Stanley Greenberg

Stanley B. Greenberg is a founding partner of Greenberg Research and Democracy Corps, and author of America Ascendant: A Revolutionary Nation's Path to Addressing Its Deepest Problems and Leading the 21st Century.

Recent Articles

Unlearning the Lessons of Hillbilly Elegy

America’s beleaguered poor and working class have a host of problems, but the culture of irresponsibility that J.D. Vance says they’re prey to isn’t one of them.

This article appears in the Winter 2019 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy has been on The New York Times ’ bestseller list for nearly two years, and deservedly, given how improbable the author’s odyssey has been. Vance grew up with a drug-addicted mom involved with an untold number of men, in a world of broken marriages, teen pregnancies, alcoholism, violence, mistrust, anger, and fatalism. He owes his life and survival to loving grandparents who taught him to value hard work and education. After he graduated high school, he went into the Marine Corps, then to Ohio State, to Yale for his law degree, and on to Silicon Valley before moving back to Columbus, Ohio, where he wrote this memoir at age 31. The book is powerfully written and poignant—and for a year, I decided to give J.D. Vance a pass. It is important his story be told and respected. The problem is that Vance is wrong about the lessons we should take...

The Broad Support for Taxing the Wealthy

Why Democrats should run on rolling back the tax cut and raising taxes on the rich

This article appears in the Summer 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . The 2018 elections in November could be as important to Democrats as the anti-Obamacare 2010 wave election that shaped American politics for almost a decade was to Republicans—if Democrats don’t let ’em hide from their tax scam for the rich. And we do not yet know whether Democrats will get it right. As Democrats allowed issues of health care, Medicare, Medicaid, and the tax cuts to move to the sidelines, the national generic vote has narrowed and Trump’s approval rating has crept up. Democrats have deferred to the Republicans on the economy, even though it remains the simplest, most important determinant of the off-year congressional vote, and even though the Democratic base and swing voters are deeply suspicious of what Trump and the congressional Republicans are doing passing a tax cut for the rich. Am I really recommending that we run in 2018 on raisingtaxes?...

How She Lost

Malpractice cost Clinton the election, but her ambivalence on big issues was produced by big structural factors that affect all Democrats.


AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen Penguin This article appears in the Fall 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . Hillary Clinton’s tragic 2016 campaign faced withering criticism in the press, social media, and now, in Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes’s inside account, Shattered . From my vantage point as lead pollster for the Democratic nominees in 1992 and 2000, part of the closing clutch of pollsters in 2004, and invited noodge in 2016, I have little quarrel with the harshest of these criticisms. Malpractice and arrogance contributed mightily to the election of Donald Trump and its profound threat to our democracy. So did the handling of the email server, paid Wall Street speeches, and the “deplorables” comment. And her unwillingness to challenge the excesses of big money and corporate influence left her exposed to attacks first by Bernie Sanders and then by Donald Trump and unable...

The Democrats’ ‘Working-Class Problem’

It’s not only with whites. It reaches well into the party’s base.

(Photo: AP/Debra McCown)
wwc_icon2.jpg This article appears in the Summer 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . The road to a sustainable Democratic majority—nationally, locally, and in the states—must include much higher Democratic performance with white working-class voters (those without a four-year degree). Nearly every group in the progressive infrastructure is busy figuring out how Democrats can get back to the level of support they reached with President Obama’s 2012 victory. That is a pretty modest target, however, given the scale of Democratic losses. It underestimates the scope of the problem and, ironically, the opportunity. The Democrats don’t have a “white working-class problem.” They have a “working-class problem,” which progressives have been reluctant to address honestly or boldly. The fact is that Democrats have lost support with all working-class voters across the electorate, including the Rising American Electorate of...

How Progressive Policies Can Lead to a Democratic Majority

The new American electorate could offer a durable majority--if Democrats address economic needs with progressive policies, not centrist ones.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
This article appears in the Spring 2015 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Click here for a free PDF of this 25th Anniversary issue of the Prospect. What is the biggest obstacle to Democrats truly winning a national election and pursuing a progressive agenda? What is the biggest obstacle to Democrats winning big enough, geographically broad enough, and deep enough to overcome the constitutional barriers to a governing majority in America? I posed that first question in The American Prospect in a piece titled “From Crisis to Working Majority,” which I wrote at the time Bill Clinton was preparing to run for president. Focusing on the Reagan Democrats who lived in middle- and working-class suburban communities like Macomb County, Michigan, I came to the conclusion that Democrats needed to address disaffected white industrial workers. Many of them were union workers, frustrated that Democrats had failed to identify with their struggles and values. They were very open to...