“NAFTA has become unpopular among Republicans, while Democrats like it fine. It gets -5 from white evangelicals, -6 from rural whites, -4 in exurban counties, -5 among white male seniors, and a whopping -17 among white non-college married men.”
These are Republican voters to whom a free-trade Democratic Party has nothing much to say, but whom a free-trade-skeptic Democratic Party might be able to recruit.
Right now the Republicans are working on making inroads on the Democratic core: labor, Jews, Hispanics, and blacks. They don’t need to win those constituencies — if they get 20% of the black vote or 30% of the Jewish vote they really hurt the Democrats. The Democrats have been playing a defensive game for at least the last 16 years. Are there any Republican core constituencies that the Democrats might be attacking? It seems to me that Drezner just named some prospects.
Democratic unanimity on free trade is driven by the donors, tby he media (who all have their own axes to grind), and by the party pros. Not by the voters. Considering how well the pros have been doing recently, I think that we should ask whether we need some replacement pros.