We have heard a lot about education polarization.
Over the last decade, White working class voters have generally become more Republican while White college educated suburban voters have become more Democratic, which explains why Virginia and Colorado have become Blue States while Ohio and Iowa have become Red States.
“As recently as 2008,” Podhorzer writes, “40 percent of the Democratic caucus represented either rural or sparse suburban districts, and about a fifth of the Republican caucus represented majority-minority, urban or dense suburban districts. Now, the caucuses are sorted nearly perfectly.” …
From 1996 to 2008, in majority white districts, there was virtually no difference in household income between districts represented by Republicans and Democrats. Since then, the two have diverged sharply, with median household income rising to $80,725 in 2020 in majority white districts represented by Democrats, well above the $62,163 in districts represented by Republicans. …
In 1996, Democrats represented 30 percent of the majority white districts in the most educated and most affluent category; by 2020, they represented 86 percent. At the other end, in 1996, Democrats represented 38 and 42 percent of the districts in the bottom two categories; by 2020, those percentages fell to 12 and 18 percent. …
Podhorzer does not dispute the existence of this trend, but argues strenuously that limiting the analysis to education levels masks the true driving force: racial tolerance and racial resentment. “This factor, racial resentment,” Podhorzer writes in the education polarization essay, “does a much, much better job of explaining our current political divisions than education polarization.”
In support of his argument, Podhorzer provides data showing that from 2000 to 2020, the Democratic margin among whites with and without college degrees who score high on racial resentment scales has fallen from minus 26 percent to minus 62 percent for racially resentful non-college whites and from minus 14 percent to minus 53 percent among racially resentful college- educated whites.
At the same time, the Democratic margin rose from plus 12 to 70 percent over those twenty years among non-college whites low in racial resentment; and from 50 to 82 percent among college-educated whites low in racial resentment.
In other words, in contradiction to the education divide thesis, non-college whites who are not racially resentful have become more Democratic, while college-educated whites who are racially resentful have become more Republican, in contradiction to the education divide thesis. …”
Thomas Edsall is citing some new research in the New York Times this morning which shows that White voters are really sorting between the two parties on the basis of “racial resentment,” not on the basis of college degrees. In other words, the Democrats are becoming the party of the GoodWhites and the Republicans are becoming the party of the BadWhites. White voters are polarized on the basis of their attachment to their own race and how they feel about other races.
Note: This sorting process which has been going on over the past decade is why “woke” and “CRT” have recently become partisan cudgels. Republicans rally their voters now by insinuating that Democrats are anti-White. They are the White people who hate their own race.