Harry Enten: Why Republicans Can Claim To Be The Party Of The White Working Class

Unfortunately, they aren’t acting like it.

Conservatism, Inc. and the Republican policy agenda hasn’t caught up yet with the reality of who Republican voters are these days. The GOP establishment wing of suburban moderates has been reduced to a disaffected rump. PMCs are no longer equally split between the two parties.


“(CNN) – Iowa Democrat Rita Hart decided this week to withdraw her challenge to her defeat in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District last year. Her six-vote loss to Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks capped off a successful year for Iowa Republicans who won the presidential race, Senate race and three of four House races in the state in 2020.

Hart’s loss is one of the strongest signs of a larger story: educational polarization in our politics dominating even in places it didn’t previously exist, while income has become considerably less important in determining voting patterns. …

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. …

Today, it’s common to say that Republicans do well among “White working class” voters, which we mean to be a stand-in for them doing well among Whites without a college degree.

Of course, working class can also mean those who are lower on the income ladder. The reason we don’t focus on income is because it simply doesn’t explain as much about our politics.

Take a look at the Cooperative Election Study, which is a large academic survey of voters taken after each election, to better understand how little income matters to White voting patterns.

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.  …”

Today, Republicans can rightly claim to have the support of the White working class based on either an economic- or education-based definition. …”

Mitt Romney won college educated voters in 2012:

The big picture story is that different people are now Republicans and Democrats than in 2006 with college-educated White voters in wealthy suburbs moving toward the Democrats and White working class voters without college degrees moving toward the Republicans.

We know the truth is this:

Donald Trump changed the Republican Party by changing the voters.

Approximately half of Republicans are newcomers. Those people are also the strongest Republicans now. In 2021, it is still a populist-conservative coalition, but now the populist wing is demographically ascendant. The party is relatively united about 85/15 on social issues and is split about 60/40 on economics. The so-called “far right” is also now by far the largest group in the Republican coalition.

The new Republican coalition is a major opportunity for Republicans. While it is true that White working class voters are primarily animated by cultural war grievances, it is also true that their economic interest is more aligned with working class voters in general. Working class voters of all races are 1.) more ethnocentric, 2.) more opposed to interventionism abroad, 3.) more critical of the economic system, 4.) more hostile to established elites and 5.) more opposed to mass immigration. The Republicans can afford to be a lot more flexible on economics now that Corporate America is turning its back on the party and the True Cons are voting for Joe Biden on the basis of their conservative principles. The current base of the Republican Party is no longer motivated by issues like securing tax cuts for millionaires.

If the Republicans changed their economic policy agenda to follow through on this “party of the working class” rhetoric, the spillover effect would make it more attractive to all working class voters.

NBC News:

“Republicans and corporate America are on the outs.

In the past week alone, American Airlines and computer company Dell came out strongly against GOP-led bills that place restrictions on voting in their home base of Texas. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a rising star in Republican Party, continued to take heat for nixing a bill that would have imposed a ban on transgender athletes in sports, citing the potential impact on her state’s bottom line. And conservatives spent days bashing “vaccine passports” some businesses think are needed to return to normal. …

The trend has intensified as the GOP absorbs more white working-class voters and as the Democratic Party is finding new success with well-to-do suburbanites.

These shifts were “exacerbated” under Trump, one Republican lobbyist said, with the party going “more towards this culture war stuff that amps up our voters and gets them really excited.”

“Talking about corporate tax cuts and reducing burdensome regulations doesn’t do it for our new voters,” this person said. “I guess it’s not that exciting. It might be exciting for those country club Republicans we lost, but we’re losing them.” …”

In late December, Donald Trump publicly came out in favor of the $2,000 stimmy, which proved to be a wildly popular policy. Mitch McConnell was given the chance to say YES and insisted on saying NO. If McConnell had simply said yes to the $2,000 stimmy, Republicans would have held the Senate, crippled the incoming Biden administration and gotten all the credit for it. Instead, Joe Biden is now going to spend something like $4 trillion dollars because McConnell held the line on $600 checks.

Karl Rove has this whiteboard though:

Rove established on this whiteboard that ordinary people didn’t want $1,400 checks and that the True Cons economic policy agenda is still a winner in spite of all the polls which consistently show otherwise. Maybe we should just take over because these idiots obviously don’t know what they are doing?

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  1. These are the finances of the dude who assures us the Republicans are a pro working class party now, while blackballing actual pro White spokemen from his conservative TV show!


    “Carlson is accustomed to the lifestyles of the rich and famous thanks to his affluent family. The host’s full name is, in fact, Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson. (Yes, Swanson as in Swanson TV dinners.) After Tucker’s mother, Lisa McNear Carlson, left the family when he was just 6 years old, his father, Dick Carlson, married Patricia Swanson when Tucker was 10, making him an heir to the frozen dinner family fortune (per Columbia Journalism Review). Although Swanson was bought by Pinnacle Foods in 2001 and their products are now sold under the name Hungry-Man, the Swanson empire continues to grow. As of 2015, TV dinners were still a $9 billion business in America (via Adweek).”


    Billionaires cannot comprehend “working class problems”. They have never been short of a dollar in their lives.

    Why are all these Republican spokespeople, billionaires or allied with billionaires?

  2. The republicans might care about the rich White working class but defiantly not the middle class Whites.

  3. Because those who control the GOP levers are neither Working Class, nor sympathetic or supportive of The Working Class, I think it is a little premature to suggest that The Republican Party has become the party of working people.lass.

    BUT …. it does seem to be moving in that direction.

    When a guy like Senator Hawley is the speaker, then we will know the transformation is complete.

  4. Harry Enten claim that the Republican party is white party, meaning Republican party are anti-white party
    they are selling really hard and have two angles, first its provide cause to the democrat that they are white supremacist
    secondly convincing white people to keep voting Republican grifter because they are somehow pro-white
    It’s really tiresome typical Jew show up mainstream and fooling around and think we are nothing but cattle

    white men should build actual ethnic community provide real boundary toward non-white instead of voting GOP craps

  5. The biggest litmus test to see if the GOP is a “working class” party is if they can both stomach and put forward tax increases on mega rich people and multinational corps.

    So far the GOP is still failing that test.
    All the responses from GOP types and pundits to Biden proposing tax increases for infrastructure are along the same lines: “bIdEn Is GoInG tO dEsTrOy Da WoRkInG cLaSs”. Even though the tax increases literally only apply to people upper middle class and up.
    There’s also the “taxes will trickle down” line; well the wealth hasn’t been trickling down so I doubt the costs will.
    And finally you have them saying “he’s gonna tax the middle class eventually”.

    Hogwash. There are many hundreds of kilometres to go before the GOP is a “working class party”.

    • I agree, the GOP is controlled by right-wing billionaires who would never allow white working class populists to take it over. There’s no political solution, so why are we spending so much time micro-analyzing the latest political trends?

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