Socialists won’t be on many ballots this fall. Moderates are surging.

Democratic primary voters didn’t buy the ultra-left’s ‘free-for-all’ agenda. What’s happening is not so much a liberal surge, but a moderate one.

Via USA Today

Candidates affiliated with the Democratic Socialists and the progressive left have pushed hard this cycle for a campaign agenda heavy on government giveaways, such as free health care (“Medicare for All”), free college, guaranteed jobs and perhaps even free money (“universal basic income”).

Few of these candidates, however, will be on the ballot this fall. Rather, the insurgent left has been broadly rejected in one primary after another — and by Democrats theoretically predisposed to this pitch.

In Michigan, for instance, “establishment” candidate Gretchen Witmer beat Medicare-for-All advocate Abdul El-Sayed for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination by 22 points, while in Kansas, a former professional mixed martial artist defeated a congressional hopeful endorsed by Democratic Socialists Sen. Bernie Sanders and rising superstar Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Longtime Delaware Sen. Tom Carper easily beat back a progressive challenger, while in New York, Gov. Mario Cuomo defied his own dismal approval ratings to crush opponent Cynthia Nixon by 30 points.

These progressive losses have moreover occurred despite higher than typical turnout, which is another sign of the ultra-left agenda’s lack of appeal: What’s happening is not so much a liberal surge, but a moderate one.

Continue reading at USA Today

Higher ed solutions for rural students

More states should consider creating rural higher education centers, and colleges should embrace such centers as a way to help more students succeed.

Via Inside Higher Ed.

After graduating from her rural Pennsylvania high school in 2005, Tesla Rae Moore did what most American high school seniors today expect to do: she left home for college with her sights on a four-year degree. But when she was a sophomore in nursing school at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, the unexpected intervened: she became pregnant with her son.

“It was a high-risk pregnancy, and I decided to stop the program,” she said. Moore returned to her hometown of Kane, a community of about 3,500 in northwestern Pennsylvania. At first intending just to take a break, she ended up dropping out. “I was going to go back, and then it was just one of those things,” she said. “Life happened.”

Moore didn’t lose her desire to return to college; she just couldn’t figure out how to make it work. As a single mom, she couldn’t quit her job. Moreover, getting to Pitt-Bradford, the nearest four-year institution, required a ninety-minute round-trip commute. The closest two-year college, in Butler County, was a two-hour drive each way. Online-only classes might have been a solution, but Moore felt she needed more structure to succeed. “Especially for somebody that’s been out of school, it takes a lot of discipline,” she said.

Continue reading at Inside Higher Ed.

When cities rely on fines and fees, everybody loses

They’re a tempting alternative to raising taxes, but their long-term costs far outweigh the revenue they bring in.

Originally published in Governing, September 2018.

Raising taxes is painful. That may be why, since 2010, 47 states and a number of cities have instead raised both civil and criminal fines and fees. These increases are often viewed as a conflict-free way to plug budget holes.

In the last decade, for example, New York City grew its revenues from fines by 35 percent, raking in $993 million in fiscal 2016 alone. The monies came largely from parking and red light camera violations, as well as stricter enforcement of “quality of life” offenses such as littering and noise. In California, routine traffic tickets now carry a multiplicity of revenue-boosting “surcharges.” As a result, the true price of a $100 traffic ticket is more like $490 — and up to $815 with late fees, according to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.

This increasing reliance on fines and fees comes despite what we learned following the shooting in 2014 of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. A federal investigation of the city’s police department subsequently revealed that as much as a quarter of the city’s budget was derived from fines and fees. Police officers, under pressure to “produce” revenue, extracted millions of dollars in penalties from lower-income and African-American residents. In 2017, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a follow-up report finding that the “targeting” of low-income and minority communities for fines and fees is far from unique to Ferguson.

This potential for injustice is one reason why states and cities should be weaning themselves from fines and fees. Another is that these revenue boosters carry economic costs that far outweigh the short-term revenue gains.

Because the burden of these penalties falls disproportionately on people who can’t afford to pay, jurisdictions collect far less than expected and waste resources chasing down payments that won’t materialize. In California, increased fines and fees have resulted not in a treasury flush with cash but in $12.3 billion in uncollected court debt as of 2016. A 2014 study of Alabama court costs also found abysmal collection rates — under 10 percent on average — despite countless hours spent by staff pursuing payment.

States can further see net losses if driver’s licenses are suspended or residents are incarcerated for nonpayment. The report by the Commission on Civil Rights found that in some jurisdictions as many as one-fourth of local inmates were in jail for nonpayment of fines and fees. The fiscal impacts of this policy are obvious. In addition to its direct expenses, incarceration — even short stints in jail — can lead to costly outcomes, including unemployment, dependence on public benefits and greater risk of crime.

Nearly as damaging — and far more common — are driver’s license suspensions. The Washington Post reported that more than 7 million people nationwide may have had their licenses suspended because of traffic debts. These suspensions have economic consequences. “People can’t drive and go to work, which means they can’t pay the fines and fees or support their families,” says Joanna Weiss, co-director of the Fines and Fees Justice Center.

A few jurisdictions are rethinking these revenue generators. In the lead is San Francisco, which established the Financial Justice Project dedicated to fines and fees reform. Promising efforts are also afoot in cities and states, including California, Illinois, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington state. Some jurisdictions are working to end license suspensions — a trend that could accelerate after a federal judge recently ruled the practice unconstitutional in Tennessee. Other places are considering non-monetary penalties, such as community service or instituting so-called day fines or payment plans based on the ability to pay. In San Francisco, for instance, a newly instituted payment plan for low-income residents has already quadrupled the parking fines being paid.

The bottom line: Despite the short-term boosts civil and criminal fines and fees appear to bring, the long-term cost to cities, states and their residents is likely to be far greater.

 

An innovative fix for rural higher education deserts

Geography is a barrier to higher education for tens of millions of rural Americans. A few states have hit on an innovative solution.

Via Washington Monthly

After graduating from her rural Pennsylvania high school in 2005, Tesla Rae Moore did what many, perhaps most American high school seniors today expect to do: she left home for college with her sights set on a four-year degree. But when she was a sophomore in nursing school at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, the unexpected intervened: she became pregnant with her son.

“It was a high-risk pregnancy, and I decided to stop the program,” she said. Moore returned to her hometown of Kane, a community of about 3,500 nestled at the edge of the Allegheny National Forest in northwestern Pennsylvania. At first just intending to take a break, she ended up dropping out. “I was going to go back, and then it was just one of those things,” she said. “Life happened.”

Moore didn’t lose her desire to return to school; she just couldn’t figure out how to make it work as the years went by and her family grew. “I’m a single mom, and the only income earner, so I couldn’t quit my job to go to school,” she said. “And if I took classes all day, I’d have to work at night, and who would take care of the kids?” Given her work and family obligations, Moore couldn’t fit in college unless she could attend classes nearby. But getting to Pitt-Bradford, the nearest four-year school, required a round-trip commute of an hour and a half. The nearest community college, in Butler County, was a two-hour drive each way. Moore didn’t have that kind of time to spare. Online-only classes might have been a solution, but Moore felt she needed more structure to succeed. “Especially for somebody that’s been out of school, it takes a lot of discipline,” she said.

A surprising number of Americans face the same problem Moore did. According to the Urban Institute, nearly one in five American adults—as many as forty-one million people—lives twenty-five miles or more from the nearest college or university, or in areas where a single community college is the only source of broad-access public higher education within that distance. Three million of the Americans in these so-called “higher education deserts” lack broadband internet, as well.

Continue reading at Washington Monthly.

Cavity Country

Rural America has too few dentists – and too few patients who can pay.

Via the Washington Post.

Lynnel Beauchesne’s dental office hugs a rural crossroads near Tunnelton, W.Va., population 336. Acres of empty farmland surround the weathered one-story white building; a couple of houses and a few barns are the only neighbors. But the parking lot is full. Some people have driven hours to see Beauchesne, the sole dentist within 30 miles. She estimates that she has as many as 8,000 patients. Before the office closes at 7 p.m., she and her two hygienists will see up to 50 of them, not counting emergencies.

About 43 percent of rural Americans lack access to dental care, according to the National Rural Health Association, and West Virginia, among the poorest and most rural states, is at the center of the crisis.

Read more at the Washington Post.

The Trump economy is supposedly roaring; why aren’t Americans feeling it?

Via Washington Monthly

America’s official unemployment rate now stands at 3.9 percent, which has been cause for much crowing by President Donald Trump. New data, however, belie Trump’s triumphalism on the economy and find that many ordinary Americans are far from confident about their personal economic circumstances.

A new survey by Prudential and Morning Consult finds that just 46 percent of Americans are “hopeful” about their financial security, while 48 percent are “worried” or “very worried.” One in four say they’re saving less for retirement because of their current finances, 27 percent say they’ve taken a second job, and 34 percent say they’ve looked for a new job in an effort to increase their pay.

Fears about retirement security in fact loomed large in this survey, with 72 percent of workers saying they were concerned about their retirement and 80 percent ranking it as the top issue they’d like to see Congress tackle. According to the poll, the principal reasons workers gave for having trouble saving were “daily expenses” (29 percent), housing costs (18 percent), elder care (17 percent) and health care (13 percent).

Why so much anxiety despite nothing but positive toplines on the economy?

One reason is wage stagnation. While corporate profits might be reaching record highs, wage growth has been sluggish. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, real average weekly earnings in April were just 0.4 percent  higher than they were a year ago. Meanwhile, household expenses have been rising at a much faster pace. Average annual premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance, for instance, have risen 19 percent since 2012 and 55 percent since 55 percent since 2007, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

A second reason for Americans’ persistent economic anxieties is escalating levels of debt. This week, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released new data showing an increase in household debt for the 15thconsecutive quarter. As of March 31, U.S. households owed $13.2 trillion, up $63 billion from the fourth quarter of 2017. Student loans were the largest source of debt behind mortgages, outstripping auto loans and credit cards to total $1.41 trillion in the first quarter of 2018.

A third source of household anxiety is growing job insecurity, as mounting numbers of workers enter the “contingent” or “gig” economy. While the precise size of this new economy is under dispute, the Prudential-Morning Consultsurvey found that 27 percent of workers – including 35 percent of millennials – characterized themselves as gig workers and that 30 percent of respondents said someone in their immediate family worked a gig job. Despite their claimed benefits of flexibility and independence, gig work is also seen as insecure – 64 percent of Americans said gig jobs “fail to provide necessary worker benefits.”

Americans’ worries about their finances should also add to the worries of the GOP, which is already highly vulnerable this fall. The President’s much-touted tax cuts have done little to help average families, who might be starting to see the extent to which they’ve been hoodwinked by Trump and GOP promises. Surveys show, for instance, that voters are beginning to pin higher health care costs on Republican recalcitrance over Obamacare – one late 2017 survey found that 50 percent of Americans would blame Trump and Republicans if costs increase and people lose coverage, versus 37 percent who would blame Democrats and former President Barack Obama.

Progressives, on the other hand, now have a chance to point out the failures of Trump’s economic plan and offer their own prescriptions for change. At the top of that list should be strategies to help Americans earn their way to greater financial security through better jobs, higher wages and greater opportunities for advancement. One promising blueprint is the economic opportunity agenda released this week by the House New Democrat Coalition, which offers a smorgasbord of creative ideas for improving workers’ skills and ensuring they are well-equipped to thrive in a changing economy. Among other things, the Coalition calls for an overhaul of higher education so that students not only emerge from school with immediately marketable skills but have a chance to upgrade themselves throughout their working lives.

By embracing a forward-thinking agenda that gives Americans a clear path forward and upward, progressives can shift the political winds in their favor and help to defeat the underlying forces that propelled the rise of Trumpism and its destructive policies.

Originally published at PPI.

The Mirage of Full Employment

Low unemployment rates mask soft spots in the job market, especially among rural Americans and minorities.

For the last several months, Republicans have been resting on the laurels of positive job growth and low unemployment — proof, they say, of the Trump economy’s strength. In March, the nation’s official jobless rate stood at 4.1 percent, the lowest it’s been since the peak of the Great Recession and a level that many economists say is at or approaching “full employment.”

Certainly on paper, the labor market looks to be nearly as tight as it was during past expansions, such as during the boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s. In reality, however, the low official unemployment rate masks some serious weaknesses in the economy, including in the parts of the country that are the strongholds of Trump’s support.

Rural job growth, for example, is lackluster in comparison to that of cities. And while college graduates and the highly-skilled are in demand, minorities and lesser-skilled workers are still struggling. The share of people actually participating in the labor market is also significantly lower than in the past, including among “prime-age” adults between the ages of 25 and 54 who are the backbone of the job market. Simply put, fewer Americans are working or even looking for jobs. This means the decline in jobless rates reflects to some extent a shrinking pool of Americans looking for work.

In March, for instance, the total share of Americans participating in the workforce was more than four percentage points lower than it was in February 2000 — the last time the unemployment rate was as low as it is today. The share of prime-age adults in the workforce was also down by more than two percentage points in comparison to 2000.

The decline in workforce participation is in fact the biggest challenge that must be solved if “full employment” will ever be truly achieved. What isn’t yet clear is exactly why this decline has happened and how to fix it.

While some analyses attribute the continuing decline in workforce participation to demographic shifts, such as the retirement of Baby Boomers and extended schooling for young adults, this doesn’t explain why so many prime-age workers are missing from the strongest job market in years. A 2014 analysis by the Council of Economic Advisers concluded that demographics explains only about half of the decline in workforce participation, while as-yet-unexplained “other factors” account for much of the rest.

There are, however, some strong clues about what these “other factors” could be, such as a geographic mismatch between where new jobs are being created and where people live; workers lacking the right skills for the jobs being created; and lingering structural discrimination. These factors are, in fact, evident from an analysis of who is missing out on the benefits of the recovery:

Rural Americans

Many rural Americans, for example, are facing far less rosy job prospects than their urban counterparts. The number of non-metro jobs still hasn’t caught up to pre-recession levels and even dropped in two of the last five years.

Rural areas are moreover suffering from a double whammy of higher-than-average unemployment rates and lower workforce participation. For instance, while the official rural jobless rate stood at 5.4 percent at the end of the second quarter in 2016 (compared to 4.8 percent for metro areas), the USDA estimates that the unemployment rate would have been 7.8 percent had workforce participation rates been the same as in 2010.

Cities, in contrast, are booming, as regional inequality continues to worsen. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 313 of the nation’s 388 metro areas saw net gains in job growth over the last year. More than two dozen cities report official unemployment rates of less than 3 percent. The biggest winners are, predictably, places such as New York, Dallas and Los Angeles, each of which added 100,000 or more jobs in the last year.

Workers without higher education

Workers with the least skills are also failing to prosper in comparison to their better-educated counterparts. In March 2018, the unemployment rate among workers with a bachelor degree was just 2.2 percent, or about half the rate for workers with a high school diploma or less than a high school education. These figures, however, don’t fully convey the disparities in employment between the best- and least-educated workers.

Because the unemployment rate only includes those actively looking for jobs, a better gauge of the prevalence of work is the “employment-to-population ratio,” which also includes individuals not in the workforce. Under this measure, the inequality in work experience between highly educated and less-educated workers is much more stark.

As the following chart shows, just 44.1 percent of Americans without a high school diploma and 55.0 percent of high school graduates work, versus close to three-quarters of workers with a bachelor’s degree or better.

African American men

Another group that could and should be doing better is African-American men. In March 2018, the unemployment rate among black men was nearly double that of whites — 6.1 percent versus 3.3 percent.

Again, however, the true story is in the employment to population ratio, which shows that although both groups have seeing declining employment, lack of work is far more pervasive among African-American men and among prime-age men in particular. While 87.1 percent of prime-age white men were working in March, the equivalent figure among black prime-age men was nearly 10 percentage points lower, at 77.6 percent.


While the official numbers might say the nation is at “full employment,” there’s much more slack in the labor market than the official numbers night suggest. At the same time that some employers have begun to worry about unfilled job openings and upward pressure on wages, millions of Americans are missing out on new opportunities, either because they live in the wrong place or lack the right skills.

One potential result of this patchy recovery is a worsening of the already significant gulf between the economic haves and have-nots, especially if prosperous metro areas continue to grab the lion’s share of new jobs while vast swathes of the country lose out. These disparities in turn will only further inflame the social and political resentments now dividing the country while making it that much harder for the workers falling behind to catch up.

Although continued strong growth could eventually lift more boats, the workers most likely to benefit are the easiest to employ, with adequate access to jobs and enough basic skills to get through the door. The market alone won’t solve the mismatches in skills and geography that are acting as structural barriers to true full employment. Instead, it’s up to policymakers to make that happen.


Originally published at washingtonmonthly.com on April 13, 2018.

For homeless youth, statistics and reality are miles apart

Via TalkPoverty.org

At the headquarters of Covenant House Washington in Southeast D.C., a nonprofit serving youth experiencing homelessness, ten twin-sized black canvas cots fill a white-tiled alcove on the main floor. The space serves as an emergency shelter for homeless young people, which Covenant House calls “The Sanctuary.” In keeping with its name, the walls are a deep, soothing blue.

Five of the cots are for women and five for men, which is far short of the demand. The room is empty now, in mid-afternoon, but by 6:00 p.m., when the shelter opens, young people will be lining up for a chance to snag a few square feet of space for the evening, and maybe a shower and a hot meal.

“We turn away at least 8 youth per night,” says Madye Henson, Covenant House Washington’s chief executive officer.

Henson has added extra beds for hypothermia season and is planning a permanent expansion to 20 beds this year. In combination with its other programs, that would bring Covenant House’s total emergency shelter capacity to 77, making it the city’s largest provider of emergency shelter for homeless youth. But compared with the D.C. General Family Shelter for families with children, with 264 beds, Covenant House is still tiny.

The shortage of shelter beds for homeless youth is endemic across the country. Youth homelessness has been a low priority for federal funding and largely an afterthought in communities’ efforts to fight homelessness. Instead, young adults have been thrown into the system for chronically homeless adults, despite their very different needs and the dangers they face in adult shelters.

Continue reading at TalkPoverty.org

The Dialysis Machine

Via Washington Monthly

On a sunny August day, an elderly, fragile-looking black man sits slumped in a wheelchair, eyes closed, outside the doors of a DaVita Dialysis center. The business takes up the corner of a run-down strip mall in Southeast D.C., in a heavily black neighborhood across the river from the Capitol. It’s next door to a liquor store and steps away from an ACE Cash Express check-cashing outlet, a barbershop, and a takeout place. A big sign on the glass warns visitors that firearms are not allowed inside. A handicapped-accessible public bus waits in the parking lot to take other patients home.

It’s midafternoon, but the shopping center is buzzing with knots of people hanging out by the takeout and the barbershop. Everybody seems to know someone on dialysis. One man in a barber’s smock out for a cigarette break says he had a friend who died at a dialysis center. He says ambulances are a constant presence at the DaVita clinic. It’s not unusual for people to die on dialysis: nationally, about one-fourth of patients die in the first year, and six in ten will be dead within five years.

As many as thirty million Americans have chronic kidney disease. If you’re one of them, and you’re white, well educated, and middle class or higher, odds are you’ll get the kind of medical care that will save your kidneys. You likely have private health insurance and get regular checkups. You probably caught your condition early and are taking medication to slow down the disease’s progression.

But if you are poor, less educated, and black, the odds are much greater that your disease will run unchecked and your kidneys will eventually fail. According to the National Institutes of Health, black people are nearly four times as likely to suffer kidney failure as whites. Then you will likely end up on dialysis, spending three days a week, four hours at a time, at a place like this one, as your blood is pumped out of your body, filtered, and pumped back in.

Farther down the sidewalk, waiting for her daughter at the takeout, is Sharon C., a soft-spoken sixty-two-year-old black woman in a sleeveless white dress and Jackie O sunglasses who doesn’t want to give her full name. She sits in a wheelchair, her left foot and ankle grotesquely swollen, the result of poor circulation caused by the diabetes she was diagnosed with in 2005.

Sharon goes to a different DaVita center for dialysis, one near Capitol Hill, where she spends every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. “You can’t miss a treatment,” she says. “You can’t go anywhere.” She says she only got on dialysis two months earlier, when her one functioning kidney finally failed. She is not on the wait list for a transplant. “I need to find a donor,” she says, echoing what patient advocates say is a common misperception among dialysis patients: that you can’t get a transplant unless you find a donor for yourself. “I don’t want to be like this.”

The most tragic consequence of a system that incentivizes keeping people, especially poor people and minorities, on dialysis is that it also keeps them from getting what is beyond doubt the best treatment for kidney failure: a transplant.

Of the 661,000 Americans with kidney failure, about 468,000 people—more than a third of whom are black—are on dialysis. In the District of Columbia, where the prevalence of kidney failure is the highest in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control, there are twenty-three dialysis centers, mostly in Northeast and Southeast Washington, the predominantly black parts of the city that are also ground zero for diabetes and high blood pressure, the two conditions most linked to kidney disease. Another 100 dialysis centers are within a twenty-five-mile radius of the city, again concentrated in the suburbs with the largest minority and low-income populations. In District Heights, Maryland, a DaVita center dominates the busy intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Silver Hill Road. In a strip mall just across the street is a clinic run by U.S. Renal Care.

Like check-cashing outlets and payday lenders, dialysis centers—the vast majority of which are for-profit, like DaVita and U.S. Renal Care—are now fixtures in the urban commercial landscape. “We used to say there’s a liquor store on every corner,” said Clive Callender, a transplant surgeon and professor of surgery at Howard University. “Now we say there’s a dialysis unit on every corner.”

The prevalence of dialysis centers in minority neighborhoods is a reflection of policy failures that encourage—indeed institutionalize—class and racial disparities in American health care. These failures include more than just disparate access to the primary and preventive services that could help high-risk patients stave off kidney disease. Public policy effectively steers low-income and minority patients with kidney disease toward dialysis and away from superior options, particularly transplants.

Everyone with kidney failure, also called end-stage renal disease, is covered by Medicare. And Medicare guarantees payment for every dialysis session. As a result, the treatment of kidney failure is a volume-centered business aimed at keeping dialysis centers running. “You fill up a facility with so many stations, you make sure somebody is sitting in each of those chairs around the clock,” said Dennis Cotter, president of the Medical Technology and Practice Patterns Institute. “It’s the Henry Ford production model.”

This system creates an incentive for clinics to keep patients on dialysis until they die.

Continued at the Washington Monthly

One of These Governors Could Save Democrats in 2020

Via the American Interest

Under a clear blue sky in late summer, with the peaks of the Gallatin Mountains as a backdrop, Montana Governor Steve Bullock mingles with guests at a private event on a ranch just outside Bozeman. Holding a plate piled high with barbecue, Bullock is half a head taller than most of the people here. He is genial and relaxed, in jeans and battered brown shoes. His nametag reads, “Governor Steve.”

A young mother brings over two little girls in flowered sundresses, and Bullock immediately drops down to eye level. A few minutes later, the girls leave with their mother, smiles on their faces, their votes no doubt locked up for 15 years hence when the girls will be old enough to cast a ballot. In half the conversations that swirl around Bullock, there are joking references to 2020 and hints about the Governor’s ambitions. It’s an open secret here that the Bullock might be running for President.

Just this past fall, Bullock won re-election over GOP challenger billionaire Greg Gianforte by four percentage points—50 percent to 46 percent—in a state where only 35 percent of voters chose Democrat Hillary Clinton for President and Donald Trump won by 20 points. That victory is Bullock’s calling card into the Democratic presidential sweepstakes, along with the prairie populist credentials he has burnished. As the state’s Attorney General, he endeared himself to sportsmen by authoring a state opinion guaranteeing access to public lands. He also took on the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, defending the state’s ban on corporate spending (he lost when the Court reaffirmed its decision).

But Bullock is not the only Democratic Governor with an eye on 2020. No fewer than five Governors (out of a field of only 15 Democratic Governors nationwide) are rumored to be or talked about as serious potential presidential contenders. Many of these, like Bullock, are governing in states that voted for Trump, or where the legislatures are controlled by Republicans, or both. And many, like Bullock, claim a pragmatic approach to policy that’s intentionally difficult to pigeonhole—by turns progressive, populist, and libertarian.

These governors join what is seemingly already a cast of thousands vying for the chance to take down Trump. In addition to liberal senatorial heavyweights Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden, none of whom have (yet) officially revealed their intentions, there is a raft of younger Senators, House members, rising-star big-city Mayors, and an assortment of CEOs and celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (though revelations of Facebook’s pre-election ad sales to the Russians might sink that candidacy before it begins).

But of all of these, a Governor might have the best shot at actually winning. Why is that? The simple answer is that Governors are not inherently Washington swamp creatures, and that’s what the Democrats need to fracture Trump’s stubbornly loyal coalition.

Read more at The American Interest.