We know by anecdote and statistic what a Reagan Democrat is. They are the white working class voters who broke with the DP in order to support Reagan. We've been treated to various explanations for the Republican Obama supporters, the so-called Obamacons. But what occurs to me is a more basic question: what exactly is an Obama Democrat?
Bill Clinton managed to get elected on the strength of his Democratic Leadership Council centrism, along with elements of the old coalition but he didn't have nearly the pull -- or debt -- with the grassroots party activists that Obama does. In the past few weeks we've seen him roll out a cabinet of more or less centrists, many of them heavily indebted to Bill Clinton for their present political standing. So are they the face of Obama Democrats -- meaning that Obama Democrats are just fresher versions of the Clinton ones?
He has brought an influx of seldom-before and never-before voters into the fold, people whose engagement with the political process is attributable almost entirely to his campaign -- are they the Obama Democrats?
Or maybe the 3.5 million donors or the 12 or so million people in his voter database?
Are they the party and issue activists who ensured that his unlikely campaign would outflank the Clinton machine?
This is not abstract speculation since what we're talking about here is Obama's key constituency, the people whose needs, at least theoretically, rank the highest. The people who will give or deny him a second term.
Perhaps the key question is -- does this category even exist?