The proletariat votes Republican

Statistical slicing and dicing of the election results shows what I had been saying:  Blue-collar workers, who used to be Democrat’s base, are now overwhelmingly voting Republican.  Higher income folks are voting for the Democrats.  These class dynamics, of course, fly in the face of leftist political theory.

Democrats remained strong in areas with the party’s core of minorities and higher-educated whites. But movement of white working-class voters away from the party is a concern for Democrats, especially because of President Obama’s traditional weakness with those voters.

Republicans’ success with the blue-collar vote and the high enthusiasm of the tea party gives it a fired-up base headed into 2012. But in a presidential election with higher turnout, the party might have trouble winning a majority with those voters alone. It certainly can’t rely on that bloc to carry the party into the future.

Democrats largely held on to their high share of the vote in the country’s densest places. The party captured 54 percent in counties with populations of more than 500,000 people, compared with only 49 percent in 1994. In smaller counties, Democrats’ share of the vote slid to 39 percent this year from 43 percent in 1994.

Much of the reason for the Democrats’ decline in less-dense areas can be attributed to the party’s trouble attracting white, working-class voters. Exit polls showed that Democrats lost white voters without a college degree – one way to measure blue-collar voters – by almost 30 percentage points in House races.

via Political divide between coasts and Midwest deepening, midterm election analysis shows.

The article, which is putting the best construction on everything for the Democrats, says that the Republican dominance among low income white people will not last long, since that demographic is shrinking.  I don’t know.  With the current economy, that number may just skyrocket.

And it doesn’t look like the Democrats will try to win back their base as long as they give off the classist vibe, the sense that all of those uneducated voters, those ignorant white trash rednecks, just don’t belong among their betters.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Rose

    Those “higher income folks..voting for the Democrats” may be nonprofiteers. Their employment in the private or public sector requires dependent, incompetent clients.

  • Rose

    Those “higher income folks..voting for the Democrats” may be nonprofiteers. Their employment in the private or public sector requires dependent, incompetent clients.

  • Tom Hering

    “… the Republican dominance among low income white people will not last long, since that demographic is shrinking. I don’t know. With the current economy, that number may just skyrocket.”

    If that number does skyrocket, it will happen after the voters turned, this past month, to the Republicans to fix things. So Republicans will get the lion’s share of the blame if things get worse.

    All those newly-impoverished workers are going to need government services. Will they vote, in 2012, for the party that wants to cut those services? Or for the party that has kept those services going?

    And what if the Democrats (especially the President) have learned the lesson that they can’t stop campaigning for the public’s support after they win power? There are signs they’ve learned this lesson (Plouffe will be replacing Axelrod in January).

    One thing’s for sure. Two years from now, the voters’ perceptions won’t be what they are today.

  • Tom Hering

    “… the Republican dominance among low income white people will not last long, since that demographic is shrinking. I don’t know. With the current economy, that number may just skyrocket.”

    If that number does skyrocket, it will happen after the voters turned, this past month, to the Republicans to fix things. So Republicans will get the lion’s share of the blame if things get worse.

    All those newly-impoverished workers are going to need government services. Will they vote, in 2012, for the party that wants to cut those services? Or for the party that has kept those services going?

    And what if the Democrats (especially the President) have learned the lesson that they can’t stop campaigning for the public’s support after they win power? There are signs they’ve learned this lesson (Plouffe will be replacing Axelrod in January).

    One thing’s for sure. Two years from now, the voters’ perceptions won’t be what they are today.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    In times of economic difficulty, people often turn to the opposition – not because they are pro-opposition, but because they are anti-government. As the old saying goes – “A hungry stomach is not a good political advisor” (not that many are really hungry today, but the truth of the saying holds…).

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    In times of economic difficulty, people often turn to the opposition – not because they are pro-opposition, but because they are anti-government. As the old saying goes – “A hungry stomach is not a good political advisor” (not that many are really hungry today, but the truth of the saying holds…).

  • John C

    The fact that the under-educated watch Fox and vote Republican is hardly a revelation.

  • John C

    The fact that the under-educated watch Fox and vote Republican is hardly a revelation.

  • Joe

    And that John C kind of comment is exactly why the Dems are loosing their grasp on the blue-collar worker. Keep insulting the people whose votes you seek and see how far that gets you.

  • Joe

    And that John C kind of comment is exactly why the Dems are loosing their grasp on the blue-collar worker. Keep insulting the people whose votes you seek and see how far that gets you.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Well, if you compared me with a Ph.D I guess I count as undereducated, seeing as I only hold a Master’s degree at the moment and I am research project short of a second Master’s in a different field. Although, I don’t watch Fox, I read it, no cable.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Well, if you compared me with a Ph.D I guess I count as undereducated, seeing as I only hold a Master’s degree at the moment and I am research project short of a second Master’s in a different field. Although, I don’t watch Fox, I read it, no cable.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “The Dems are loosing their grasp on the blue-collar worker” because of Australians taking potshots at the American media? Really? That’s odd.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “The Dems are loosing their grasp on the blue-collar worker” because of Australians taking potshots at the American media? Really? That’s odd.

  • DonS

    Quite frankly, Democratic policies don’t help the white working class voter, or any working class voter, for that matter. Environmentalism, which is driven by white liberal elites, largely situated on the coasts in comfortable service-industry positions, has killed manufacturing in large swaths of this country already. Heavy industry is dead in California, for example. These policies are now working on killing it in remaining portions of the country, as AGW regulations mandating much more expensive energy and other carbon emission reductions, take hold. Good jobs, for middle class voters, are manufacturing jobs.

    That’s without even considering the way the Democratic party has moved away from middle class voters on social issues.

  • DonS

    Quite frankly, Democratic policies don’t help the white working class voter, or any working class voter, for that matter. Environmentalism, which is driven by white liberal elites, largely situated on the coasts in comfortable service-industry positions, has killed manufacturing in large swaths of this country already. Heavy industry is dead in California, for example. These policies are now working on killing it in remaining portions of the country, as AGW regulations mandating much more expensive energy and other carbon emission reductions, take hold. Good jobs, for middle class voters, are manufacturing jobs.

    That’s without even considering the way the Democratic party has moved away from middle class voters on social issues.

  • Porcell

    Working people understand that the Democratic party has been taking over by a bunch of coastal gentry liberals and the public employee’s unions who are clueless as to the private investment that drives the economy.

    Michael Barone in a recent AEI piece describes the scene:

    Gentry liberals: The tsunami swept from the George Washington Bridge to the Donner Pass, but didn’t wash away affluent liberals to the east and west of these geographic markers. Also surviving were the cannibals–the public employee unions that are threatening to bankrupt states like California and New York, a prospect that doesn’t faze the left-leaning gentry. In these areas Republicans picked up one House seat anchored in Staten Island, two in New Hampshire and one in Washington state, and they came close in two California districts wholly or partly in the Central Valley. Gentry liberal territory stayed staunchly Democratic.

  • Porcell

    Working people understand that the Democratic party has been taking over by a bunch of coastal gentry liberals and the public employee’s unions who are clueless as to the private investment that drives the economy.

    Michael Barone in a recent AEI piece describes the scene:

    Gentry liberals: The tsunami swept from the George Washington Bridge to the Donner Pass, but didn’t wash away affluent liberals to the east and west of these geographic markers. Also surviving were the cannibals–the public employee unions that are threatening to bankrupt states like California and New York, a prospect that doesn’t faze the left-leaning gentry. In these areas Republicans picked up one House seat anchored in Staten Island, two in New Hampshire and one in Washington state, and they came close in two California districts wholly or partly in the Central Valley. Gentry liberal territory stayed staunchly Democratic.


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