The Progressive Policy Institute has discovered a "parent gap" (7 page pdf): in the last two presidential elections, Democrats have lost married parents by 15 and 19 points. Even though Kerry won the youth vote by 9 points, here’s what author Barbara Dafoe Whitehead has to say about the future:
At the same time, however, it is also worth
thinking about where many of these voters will
be standing come 2008. Some are already
married. More will be married four years from
now. And many of the married couples will have
children. At that point, will the Democrats still look as good to them, let alone to those who
are already married with children?
How to reach these parents, a majority of whom identify themselves as moderate (45%) or liberal (16%)? Dafoe urges "progressive cultural populism",
taking the side of parents against the cultural
forces that make it more difficult to “teach kids
right from wrong.” This does not mean
censorship, of course. And it does not mean
legislation or even regulation in every case. But
it does mean that the party should use the bully
pulpit regularly and aggressively to identify with
parents’ concerns and to attack the irresponsible
marketers of violence and sleaze to young kids.
But, as Donald Lambro notes, it’s not clear that the party’s liberal base, let alone its financial supporters in Hollywood will support anything much beyond Bill Clinton’s virtually empty school uniform initiative.
Update: Great minds think alike.