Anthony, as used in recent discussions, the term Working Class Whites is political shorthand that denotes a voting block, and has little other connotation. Blacks have reliably voted democrat at a 10–1 rate over republicans since the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. WWC individuals pre-1964 were a prime constituency of the democrats. That began to shift in 1965, and in the current election, WWCs appear to have abandoned the democrats.
The Civil Rights Act put states on notice that they could not prevent Blacks from registering to vote, which meant Blacks could vote for their own leaders from the local level on up, also, and critically important, it meant that Blacks charged with crimes would no longer be judged by all White juries. (in the US, jury pool members are chosen strictly from the rolls of registered voters.)
Another important point in US elections is the reality that most national elections are 48/52, 49/51 affairs.
WWCs used to be a pretty reliable voting block for the democratic party, but over the past twenty years or so, the party has, out of necessity, broadened it’s focus and aggressively courted what Republicans call victim classes to cobble together a majority. As the interests of other groups have garnered more support from the Democratic Party and arguably led to less support for the issues of the WWC, WWC voters have steadily abandoned the democrats.
This year, Mr Trump has been quite successful at attracting an alarmingly high degree of support from the WWC, leading to a great deal of discussion and argument over whether the party abandoned the (valuable) voting block or the other way around.
To be clear, I’m a (fiscal) conservative, and my definitions and explanations probably violate DNC orthodoxy. LOL.
The shift began in the south during the sixties when Johnson was trying to pass the Civil Rights Act. Southern Democrats refused to vote for the act, and the bill was only passed due to broad support from the Republican Party. Over the next decade or two, many southern members of the old Democratic party actually switched sides and labeled themselves Republican, because so many (White) southern citizens (predominately members of the White Working Class) upset at their loss of power stopped voting for Democrats. The White Working Class in the rest of the country did NOT abandon the Democrat party, and were quite loyal until Obama’s first election.
As I said at the beginning, the primary purpose of the labels is simply to serve as (political)short hand for the different voting blocks, though many on both sides find much amusement in applying those labels in more derogatory ways.
Thanks for asking. I’m old, and this is by far the craziest election of my lifetime.