More significantly a majority of the intake, including Mr Webb, are economic populists who are deeply suspicious of free trade and quick to blame China and other developing countries for the loss of US jobs. Some, such as Sherrod Brown, the new Democratic senator for the key Midwest state of Ohio, which has lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs since Mr Bush came to power, won the election virtually on that issue alone.
"We will focus on economic fairness in a country divided too much by class in an age of the internationalisation of American corporations," said Mr Webb in a victory rally speech that devoted more to the economy than all other themes combined. "At a time when profits are at a record high and wages are at a low, we will focus on bridging the class divide."
Now, what this means is that Democrats will need if they wish to be successful to have a strong, viable economic agenda. I would seriously question whether they can similtaneously increase wages while increasing immigration levels.
The rhetoric of "putting Americans first" can be applied both to trade an immigration—and will I expect have to be applied to both for that kind of program to work at all.