A majority of Pennsylvania’s working class voters want to see President Donald Trump reelected in 2020, according to new poll out of the state.
A poll released by Franklin & Marshall College on Thursday indicates that 51 percent of Pennsylvania voters with a high school degree or less believe Trump deserves a second term. Conducted between July 29 and August 4 by surveying 627 registered voters, the poll is good news for the president’s reelection chances.
Pennsylvania, like other parts of the industrial United States, was once considered solidly in the Democrat camp until 2016, when then-candidate Donald Trump became the first Republican to carry the state since 1988. The victory was made possible by the large scale defection of working-class voters, who historically supported Democrats but were drawn to Trump’s movement by his strong stance on globalization and immigration.
Trump, himself, elaborated on the coalition he was building during an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek in May 2016.
Trump said at the time:
Five, 10 years from now—different party. You’re going to have a worker’s party. A party of people that haven’t had a real wage increase in 18 years, that are angry… I think cutting Social Security is a big mistake for the Republican Party. And I know it’s a big part of the budget. Cutting it the wrong way is a big mistake, and even cutting it [at all].
The message and rhetoric seemed to work. Exit polling from the 2016 race showed voters without a college degree backed Trump over former secretary of state Hillary Clinton by a margin of 52 percent to 44 percent. The share was significantly greater among non-college educated whites who broke for Trump by the largest margin since 1980—67 percent to 28 percent.
Such voters not only helped fuel Trump’s victory in Pennsylvania, but also in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa — states that secured a win in the electoral college, despite a three million popular vote deficit.