How did CNN allow this to be published? Just kidding, though I’m sure the headline would irk some old-school Democratic Party supporters. The shift has occurred folks. The Democratic Party can no longer call itself the party of the working class, which has always been the Left’s claim to fame in election years. They’re the party of the common man, the blue-collar worker. It was plastered over the election marquees every two-to-four years. Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are some of the most vocal public figures who talk about the working man, the forgotten man, and how to make their lives better, though they’re two very different on that approach. It’s left-wing and right-wing populism, both are rising due to Washington’s long history of being unable to get stuff done, denigrating voters, and lying to them. Such anger can cause seismic shifts in the electorate and we have on right here. In less than 20 years, Democrats' working-class backbone has dissolved.
Now, we all saw this in 2016. There was an ongoing debate about how Democrats can beat Trump in 2020. Do we reach out to working-class whites or double down on their usual bases of support? Democrats opted for the latter so to speak. Suburban voters were queasy over Trump’s delivery which padded the numbers, but Democrats don’t care or know any working-class people anymore. It’s all wealthy, snobby, educated elites in the cities and the coasts. Now, with slight defections from the Rust Belt, plus suburban voters souring on the Trump agenda during COVID—I can see how Democrats could eke out a win. Frankly, subtle shifts in the white working-class voter base can sink your entire campaign. Remember, if the GOP got around 43,000 extra votes across Georgia, Arizona, and Wisconsin, Trump remains in office. In the House, the GOP just needed 32,000 votes to retake the majority. Keeping the Senate? That just required a 0.3 percent shift, or an additional 14,000 votes. Liberals LOVE the popular vote totals. They don’t matter. Electoral College maneuvering is an entirely different ballgame.
Yet, one thing that did stand out clearly was that education, not income, is the key predictive factor concerning white voters. And CNN’s Harry Enten dug deeper while declaring that the Republican Party is now the undisputed voice for working-class Americans (via CNN):
Democrats represent a mere five seats of the 65 districts (8%) that have a higher proportion of Whites without a college degree in their ranks. All of those Democratic representatives were incumbents heading into the 2020 elections (i.e. no non-incumbents like Hart won in these districts). Going further, a mere two of the top 50 districts with Whites without a college degree have a Democratic representative and none of the top 10 do.
It's important to note that it wasn't this way the last time Democrats won back the House from Republicans in 2006, when the seat was last held by Republicans. Democrat Dave Loebsack's win over moderate Republican Jim Leach that year capped off the Democrats' midterm victory. (Loebsack held the seat until earlier this year, when he was replaced by Miller-Meeks, after he declined to run for another term in 2020.)
After the 2006 elections, Democrats controlled 44% of the districts with as many or more White non-college graduates as Iowa's 2nd District. They held 23 of the top 50 districts matching this description, or 21 more than they do now. Additionally, Democrats held five of the top 10 of these districts compared to zero today.
One of those five in 2006 was Democrat Zack Space from Tuscarawas County, Ohio, in the state's 2nd District. He won by 24 points in an open seat and by 45 points in his home county. That district, in its form then, had more non-college Whites as a proportion of the adult population than all but one district nationally.
To give you an idea of how much things have changed in the last 15 years, former President Donald Trump won Tuscarawas by 40 points in 2020.
Non-college White voters wanted no part of voting Democratic in 2020 House races, regardless of their income levels. White voters without a college degree favored Republicans by about a 26-point margin, if their family income was below the median. They voted Republican by a 31-point margin if their family income was above the median.
Among all White respondents, the Democratic margin increased by 39 points when respondents had a college degree. The House margin among all White respondents shifted by 5 points toward the Democrats, when their family income was above the median compared to below.
It's not that higher income makes White voters more Democratic, but rather that education is such a powerful pull and more educated voters tend to be wealthier. This is why we see wealthier White areas trending Democratic and poorer areas trending Republican in recent years. The latter tend to be filled with less educated voters, while the former tend to have more educated voters.
In other words, income matters very little among White voters. Education means everything.
So, I’m sure you probably already knew that, but Enten added that “in 2006…White voters without a college degree actually favored Democrats by a 3-point margin if their family income was below the median. White voters favored Republicans by a 13-point margin if their family income was above the median.”
This is a massive chunk of voters that Democrats have to win back or at least not have apocalyptic returns with if they wish to have a better shot at enacting their legislative aims. The good news is that the woke Left won’t allow that to happen. The base of the Democratic Party has an unbridled hatred for rural America and those without college degrees, so this is not going to happen unless Democrats are brutally destroyed in another election and this trend finally sinks into the minds of liberals. It isn’t like the GOP had a massive messaging campaign to get these voters into their camp. It’s just that we’re the party of fewer regulations, taxes, and more jobs. We’re patriotic. We know when to shut up and not drop intersectionality lectures at sporting events. We’re the party for normal people. The Democrats opted for the rich white leftists in the cities. This isn’t sustainable.
Former 2012 Obama veteran David Shor noted that white liberals surging into the ranks of the Democratic base could cost the party scores of votes with nonwhite voters who aren’t as ideological as white progressives, who have a horrible habit of affixing race-based political positions onto voter blocs even though the data to support such claims isn’t there. I’d bet the average white progressive thinks Hispanics support a pathway to citizenship by 60+ percent. It actually barely breaks 50 percent, and the defund the police antics white liberals screamed about actually caused black and Hispanic voters to support Republicans. Not good for two voter blocs that typically back Democrats. Also, since more education equals more cash, these white liberals are going to fill the campaign coffers and have a greater say in the agenda. That’s how this works. I can see A LOT of issues off the top of my head with that trend, especially in the era of wokeness, political correctness, and white liberals taking the mantle of being protectors of nonwhites…which is not their call. The limits of this strategy take root as we head into the 2022 midterms. Enten noted in a separate piece that Biden hasn’t gained any new support since the 2020 election, which spells trouble if that holds.
At the same time, Republicans can and should do a better job reaching out to suburban voters and even urban ones on key issues that impact everyone: the education of our children. With teachers’ unions holding up reopening schools due to COVID. It’s a prime opportunity to push school choice issues, which everyone supports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it's safe to reopen. The science says it’s safe to reopen. Even Joe Biden says it’s ok to reopen, but the unions would rather cling to political power, screw the children, and remain on summer vacation.
Biden did promise to reopen schools if elected. He’s so far failed in that endeavor.