For the future of the Democratic party, the 18-percentage-point defeat of Walter F. Mondale in the last election was far less important than the decisive failure of the party’s basic strategy: voter mobilization. Both the Mondale campaign and the Democratic National Committee calculated that in 1984 the party had the potential to register and turn out sharply increased numbers of blacks, Hispanics, and women to reverse a 20-year decline in the rate of voter participation in presidential...
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