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PSN on November 16, 2006 - 11:16am
Even more than simply marking the end of one-party rule in Washington, last Tuesday's elections indicated what may be the beginning of long-term progressive strength: a strength fueled, in part, by increasing strength among Latinos and young voters, as well as huge turnout from American workers, who voted for change.
It is clear that these new votes (from persuasion or unexpected turnout) had their basis in clear policy distinctions. Minimum wage issues helped drive up turnout among workers and youth. The right's radical immigration policy fomented a backlash among Latino voters and turned off other ethnic groups at the same time. Trade policy played a bigger role than it has in recent years. And other critical issues, like education affordability and health care ended up on the radar screen in this election in ways they hadn't before.
The lesson for progressives is clear: Americans -- most of them, anyways -- really are hungry for policies that raise wages, increase opportunity, and lessen economic insecurity.