(Cross-posted on the Century Foundations’s Taking Note).
David Goldstein reported this last year,
Black voters were pivotal to McCaskill’s Senate victory in 2006 over former Republican Sen. Jim Talent. She won 91 percent of African-American votes.
More importantly, the black share of the overall voter turnout in Missouri rose to 13 percent in 2006, up from 8 percent two years before…
That was an important victory, in no small part because Missouri’s African-American community needs some serious help. Indeed, the African-American jobless rate in greater Saint Louis was ranked third-worse among the nation’s top fifty metropolitan areas.
So it’s especially disappointing to hear (via Daniel Strauss at the Hill) that Senator McCaskill has come out against the extension of UI benefits. Her stance will hurt the American economy. It will hurt the Democratic Party. Most important, it will hurt her own core supporters, many of whom must wonder why they turned out in force to help her win a close election five years ago.
Many conservative and moderate Democrats are trying to court swing voters by neglecting the human pain being experienced among poor people and among working-class Americans who are enduring economic catastrophe. I believe this is bad politics. It is also disgraceful. This stance will only mar Senator McCaskill’s own mixed political legacy.