It’s an article of faith among Democrats that the President’s base consists primarily of white working class voters without college degrees, and that they must be won back in order to beat Trump in 2020. This is why Elizabeth Warren inflicted that cringe-making, “I’m gonna get me a beer,” video on a long-suffering electorate. It is why Joe Biden, who reputedly enjoys a special rapport with blue collar voters, is the frontrunner for his party’s presidential nomination despite his penchant for gaffes and plagiarism. Thus, during this week’s Democratic debates, the candidates will devote considerable effort to courting the “deplorables.”
This will, however, be an exercise in futility because everything they believe about Trump’s base is false. Their view of this large and growing segment of the electorate is distorted by a myth concocted primarily by the media to explain away a deeply uncomfortable reality — that Trump possessed a better understanding of the public mood than did the professional political class. They were unable to abandon their preconceived notions about Trump and his supporters, despite easily accessible contrary data. The belief that his message was resonating only among the working class was debunked by Nate Silver as early as May of 2016:
It’s been extremely common for news accounts to portray Donald Trump’s candidacy as a “working-class” rebellion against Republican elites.… But the definition of “working class” and similar terms is fuzzy, and narratives like these risk obscuring an important and perhaps counterintuitive fact about Trump’s voters: As compared with most Americans, Trump’s voters are better off. The median household income of a Trump voter so far in the primaries is about $72,000.
That figure wasn’t merely above the national median household income, it was higher than the median income for Hillary Clinton’s supporters. Silver went on to point out that the general portrayal of Trump’s voters as uneducated also failed to conform to the facts: “About 44 percent of Trump supporters have college degrees… higher than the 33 percent of non-Hispanic white adults, or the 29 percent of American adults overall, who have at least a bachelor’s degree.” Blue collar workers were a real and valuable cohort of the President’s supporters, but the financial and educational make up of his base was more complex than most acknowledged. READ it HERE
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