New polling data from Reuters finds a nationwide toss-up 2016 contest between GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton — but he’s beating her by 20 points, 46 percent to 26 percent, among white working-class voters.
That’s up from a five-point lead in mid-December. Trump’s January lead is so huge, in fact, that Hillary just barely edges out the option “don’t know.”
In fact, he is beating Hillary Clinton among all working-class voters, regardless of race. Trump leads Hillary by five points among all voters earning between $25,000 and $75,000.
Just among whites, Trump gets the support of almost half of all white voters who earn between $25,000 and $75,000 a year. Among white working class voters who are married, Trump’s lead over Clinton expands to 27 points. His lead is 30 points among married, white working class voters with children.
Married, with children, is one of the most determinative factors in predicting how someone will vote. While most political chatter is obsessed over the alleged “gender gap” that leaves Democrats with a large lead among women, the reality is that any gap in how men or women vote is determined by marriage and parenting. White women who are married, generally, vote exactly the same as white men who are married. Any perceived “gender gap” is due largely to martial status and race, with majorities of both sexes voting overwhelmingly for Republicans. Single white women and single men are more inclined to vote Democrat.
There was a time that Democrats were the party of the working class, but those days are long behind us. Even among white voters, who are the most Republican of American ethnic or racial groups, Trump does worse as earnings rise. Trump’s lead among whites earning $100,000 a year or more is just 9 points, 42 percent to 33 percent.
Political pundits across the spectrum have paid too little attention to the ill-fated history of the Bobby Kennedy Project. Launched with great fanfare after the 2012 elections by the Center for American Progress and other progressive groups, the project was meant to reverse the Democrat party’s long slide with white working class voters.
The project was founded on the realization that, for now, the demographic numbers spell trouble for Democrats. In 2012, the black voter share of the electorate was higher than the black share of the population. This historic turnout was no doubt due to the presence of Barack Obama on the ballot. Other Democrat candidates can’t count on this heavy turnout.
The Hispanic share of the electorate is growing, but it was still just 10 percent of the total turnout in 2012. Even if Democrats continue to dominate this demographic, it isn’t enough to offset a leveling of black turnout and continued losses among white working-class voters.
But the Bobby Kennedy Project was abandoned just months after it was launched. It was doomed, partly by poor fundraising, but also by an awareness by Democrat strategists that the party would have to abandon certain progressive policies to reconnect with white working-class voters. This trade-off was viewed as an existential threat to the Democrats’ progressive-led coalition.
Today’s Democrat Party is no longer held together by an alliance of people worried about income and economic-class, as it was under FDR or LBJ. Instead, the party’s diverse components are held together by compatible political goals in their mutual fights for race, sex and gender related goals. Basically, the party’s leaders have discarded the Marxist politics of poverty vs. wealth, and have embraced the quasi-Marxist politics of oppressed cultural minorities vs. cultural oppressors.
For many years, this new politics — often summarized as “political correctness” — was confined to infuriating, but ultimately harmless, torturing of the language.
But when Democrat politicians, however, are unable to admit publicly that America is threatened by a strain of radical Islam, for example, it becomes dangerous. When Democrats race to the microphone to condemn a police officer even before full facts about a shooting are known, it drives a real wedge between politicians and everyday people.
On December 20th, Donald Trump’s lead over Hillary among white working class voters was just 5 points. Between then and now, Trump has amplified his call to temporarily ban Muslim refugees, doubled-down on building a border wall and called out Hillary over Bill’s past transgressions with women.
Trump, in other words, threw aside political-correctness and raised troubling issues about the Clintons that the polite political establishment had refused to raise. He now leads Hillary by 20 points among white working-class voters.
The truth shall set a Republican campaign free.