This whole idea of the “white working class” is nonsense, which was created by lazy media pundits. The group that the Democratic Party has left behind is the working class of all races. The party has pandered to numerous groups: various racial groups, gender identity groups, immigrant groups and favored businesses, such as wind and solar energy companies. The party has not been speaking to the problems of people living in the industrial heartland (calling it the “rust belt” is derogatory) and those folks have concluded that the Democratic Party offers them nothing. They voted for something different because they believe that their lives cannot get much worse. Of course, many non-white working class people simply chose not to vote this year.
A party that supports economic growth and job creation would appeal to blue-collar workers of all races. To claim that the party must choose between supporting workers and supporting people of one race or another seems to imply that some racial groups do not care about jobs.
As a Wisconsin resident, I got to watch the Russ Feingold campaign up close. Feingold did not run on a Bernie Sanders economic platform. The thing that Feingold discussed most was his support for the Affordable Care Act, which Senator Ron Johnson wants to repeal. His second most discussed feature was that he was not a Republican and would be able to help President Hillary Clinton once they both returned to Washington. The unpopularity of the ACA explains Feingold’s poor showing in Wisconsin.