The White Working Class: Why Writing Them Off Is Political Insanity
The excellent David Wasserman had some astute comments on Twitter about the white working class and how nuts it is for Democrats to write them off. He is correct in all respects and his data is spot on!
“The bottom line: Dems don’t need to win a higher % of the WWC than in ’16 b/c 1) it’s declining as a % of voters and 2) Dems have made robust gains among college whites.
But Dems *can’t* afford to backslide much further & hope to win MI/PA/WI etc. And avoiding that isn’t simple.
Not about winning the demog. It’s about Dems not getting absolutely annihilated.
Moreover, the notion that voting behavior is polarized to the point that there aren’t any swing/persuadable voters left isn’t based in reality.
Not only did we see above-average swings from ’12 to ’16, Dems wouldn’t have gone +40 in ’18 without converting lots of ’16 R voters.
Much of the analysis I’m seeing on this site assumes there’s no more room for Dems to fall w/ white non-college voters, who are simply a “lost cause.”
In fact, Dems have an awful lot more room to fall w/ them, and that’s especially true in many of the most critical EC states.
Dems’ path to beating Trump absolutely depends on retaining the gains they made in diverse, college-educated burbs — the kinds we saw in 2018 & #NC09.
But even a slight drop among white non-college voters could negate all of it, given the demog’s size & geographic distribution.
Dems’ backslide w/ these voters is the main reason IA (66%) and OH (60%) have already exited stage right off the EC battleground, and why a Dem nominee who performs even worse w/ them could risk losses in ME (66%), NH (61%) or MN (56%).
Here’s why the “let’s win without working-class whites” mentality doesn’t hold water for Dems. That demog comprises 45% of all eligible U.S. voters, but:
61% in Wisconsin
61% in New Hampshire
56% in Michigan
56% in Minnesota
56% in Pennsylvania
47% in North Carolina