the next D.N.C. chairman, because those voters make up a more promising way to reclaim the White House. The way to win them back is by being more progressive, not less.
As Phillips notes, this is a far more fixable problem. Around 2 million people voted third and fourth party in 2012 and that exploded to 8 million in 2016. Many of these people likely already regret that irrelevant protest vote. They, in effect, said a pox on both your big party houses while believing their vote wouldn’t effect a baked in election. They didn’t really want Trump, just didn’t feel like they could vote for Clinton either.
As Democrats in the 80s can tell you, chasing the so-called Reagan Democrats was like chasing after an ex-girlfriend who was clearly out of love with you. Moreover, they started EST, developed a crack habit and decided to only eat hubcaps made in the USA. Just let them go.
PS – Reagan Democrats are all dead, but somehow are still kicking like zombies for people like Chris Matthews. Ask him about how Reagan and Tip O’Neill solved problems over drinks, I dare you.