“Simplistic and straightforward” – The New York Times

Still, I find Fetterman remarkable because Democrats have nominated so few candidates like him in recent years. The party is more likely to choose ideologically consistent candidates whose presentation resembles that of a law professor or a think tank employee. Fetterman, like many working-class voters, has a mix of political beliefs. During the election campaign, he wears shorts and a hoodie.

Describing his appeal to voters, Sarah Longwell, a Republican political strategist, said: “It’s not that he’s progressive that they like or dislike. They like it to be authentic.

Although the specifics are different, he shares certain traits with Eric Adams, the mayor of New York, who presents himself as “at once progressive, moderate and conservative”, as political scientist Christina Greer wrote in The Times. Adams won his election despite losing Manhattan, New York’s most educated and wealthy borough.

Fetterman also has some similarities to Sen. Sherrod Brown, a populist Democrat who managed to win in Ohio and who revels in “his less than glamorous image,” as Cleveland.com’s Andrew J. Tobias wrote.

For years, most Democrats trying to figure out how to win over swing voters have taken a more technocratic approach than Adams or Fetterman. Centrist Democrats have often urged the party to move to the center on nearly every issue — even though most voters support a progressive economic agenda, like higher taxes for the wealthy.

The Liberal Democrats made the opposite mistake, confusing the progressive politics of college campuses and affluent suburbs with the real politics of the country. Some liberals make the specific error of imagining that most Asian, Black, and Latino voters are more liberal than they are. For short, the error is sometimes known as the Latinx problem (named after a term that most Latinos don’t use).

It remains unclear whether Fetterman represents a solution to the Democrats’ working class problem. But the problem is real: It’s a central reason Democrats struggle so much outside of the nation’s major metropolitan areas. And if Democrats hope to solve it, they’ll likely have a better chance if more of their candidates feel familiar to working-class voters.

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