Electoral Behaviors of White Voters

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Election Impact of Shifting Voter Support

If white, working class voters in Southern states and rural districts flipped to progressive causes, Democrats are more likely to win for both down-ballot races as well as the presidential election. Below we will discuss our research in more detail.

Methodology

Elections are notoriously hard to predict. Voter turnout and support for a candidate are two important qualities that are difficult to predict and measure. The election in 2016, when Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton, is a clear example of this phenomenon. Most pollsters incorrectly expected Clinton to win by a large margin.

The difficulty in predicting elections is precisely why answering the impact on working class white rural voters shifting their support to progressive issues and candidates is difficult to answer. The question is essentially asking to predict what would happen if a social class largely reverses their politics within a few months. Thus, scholarly sources that directly answer this question do not exist.

To answer your question, we built an answer based on a paper that studied the working class white vote in 2012 and 2016 via probability and linear regression models as well as data from research organizations such as Pew. While we cannot specifically answer what would happen if rural working class whites reversed their political opinion, we can discuss a "what if" based on what we know from three of the last four major elections.

Impact of Flipped Working Class White Voters

President Obama in 2012 won 27.2% of the working class white vote as a whole according to research by the sociologists Stephen Morgan and Jiwon Lee. Using a linear regression model, Morgan and Lee found that president Trump won about 30% of the white working class vote as well. President Trump also engaged white working class voters who abstained from voting in 2012. About 58.5% of working class whites who did not vote in 2012 turned out to vote for president Trump in 2016. Morgan and Lee note that a "substantial portion" of working class whites who voted for Obama switched their vote to Trump in 2016.

In other words, Obama and Trump both gained a substantial portion of the working class white vote. While this is not the only criterion for victory, candidates in both presidential races and down-ballot elections increase their probability of winning by engaging working class whites. Progressives in the 2020 election would require a similar flip as Obama experienced in 2012. To answer your question directly, if enough working class rural whites flip their politics (at least for the election), then the probability of progressives winning the respective congressional seats or presidential candidates winning said district increases. Obama in 2012 is the clearest example of this phenomenon. However, his case was not limited to the South, but other states.

In both down-ballot and presidential elections, whites (i.e., in general not just working class whites) make up a large portion of the electorate. Democrats and progressives often rely on support from minority voters as well as whites in order to win elections. However, galvanizing minorities to vote is sometimes difficult. This makes it difficult for progressives who need a coalition of whites and minorities to win elections, especially considering that white voters, especially working class whites, often vote Republican.

Recently, in the 2018 midterms, Democrats increased their share of white voters. This is similar to how Obama increased his share of white voters, which allowed him to take states that were purple or lightly red in 2012. Progressives in 2020 would likely be required to flip enough whites, working class or not, in order to win congressional elections or the presidency.

While your question focuses on rural working class whites specifically, college educated whites are much more likely to vote for Democrats or progressives than rural working class whites. However, working class whites may benefit from progressive and Democratic policies such as those that focus on labor rights and equity. Thus, progressive candidates who solidify a base of minorities as well as a threshold of working class whites would likely win their elections in 2020. According to research from the Brookings Institute, the turnout rate for minorities was 38% in the 2018 midterms, which is the highest rate recorded thus far. Progressives who manage to flip a threshold of working class whites could build a winning coalition for 2020.
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Tactics for Shifting Voters Attitudes

In the allotted time, we were able to identify only two successful and measurable tactics used to shift white working-class voters attitudes. These were tackling race and class together and strengthening unions. We were able to infer the success of each of these tactics through the measurement of either the outcome of a canvassing survey or through historical election statistics.

While there is an insurmountable amount of information on the internet pertaining to the last presidential election and discussing how progressives must act to secure white working class votes. We were able to find very little information proposing actual actionable tactics or measuring the success of these tactics in shifting the attitude of white working-class voters.

In our attempt to distill the oceans of available information into only that pertaining specifically to this request we initiated our search by looking for statistics and success rates for specific tactics used on the most recent election. However, as most elections are won through a combination of multiple interwoven campaign strategies, we were unable to find any articles that identified specific tactics used or which measured their success.

We then continued our search for information identifying specific tactics targeting white working-class voters by examining strategy publications offered by the Democratic Party and Political Science Institutions. These papers tended to focus on an analysis of the previous election rather than proposing any actionable tactics. We were only able to find one source which discussed approaching race and class together during a campaign. Thankfully this source also measured the success of this tactic.

Next we examined the links provided by the client and searched through political journals, videos, news, and election analysis for addition information on these topics as well as for additional tactics and for information which might further support how tackling race and class together influences the attitudes of white working-class voters.
It was through this segment of our search which we found the bulk of our usable sources.

While numerous sources were available discussing how Deep Canvassing can influence voters, we were unable to find any information on how this tactic could be used to shift the attitude specifically of white working-class voters. Because of this we chose not to include this identified tactic in our research brief.

Below is a deep dive into the two tactics we are able to identify.

Tackling Race and Class together

Historically the racial justice and the economic issues have been discussed as two separate issues. This is fulled by a misguided belief that democrats must choose between white working-class voters and voters of color. Recent studies have shown that discussing these two topics together may flip white working-class voters toward more progressive candidates.

To apply this tactic and test its success of this tactic Minnessota Future a progressive coalition canvased the homes of 400 white working-class families showing them two flyers. All homes were shown an identical flyer indicating typical Republican platform topics. While the second flyer discussed a progressive agenda either silent on race or incorporating the race-class dialog.

Of the group shown the flyer silent on race 44% changed to the progressive candidate. Of the group shown the flier which addressed race and class together 57% switched to the progressive candidate.

Strengthening Unions

Historically labor unions were the most effective vector for mobilizing white-working class voters.

While labor unions are currently viewed favorably by 68% of Americans between the age of 18-29 their numbers have been in decline since the 1970s.

The success of this tactic is identified through comparison of historic voter trends. The data shows that progressive democratic candidates typically do better with white working class voters who are union members then those who are not. For example in 2008 Obama won only 40% of white working class votes while winning 60% of the same demographic who were enrolled in a union. It can be inferred that if union enrollment continues to decline so will the number of these voters who favor progressive candidate.






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Close Southern Law Enforcement Race

Our research team identified the 2018 Attorney General Elections in Texas and Georgia as the most recent law enforcement elections in the Southern US where the Democratic candidate lost by a small margin. Below is our methodology.

METHODOLOGY

To identify a recent law enforcement election in the Southern US where the Democratic candidate lost by a small margin and how the white voters impacted the race, we started by familiarizing ourselves with the states located in the Southern US. Next, we combed through Ballotpedia, the database that traces and covers federal, state, and local politics and election results in the United States, manually searching each state against positions like a county sheriff, or Attorney General. Through this approach, we identified two elections in which a Republican candidate won by a small margin. Unfortunately, Ballotpedia does not go into details on the demographics of the voters who voted for the candidates.
Therefore, we searched other research and government databases such as the Pew Research Center, The Politico, the United States Census Bureau, and more, which follows politics and policies in the United States. Although there is information relating to the demographics of voters in these pages, including education and income levels, there are not specific to Texas and Georgia or Attorney General Elections. As a result, this approach did not provide us with information on how white voters impacted law enforcement races.
Finally, after searching extensively, we shifted to examine credible media sites that report and update election results nationally, such as CNN, Washington Post and more. The Washington Post provided us with details around how the population in Texas and Georgia voted in 2018, including how the white voters impacted the races and the percentage that had a college education. Still, these news sites failed to present us with data specific to how the white voters impacted the Attorney General elections in the two states.
We arrogate that this information is not available for state-level races because the databases providing such details prefer to study demographic data for national level races, such as the presidential elections.

RECENT LAW ENFORCEMENT RACE IN THE SOUTHERN US WHERE THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE LOST BY A SMALL MARGIN

In 2018, Justin Nelson of the Democratic party lost by a small margin of about 2% to Ken Paxton of the Republican party for Texas' Attorney General's position.
Ken Paxton (R) - 50.6% (4,193,207)
Justin Nelson (D) - 47% (3,898,098)
The Republican Party has won this position for the last three law enforcement elections.
2014
Ken Paxton R - 58.8% (2,742,646)
Sam Houston (D) - 38% (1,773,108)
2010
Greg Abbott (R) - 64.1% (3,151,064)
Barbara Ann Radnofsky (D) - 33.7% (1,655,859)
Likewise, in Georgia, Charlie Bailey of the Democratic Party lost by around 2 percent to Chris Carr of the Republican Party for the Attorney General's position.
Chris Carr (R) - 51.3% (1,981,563)
Charlie Bailey (D) - 48.7% (1,880,807)
Similar to Texas, the Republican Party has won this position three consecutive times in the law enforcement elections.
2014
Samuel S. Olens (R) - 56.9% (1,436,987)
Greg Hecht (D) - 43.1% (1,087,268)
2010
Samuel S. Olens (R) - 52.9% (1,349,860)
Ken Hodges (D) - 43.6% (1,112,550)
Based on the results above, it shows that although the Republicans have a hedge over the Democrats in the two Southern US states, the margin has reduced considerably between the 2010 and 2018 elections.

HELPFUL FINDINGS

In 2010, the number of registered voters in Texas was 13,269,233, but only 4,979,870 turned out to voter. Then, 14,025,441 were registered to vote in 2014 while only 4,727,208 turned out to vote. In 2018, 15,793,257 voters registered in the state while 8,371,655 voters turned out to vote.
Generally, in 2018, 68 percent of white voters voted for Republicans in Texas, and 61 percent of them had a college degree. On the other hand, 73 percent of whites voted for Republicans in Georgia, and 50 percent of them had a college degree.
National voting trends for white voters in the United States indicate that approximately 54 percent voted for a Republican candidate in 2018.

According to the United States Census Bureau findings of the 2018 Midterm Election Turnout, "those with higher levels of education had higher levels of voter turnout in 2018. Those with less than a high school education had the smallest increase in voter turnout (5 percentage points). Those with a high school diploma or equivalent had the second-lowest increase (8 percentage points)."

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Doug Jones

Senator Doug Jones was elected to the Senate on December 12, 2017, in a special election held to fill the vacancy left by Jeff Sessions' nomination (and subsequent confirmation) as US Attorney General. There were a total of 1,344,406 votes cast in the special election with the Democrat candidate, Jones, winning with 49.9% of the votes cast. Exit poll data shows that voters ages 18 to 44 supported Jones by a roughly 20-point margin over his Republican opponent, Roy Moore.

Voter Turnout

During the special election, a total of 1,344,406 votes were cast for the Senate seat.
The margin of victory was 20,715 votes or 1.5% of the total number of votes cast.

The overall turnout in this election is drastically lower than in the previous three senate races. The 2014 election saw a total of 818,090 cast in the Senate race. Jeff Sessions ran unopposed in the 2014 race and received 795,606 votes (the remaining were cast as write-in ballots). In 2008, a presidential election year, a total of 2,060,191 votes were cast. The incumbent, Republican Jeff Sessions won that race with 1,305,383 votes over his Democratic opponent, Vivian Davis Figures, who garnered a total of 752,391 votes. The remaining votes within the overall total were cast for write-in candidates. In 2002, Jeff Sessions was first elected as a Senator from Alabama with 792,561 votes over his closest opponent, the Democratic candidate, Susan Parker, who received 538,878 votes. The Libertarian candidate, Jeff Allen, received 20,234 votes and write-in candidates received 1,350 votes.

Demographics of Jones Voters

Based on exit poll data from Edison Research for the National Election Pool, The Washington Post and other media organizations, and published in the Washington Post, the following demographics are common among Alabama residents who voted for Doug Jones in the 2017 special election. Percentages listed are the margin of those who voted for Jones in this most recent election.
  • Race
30% of White Voters
96% of Black Voters
  • Education
54% College Graduates
40% White college graduate
22% White no college degree
86% Nonwhite college graduate
90% Nonwhite no college degree
  • Party Affliation
98% Democrat
8% Republican
51% Independent or Something Else
  • Idealogy
86% Liberal
74% Moderate
15% Conservative
  • Age
60% of voters 18-29
61% of voters 30-44
47% of voters 45-64
40% of voters 65+






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Part
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Andrew Gillum

While there is a noticeable shift in white voting from Democrat to Republican from 2010 to 2014, because more white people moving to Florida, there is no change in white voting from 2014 to 2018 Governor’s race in which Andrew Gillum was a candidate.

Methodology

We were unable to find the complete statistics of the religious affiliations of white voters and the locations of white voters in the 2010 elections.

For the religious affiliations of white voters, we started the search by looking into the State of Florida’s website. The website provided the demographics of voters and various election results. Additionally, it had a statistical breakdown of voters’ party affiliation and county. However, there was no information regarding the demographics of the voters. We then reviewed the US Census statistics page, but the Census no longer collects information.

We then looked into exit poll results from political research sources such as Politico, Ballotpedia, and Roper Center. From the search, we were able to find demographic information for the 2018 and 2014 elections. However, the demographic information had limited information about the religious affiliations of white voters, and the exit polls did not have demographic information on voters in 2010.

We also looked into reliable news sources such as NBC, CNN, ABC, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and the Miami Herald to find election coverage articles. We were able to find candidate information, polls, and results for the 2018 and 2014 elections. Some of them included religious information. However, none of the articles provided religious affiliations of voters during 2010.

After an exhaustive search, we only gathered a minimal amount of information regarding the religious affiliation of white voters. Most of which, we included in this brief.

For the complete statistics of the locations of white voters in 2010, we checked into the State of Florida’s website. The website provided the statistical breakdown of voters by party affiliation and county. However, it did not have any demographic information about the voters.

We then looked into exit poll results from political research sources such as Politico, Ballotpedia, and Roper Center. The sources provided demographic information of voters in the years 2018 and 2014. However, the sources did not have demographic information for voters in 2010.

We then scoured reliable news sources such as NBC, CNN, ABC, the South Florida-Sun Sentinel, and the Miami Herald for articles containing election coverage articles. We were able to find candidate information, polls, and results for the 2018 and 2014 elections, including location information, which we included in this report. One of the articles had information for voter locations; however, the information was incomplete, so we were not able to provide the complete location information for white voters in the 2010 Florida Governor’s election.

Florida Elections- White Voters

Election Overview

The Democrat party is losing Floridian voters because more white people are moving to Florida, while the Republican party is also losing Floridian voters in the minority communities.

Democrats identify their base voters as women, union members, minorities, the LGBT community, millennials and Generation Xers, and Jewish voters. While Republicans identify their base voters as rural voters, older voters, suburban voters, gun owners, conservative religious communities, working-class whites, small business owners, and Hispanic voters. Moreover, white voters constitute 75% of voters in the mid-term elections, and most of these white voters vote for Republicans. However, in Florida, their midterm elections was less ethnically diverse, with older Republican voters who carried on from the presidential election years.

2010

In 2010, 36.04% of registered voters in Florida were Republican, and 41.11% of registered voters were Democrats. In Florida’s Governor Elections, Republican Rick Scott received 48.9% (2,619,335) of the total vote, while Democrat Alex Sink received 47.7% of the total votes (2,557,785). The exit poll for Florida’s Governor elections reported that 44% of white voters voted Republican while 51% of white voters voted Democrat.

Additionally, the exit polls reported the percentages of voters by education level, gender, income level, and population density.

Education level:

  • Postgraduate degree- 25% voted Republican, 68% voted Democrat.
  • College graduates- 38% voted Republican, 68% voted Democrat.
  • Some college degree/still studying college- 43% voted Republican, 53% voted Democrat.
  • High school graduate or less- 30% voted Republican, 68% voted Democrat.

Gender:

  • Male voters- 37% voted Republican, 56% voted Democrat.
  • Female voters- 31% voted Republican, 67% voted Democrat.

Income Level:

  • Earning under $30,000- 32% voted Republican, 67% voted Democrat.
  • Earning between $30,000- $49,999- 29% voted Republican, 66% voted Democrat.
  • Earning between $50,000- $99,999- 35% voted Republican, 61% voted Democrat.
  • Earning above $100,000- 37% voted Republican, 59% Democrat.

Population Density:

  • Voters who lived in cities with a population of 500,000- 17% voted Republican, 78% voted Democrat.
  • Voters who lived in the suburbs- 43% voted Republican, 53% voted Democrat.

2010 Florida Governor Election Results

Democrat candidate Alex sink won 89% of the Democrat vote, and Republican Rick Scott received 88% of the Republican vote alongside 52% of the independent votes. It was reported that the electorate for the 2010 Florida Governor Election resulted to 36% Democrat votes, 35% Republican votes, and 29% independent votes.

2014

In 2014, a study found that 56% of voters found Republicans unfavorable and 53% of voters found Democrats unfavorable. Moreover, a staggering 79% of nationwide voters had a negative view of Congress. Additionally, it was found that during the same year, 34.9% of registered voters in Florida were Republican and 38.61% of registered voters were Democrats.

In Florida's 2014 Governors election, Republican incumbent Rick Scott received 48% (2,861,390 votes) of the total votes, while Democrat Charlie Crist, received 47% of the total votes (2,795,263 votes). Moreover, exit polls found that white men voted 58% Republican and 35% Democrat, while white women voted 57% Republican and 39% Democrat. Furthermore, the votes of white women were divided. The women electorate fell from 2012’s 55% to 2014’s 51%. Unmarried women who were considered to be key to Crist’s campaign because 63% of them voted for Obama in 2012, decreased in numbers, with only 54% voting for Crist in the 2014 Governors election. Moreover, The exit polls further measured the votes by education level, income level, religion, and population density.

Education Level:

  • College graduates- 55% voted Republican, 41% voted Democrat.
  • Non-college graduates- 61% voted Republican, 32% voted Democrats.

Income Level:

  • Earning under $100,000- 44% voted Republican, 50% voted Democrat.
  • Earning $100,000 or more- 56% voted Republican, 42% voted Democrat.

Religion:

  • Protestants- 73% voted Republican, 23% voted Democrat.
  • Catholics- 63% voted Republican, 33% voted Democrat.

Population Density:

  • Voters who lived in cities with 50,000 people- 43% voted Republican, 52% voted Democrat.
  • Voters who lived in Suburbs- 52% voted Republican, 44% voted Democrat.
  • Voters who lived in small cities and rural areas- 57% voted Republican, 36% voted Democrat.

2014 Florida Governor Election Results

Democrats had 450,000 more registered Floridian voters than the Republicans. However, all four of the Republican Cabinet candidates were re-assigned to their posts, and Republicans added more seats in the legislature. This might be because Democrats spend more time and money for high profile candidates such as president or governor, and less on state or local elections. Additionally, 47.5% of the total electorate in Florida consisted of white voters.

2018

In 2018, it was found that 35.28% of the registered voters in Florida were Republican, while 37.16% of registered voters were Democrats. Additionally, voters who were born after 1965 consisted of 52% of Florida’s registered voters; this was 2% higher than 2016. In addition to this, 64% of Florida’s registered voters were white. While 48% of Florida’s Democrat voters were white and 83% of Florida’s registered voters were white.

Democrat voters consisted of 58% female and 40% male. 45% were under the age of 50, and 46% lived in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Tampa Bay areas. Republican voters consisted of 50% female and 49% male voters who lived in the Interstate 4 corridor. While 28% of Florida’s overall registered voters do not have a party affiliation, with 58% of these voters aged under 50.

In Florida’s 2018 Governor’s election, Republican candidate Ron DeSanis received 49.6% (4,076,186 votes) of the total votes, while Democrat candidate Andrew Gillum received 49.2% (4,043,723 votes) of the total votes. Exit polls have shown that counties that favor Democrat candidates had a higher minority population and were more educated and wealthier. Exit polls found that 60% of white voters voted Republican, while 39% of white voters voted Democrat. While 40% of first-time voters voted Republican and 56% voted Democrat. Furthermore, the exit polls measured votes by gender, education level, income level, religion, and population density.

Gender:

  • Males- 69% voted Republican, 31% voted Democrat.
  • Females- 51% voted Republican, 47% voted Democrat.

Education Level:

  • College Graduates- 54% voted Republican, 46% voted Democrat.
  • No college degree- 64% voted Republican, 34% voted Democrat.

Income Level:

  • Voters earning less than $100,000- 45% voted Republican, 54% voted Democrat.
  • Voters earning more than $100,000- 52% voted Republican, 47% voted Democrat.

Religion:

  • Born-Again/Evangelical Christians- 77% voted Republican, 22% voted Democrat.

Population Density:

  • Voters who lived in urban areas- 42% voted Republican, 57% voted Democrat.
  • Voters who lived in suburban areas- 53% voted Republican, 45% voted Democrat.
  • Voters who lived in rural areas- 69% voted Republican, 31% voted Democrat.

2018 Florida Governor Election Results

DeSanis was able to excite the Republican base, while Gillum had a hard time gaining black Democrat voters because he campaigned on issues that were part of the Democrat platform, and not Florida-based issues. Overall, black Democrats were not interested in wages and health care, or rappers doing commercials. Moreover, the largest demographic group in the 2018 Florida Elections were white voters. They consisted of 57% of the overall electorate. Additionally, white women voters constituted 58% of the women in the 18-64 age group in the 2018 elections.
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Stacey Abrams

After conducting extensive research, we were unable to provide any useful religion, location (urban or rural), or education statistics for white voters in the 2010 Georgia Gubernatorial elections, as the information is not publicly available. However, we determined that white voters typically voted for the Republican party in previous Georgia Gubernatorial elections, and there does not appear to be a change in their voting habits, as can be seen from their most recent race in which Stacey Abrams was a candidate.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We began our research by going through the State of Georgia's website and found the demographics of voters and election results on the Georgia Secretary of State's page. The statistics provided there gave a breakdown of the voters by race, age, and county, but did not mention their party affiliations, income, or class. The number of white voters who are registered in Georgia has been included in the report below.
Next, we searched for exit poll results from political research sources such as Politico, Ballotpedia, and Roper Center, and found additional demographic info for 2018 and 2014, but the links to the report for 2010 had either expired, or didn't have Georgia covered in the exit polls, or the election only included party affiliation and not race, income, or class.
Afterward, we searched news sources such as NBC, CNN, the Atlanta Journal, and PBS to find election coverage articles, and were able to find reports with candidate information, polls, and results for the 2018 and 2014 elections, as well as some data on the 2010 election, which we included in this report. However, very few articles had demographic information about white voters, so we were unable to provide complete statistics or numbers for white voting in the 2010 Governor's election in Georgia.
We used the same strategies outlined above to search for religion, location (urban or rural), and education statistics for white voters in the 2010 Governor's election in Georgia but did not find any useful insights. Also, we reviewed the US Census statistics page for information on the religion of the voters but discovered that the census did not collect religious info.


GEORGIA ELECTIONS — WHITE VOTERS

Race can be used as a reliable predictor of party affiliations in Georgia, as white voters have traditionally voted for the Republicans, while minorities have always supported the Democrats. In the Georgia Governor's elections, white voters made up 66.6% of voters in 2010, 64% of voters in 2014, and dropped to 59% in 2018. In the primaries, Democrat voters have gone up 40% since 2010, while Republican voters have dropped 10%.

2018

In the 2018 Georgia Governor's elections, Brian Kemp (Republican) received 50.2% of the total vote, i.e., 1,978,408 votes, while Stacey Abrams (Democrat), received 48.8% of the vote or 1,923,685 votes. Approximately 25% of white voters chose Stacey Abrams, and 73% of white voters chose Brian Kemp. 33% of white voters with a college education voted for the Democrat party while 65% voted for the Republican Party. As for the white voters without a college education, 19% supported the Democrats, and 79% voted for the Republican Party. 56% of voters with incomes over $100,000 voted for the Republican Party and 42% voted for the Democrats. 53% of those with incomes between $50,000-$100,000 voted for the Republican Party and 46% voted for the Democrats. 42% of voters with incomes under $50,000 voted for the Republican Party and 57% voted Democrats.
Republican candidate, Kemp won the 128 counties that Trump won in 2016 plus two additional rural counties, while Democrat candidate, Abrams won the 29 counties that had gone to Clinton. 7% of the voters in the 2018 Governor's election were first-time voters, down from two years ago. Over 80% of the small town and rural white voters voted for the Republicans, while 68% of suburban white voters voted for the Republicans and 30% for the Democrats. Urban white voters consisted of 46% Republican and 52% Democrat.
In the 2018 election, counties which favored Democrat candidates had a higher minority population, and from the exit poll, 55% of Republican voters and 44% of Democrat voters said they went to church monthly, while 41% of Republican voters and 58% of Democrat voters said they went to church occasionally. The metropolitan areas of Georgia saw more white voters choosing to vote for the Democrats in 2018, but Georgia's white Republican voters had a 3:1 margin over its white Democrat voters. Voters under 30 years made up about 13% of the electorate, up from 8% in 2014, and exit polling showed that college-educated men and women were voting Democrat slightly more than previous elections, in all races except white.

2014

In the 2014 Georgia general election, there were nearly 2.6 million voters, 796,251 of which were white males and 852,360 white females. During the elections, Nathan Deal, the Incumbent Republican Governor received 1,340,997 votes (53%) and Jason Carter, (Democrat), received 1,138,361 votes (45%). According to the US Census, 58.1% of Georgia’s population was white and of voting age. From the exit poll of the 2014 Georgia Senate elections, 79% of white males and 69% of white females voted for the Republican candidate Purdue, and 19% of white males and 27% of white females voted for the Democrat candidate Nunn.
In the same 2014 poll, 70% of white Republican voters had a college degree, and 27% of white Democrat voters had a college degree. 62% of voters with incomes over $100,000 voted for the Republican party and 35% voted for the Democrats, 52% of those with incomes between $50,000-$100,000 voted for the Republican and 46% voted for the Democrats, while 42% of voters with incomes under $50,000 voted for the Republican party and 56% voted for the Democrats.
From the poll, 61% of Republican voters and 38% of Democrat voters said they went to church weekly, while 44% of Republican voters and 53% of Democrat voters said they went to church occasionally. Republican voters were in support of the Tea Party Movement, while the majority of Democrat voters opposed it. The voter turnout was down in the 2014 Georgia midterm general election by 14%, which matched a nationwide trend of lower voter turnout that year.

2010

In the 2010 Georgia Governor's race, Roy Barnes (Democrat) won 23% of the white vote. Barnes received 43% of the vote with 1,107,011 votes, and Republican Nathan Deal received 53% of the vote with 1,365,832 votes. Over one-third of African-Americans and whites were new voters. There were 843,882 white male voters and 894,639 white female voters. The white voters constituted 66.3% of the electorate. The median yearly income for voters in Georgia was $49,321 as of 2010.
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Rural White Voters Important Issues

The most critical issues to poor and working-class white voters in rural regions are fear of missing traditional moral rules, drugs and alcohol abuse, jobs, poverty and hunger, discrimination against whites and immigration. In general, these issues remained as important as in the past.

Methodology

After conducting a comprehensive search, we were unable to locate articles, reports, journals, and even academic papers that directly addressed the question. That is because the subject of "poor and working-class white voters in rural regions" is not very representative comparing to the U.S. as a whole; hence, there is not much reliable data and information dedicated exclusively to this group nor in official reports, or in academic papers. We, therefore, searched for information related to the white working class in rural areas as they are good proxies to the group originally requested. To characterize the most important issues, we used findings from academic papers including the one published on VOX as well as surveys conducted by important institutes such as Pew Research. Also, to characterize "voters", we used sources that talked about adults within the relevant category, and reports about last Presidential elections. In order to understand how the issues evolved in the past elections, we used older sources that helped us in addressing the question.

Overview

Robert Wuthnow, a sociologist at Princeton University, researched the population in small towns across the U.S. between 2006 and 2014 investigating why rural America is angry with Washington. In his book, The Left Behind: Decline and Rage in Rural America, the sociologist, argues that Americans in the rural areas are more concerned about "moral decline" than economic issues. It is a trend already seen from quite a long time in past elections. Studies have also shown that rural voters are more likely to be "value voters". Mr. Wuthnow also states that about 90% of rural America is white. According to PPRI and the Atlantic Report, about 51 % of Americans living in rural areas are the white working class. The percentage of Farmers and Agricultural Workers among white voters increased from 58.7% in 2012 to 68.4% in 2016. In general, from 2008 to 2016 there were no significant changes in the party that voters in suburban and rural areas voted for while there were changes in other regions. According to the US Department of Agriculture, nearly a quarter of children growing up in rural America were poor in 2016. Another report by the United States Department of Agriculture states that in 2017, the whites accounted for 65% of the rural population in poverty.

FEAR OF MISSING TRADITIONAL MORAL RULES

Rural Americans generally fear that traditional moral rules were being wiped out by a government that has not understood the people who uphold such values. According to the report by PRRI and Atlantic, 68% of the white working class Americans and 55% of the public believe that the U.S. is likely to lose its identity and culture. With these cultural changes, white working-class Americans are wondering where they fit in American society. In the last election, white working-class Americans with this fear were 3.5 times more likely to vote for Trump. In the 2008 election, for instance, politicians were already worried about this issue, including the former president, Barack Obama, who recognized the importance of the cultural values of rural Americans.

DRUGS AND ALCOHOL

The problem of drugs is not a new issue for the white rural residents as it can be traced back to the "meth panic" of the '90s, with white users in rural areas. According to the PRRI report,54% of white working-class Americans say drug abuse and addiction are the major problems in their community. Thirty-four percent of white working-class Americans say alcoholism and alcohol abuse are the main problems in their community. The poor white working class primarily drives this number while among the white college-educated Americans this percentage decreases to 22%. Forty-six percent of people living in rural areas say that drug addiction is the main problem in their communities. Generally, in America, drug addiction is a major problem with 50% of the citizens being the lower class, 32% the upper class, and 38 % being the middle-class citizens.

JOBS, POVERTY, AND HUNGER

About 33% of white working-class Americans report hunger and poverty as the major concerns in their community while among the assumed wealthier white Americans (the college-educated) this percentage decreases to 24%. Poverty level among rural residents in the U.S. grew to 23% from 2002 to 2016, even though the growth is below the national average. In urban areas, the poverty level was at 31% and 51% in suburban areas. Also, 42% of people living in rural areas say that unavailability of jobs is a major problem while 32% mention poverty. In addition, rural residents are least optimistic about future careers in their community when compared to urban and suburban residents. In 2003, poverty was already a major concern among farmers, as the president of the National Family Farm Coalition stated at the time. Since 2009, unemployment has been an issue to rural areas, and the employment index grew at a much slower pace than metropolitan areas. In 2009, the Obama Administration made efforts to invest in rural communities with "food stamps," firstly introduced in 1964 by President Johnson Farm Subsidy Program.

DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WHITES

About 52% of white working-class Americans believe that discrimination against whites is as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities. Those white working-class Americans who said that discrimination against whites is a serious problem seemed to have not voted more for Trump but Hillary Clinton in the last election. About 52% of the Americans living in rural areas say that white people do not benefit from advantages in society that black people do not have, while in urban areas this share is 30% and in suburban areas it is 39 %. This trend of the feeling about discrimination against whites is not new in America as it has also influenced voters for quite some time. A survey from 2013 showed that more Americans view blacks as racists than whites or Hispanics. Going even further back, the so-called "reverse racism" has been present among Alaska rural communities in 1980.

IMMIGRATION

About 62% of the white working-class Americans believe that the growing number of newcomers from other countries threatens American culture. The white working class who were in favor of deporting illegal immigrants were 3.3 times more likely to vote for Trump in the last election. A study from John Hopkins University showed that anti-immigrant sentiment might have led the white working class voters to vote for Trump in 2016. However, there was no sign of any change of this view from the previous year. In a recent research, the Pew Research Center showed that 78% of rural Americans believe that the growing number of immigrants threatens traditional American customs and values According to Seth McKee, a Texas Tech Political scientist, in 2016, the poor rural white voters viewed themselves as Republicans because of race issues, and not economic. The 2008 studies have shown that among the rural white youths, the lower the income, the more welcoming of immigration they were, which can be seen as an indication of how voters were in the subsequent years 8. Academic studies have also shown that as from 2004, rural residents' tended to have more restrictionist views on immigration already.

CHANGES OVERTIME — DO THEY EXIST?

According to the findings we have presented above, we can confirm that there has not been a divergence in rural viewpoints in recent years which also contrasts to the conventional wisdom that voters are getting more polarized.


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Part
08

White Voters Important Issues

The issues that are most important to white voters in general include immigration, cultural identity, economy, terrorism, and healthcare. Our methodology and findings are presented below.

Methodology

We commenced our research by looking for sources in the public domain with precompiled lists explaining issues that are important to white voters. We searched through news reports and analysis of voter reports. However, we only found news and data which focused on how white people and other demographic groups voted rather than why they voted. Going back to the 1980s, we also found similar data on how different demographic groups voted.
We expanded the research criteria by searching for issues that are important to American voters. We hoped to find sources that would include the issues important to different demographic groups such as white and black people. While we found precompiled lists from sources like Gallup and Reuters which explained the issues that are most important to American voters in general, as well as precompiled lists which explained the issues that are important to black voters, we couldn’t find any sources with precompiled lists which explained the issues that are important to white voters both in recent times and in the 1980s.
We then alternated our search strategy by looking for issues which the two major political parties, Republicans and Democrats, campaigned on in order to appeal to white voters. We also searched for sources which discussed the voting patterns of white people in relation to their reasons for voting. We were able to deduce from available sources that the issues that are most important to white voters include immigration, cultural identity, economy, terrorism, and healthcare. However, we were unable to find similar sources for white voters in the 1980s.

Immigration

Immigration is one of the most important issue for white voters. Many white people who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 switched their votes to Donald Trump in 2016 as a result of their anxiety about immigration. A report by George Washington University Professor John Sides George Washington University Professor John Sides discovered that for white voters, “attitudes about immigration became more strongly related to voter decision-making in 2016 compared to 2012.”

A report by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and The Atlantic found that the votes of white working class people, who constitute one-third of American adults, were highly influenced by their support for the deportation of immigrants. Many white democrats have left the Democratic Party as a result of their concerns about immigration. Those who have remained are placing more emphasis on immigration issues.

Cultural Identity

According to the report by the PRRI and The Atlantic, the votes of white people, especially white working class people, were also influenced by cultural anxiety—feeling like a stranger in America. 68% of white working-class people said the American culture should be protected from foreign influence. And around 50% agreed with the statement, “things have changed so much that I often feel like a stranger in my own country.”

It is not just the concern about the influx of immigrants that worry white voters regarding their cultural identity. They are also reluctant to vote for politicians whose campaign messages make them feel alienated in their own country. Many white voters prefer candidates who recognize the fact that people of all races, including whites, have their own challenges.

Economy

Many white voters are concerned about the economy. Although the economy did not influence their votes as much as other issues like immigration and cultural identity. “White voters who experienced increased or continued economic stress were inclined to have become more negative about immigration and terrorism, demonstrating how economic pressures coincided with cultural concerns,” said Henry Olsen, the project director for the Voter Study Group and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Many white voters give more support to candidates who “first acknowledge the realities of racism before pivoting to the economic issues that the vast majority of people of all races have in common”.

Terrorism

Trump used the slogan, “Make America Great Again,” to drive home the importance of keeping alleged threats away from the country. About one-third of white voters who supported Obama held opinions more aligned with the message of Trump. “The greater salience of attitudes related to race, ethnicity, and religion arguably derives from a campaign far more focused on immigration and the threat of terrorism than the 2012 campaign was,” Professor John Sides stated in his report.

Healthcare

White voters are very concerned about healthcare, especially older white voters those who are aged 60-65 years. According to Brigid Harrison, a political scientist at Montclair State University in New Jersey, this is so because “they are paying ever higher private health insurance premiums and are not yet eligible for Medicare”.

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Part
09

Rural White Voters

One of the trends around poor and working-class white voters in rural regions in the United States, from the last 3-4 election cycles, is that the poor and working-class white voters in rural areas have repeatedly voted for Republican candidates in the last three national elections. Another trend is that, during this same period, the voting decisions of the population was largely affected by their racial resentment.

methodology

Our exhaustive search was not able to show 5-7 trends around poor and working-class white voters in rural regions in the United States from the last 3-4 election cycles. From our research activities, we were only able to find two trends that were prominent in every national election for the last 3-4 cycles.

The research team began working on this request by searching for information on the last 3-4 election cycles in the United States. The research team opted to use information about the presidential election since this is a national election and an excellent guide for gauging trends around poor and working-class white voters in the rural regions in the United States. So, our focus was on the last 3-4 national election cycles in the United States which were from 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016.
When selecting the trends, our team observed that the issue, activity, event, or action had been repeated in the last 3-4 election cycles. This means that if the issue or event took place during the 2004 presidential election, it had to be repeated in the next 2 to 3 elections and in this case, the elections of 2008, 2012, and/or 2016.
The research request demanded that we should first consider peer-reviewed publications and data or analysis that is backed with a strong methodology as our sources as opposed to pop culture or mainstream news. For this case, we began our research by searching for studies, research and reports that fall under political peer-reviewed publications in the United States. For example, we searched through resources like American Politics Research, American National Elections Studies, American Political Science Review, Politics and Policy, among others. We perused these journals and web pages to find out if there were any trends around poor and working-class white voters in the rural areas of the United States in the last 3-4 election cycles. Unfortunately, our search throughout these databases didn't find any results specific to poor and working-class white voters in the rural regions of the United States. The information that we found was about the voting attitudes of white people which was not segmented according to economic level. Also, we managed to find a study detailing the voting situations between the poor and the rich but this wasn't segmented according to race. Additionally, our team identified a study that was about racial resentment during elections and the turnout rates among white voters.

Not being fully satisfied with the information that we had found at this point, we looked into studies and research papers published by different institutions such as government bodies or private firms while trying to find direct trends. The studies had to showcase repetitive events that happened in the last 3-4 election cycles in the United States. Thus, we compared and contrasted data from the years 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016. The team also searched for news articles that could have links to these studies. We searched through databases and sites like Delloite, EY, Gartner, Pew Research Center, university publications etc. From these, our team was successful in identifying some trends around poor and working-class white voters in rural regions from the last 3-4 election cycles. Despite these studies being comprehensive, we still had to support them with more resources.
In order to find more trends, we searched further for news articles or studies that discussed issues, events, actions, or activities in each election year. We looked for more resources that could give more information in support of an identified trend in a specific year. We then checked if there were uniform trends within the years 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016, the years of national elections. The team also looked for relevant publications from WSJ, New York Times, CNN, HuffingPost, Yahoo News, Google News, among others. From this search, we were able to find some articles that only supported some earlier studies we had come across.

findings

TREND 1 - POOR AND WORKING-CLASS WHITE VOTERS IN RURAL REGIONS CONSISTENTLY VOTED FOR REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES

OVERVIEW:

In the United States' elections of 2008, 2012, and 2016, the poor and working-class white voters in rural areas have consistently voted for Republican candidates. During the presidential election of 2008, 51 percent of white voters in the United States who earned less than $50,000 annually voted for the Republican candidate, John McCain, while the Democrat, Barrack Obama, was trailing in votes cast by this group. In 2012, Republicans were leading with 54 percent as compared to 37 percent of Democrats among whites without a college degree who, most likely, are the low-income earners. During the 2012 presidential election, the democratic party presidential candidate, Barrack Obama, lost the votes from whites without a college degree by 25 points nationally. Come 2016, the Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, received 66 percent of votes from whites without a college degree while Hillary Clinton of the Democratic party garnered 29 percent of votes from the same group. Furthermore, the group that mostly believed in Trump's campaign propositions were the poor whites from rural America who were fed up with politics as usual. “The so-called cultural issues of civil rights, feminism, and gay rights drove down support for the Democrats amongst Southerners, and working-class voters’ cultural conservatism meant that these voters were the most likely to have defected for the Republican Party.”

There is a downward trend in regard to the Democratic Party presidential vote that has prevailed among the Southern, white working-class between 1956 and 2008. A narrative that has highly prevailed during the last several election cycles is the idea that Democrats have lost the white working-class (who focus on cultural issues like God, guns, and gays) votes and this is at the expense of the economic self-interest of Democrats. "Indeed, President Obama’s 2008 off-the record remarks that: economically-distressed Americans are “bitter” and “cling to guns or religion”, dogged him throughout the last campaign."
WHY IT IS A TREND:
The issue explained above is a trend because the event has been repeatedly happening in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 elections.
HOW IT IMPACTED ELECTION OUTCOMES:

Due to the fact that poor and working-class white voters in rural regions are against abortion and gay marriage and support gun rights, this group didn't care about the negative stereotyping that Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump has received over the years. This trend has continuously resulted in Democrats struggling to win elections. For example, "Obama’s national losses of lower-income whites were substantially driven by Southern voting patterns."
TREND 2 - RACIAL RESENTMENT AFFECTS THE VOTING DECISIONS OF THE POOR AND WORKING-CLASS WHITE VOTERS IN RURAL REGIONS
According to American National Election Study, racial resentment has exerted a bigger influence on vote choice among the poor and working-class white voters in rural regions. According to a survey, while economic struggles could have played a role in the rise of President Trump, the most important factors seem to be racial and cultural resentment around the white working voters. Approximately, 68 percent of the white working-class voters share the belief that the American way of life requires protection from foreign influence. A study revealed that, in the 2016 presidential election, Trump's voters were largely motivated by racial resentment as well as hostile sexism as opposed to economic stress. Among the white working-class in the Southern part of the country, racial resentment alone affected their vote choice during the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election.
WHY IT IS A TREND:
The above issue is a trend because this has been seen repeatedly in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 elections.

conclusion

Two trends around poor and working-class white voters in rural areas of America in the last 3-4 election cycles were identified. These include: Poor and working-class white voters in rural America have consistently voted for Republican presidential candidates; and racial resentment has occasionally affected the voting decisions of the poor and working-class white voters in rural America.
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Part
10

White Voter Trends

According to research findings, non-college whites preferring Republicans to Democrats and a decline in the percentage of white women voters are examples of trends around white voters in the past 3-4 electoral cycles. Other notable trends include immense and strong support for Republican candidates by White evangelical Protestants and votes switching by whites with racially charged and anti-immigrant attitudes. The next section covers the research methodology outlining the steps taken to retrieve information on trends around white voters from the past 3-4 electoral cycles.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To retrieve information on the trends around white voters from the past 3-4 electoral cycles, we started our search by exploring articles published on American Progress Organization website and Real Clear Politics, which featured in-depth information on the overall white voters, white male voters, white women voters in the United States. Next, we proceeded to search for reports around white voters’ behavioral patterns regarding the most recent and past elections to discover more trends by exploring reports published by news organizations such as the National Public Radio and research ninjas such as Pew Research.

Luckily, these websites featured survey reports on different races and demographics including white voters in the United States. The sources also featured information spanning over the most recent election and previous elections. Overall, the trends were selected because they had the most profound impact on the results of U.S. elections. Each trend is elaborated below including justifications why it qualifies as a primary trend.

1. DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS FINDING MORE ALIGNING AMONG WHITES WITH COLLEGE DEGREE

Over the past elections, the share of whites identifying as Democrats climbed from 40% in 2009 to 43% in 2016. The reason for this growth is attributed to a slight increase in Democratic-leaning independents, rather than a rise in Democratic affiliation. The trend was selected because approximately 49% of white voters with a college degree aligned more with the Democratic Party in 2017 compared to 43% in 2015. Besides, due to the growing diploma divide among non-college-educated white voters becoming Republicans, more of college-educated white voters approve that they cannot fully support the Republicans anymore. This trend impacted the election that saw Hillary Clinton lose her race in the 2016 elections.

2. MORE THAN 50% OF WHITE WOMEN CONTINUE TO VOTE REPUBLICANS; HOWEVER, THE PERCENTAGE IS DECLINING

Approximately, 53% of white women voted for Trump in the last presidential election, in 2012 an estimated 56% supported Mitt Romney, while another 55% supported George W Bush in the 2004 elections. The increasing women support for Republicans was selected as a trend since the Wall Street Journal indicated that white women’s overall support for Republicans dipped from 53% in 2016 to 50% in 2018. This trend impacted the 2016 elections whereby a total of 53% of white women voters voted for Trump, who eventually won the elections.

3. NON-COLLEGE WHITES PREFERRED REPUBLICANS THAN DEMOCRATS

An estimated 67% of non-college whites supported Trump in 2016 versus 28% who supported Clinton. The trend was unique and chosen because in 2012 and 2008, non-college whites still showed more preference to the Republicans over Democratic candidates. The effect of this trend was felt since over 60% of non-college whites voted for Trump in 2016; hence, contributed to his victory.

4. WHITE VOTERS WITH RACIALLY CONSERVATIVE OR ANTI-IMMIGRANT ATTITUDES SWITCHED VOTES

White voters’ attitudes and sentiments around race and immigration were crucially distinguishing factors for both Trump and Clinton switchers. The switching of voters around race and immigration premise was selected as a trend because the highly racially conservative Obama or third party voter was, the higher their likelihood to switch to Trump. Likewise, the more racial liberal a Romney or third-party voter was, the higher their likelihood to switch to Clinton’s camp. In the long run, white voters with racially conservative or anti-immigrant attitudes contributed to the victories of both Obama and Trump during their elections campaigns.

5. LESS AFFLUENT WHITES PREFER DEMOCRATS

Over the years, Democrats have identified themselves as the party for the poor while the Republicans have chosen the identity of a party for the rich. During the 2016 elections, Clinton succeeded in winning over many rich and well-educated Republicans, while Trump made big gains in the poorest white communities compared with Mr. Romney. The behavior observed qualified as a trend because it has been common in recent decades including during Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, in which he underperformed in affluent white areas compared to in less affluent white areas. The same trend repeated during the 2016 elections when Mitt Romney underperformed in less affluent white areas. The trend impacted the 2016 elections that Trump won as he performed better in the white districts, which featured the least affluence and education levels.

6. WHITE EVANGELICAL PROTESTANTS ARE THE STRONGEST SUPPORTERS OF REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES

In the United States, overall, white evangelical Protestants constituted one out of every five voters during the 2012 and 2016 elections. Moreover, these individuals have consistently supported Republican candidates. The inclusion of this behavior as a trend stems from the fact that during the 2016 elections, white evangelical supporters showed more support for the Republican candidate — Trump at 77% to 16% margin, almost identical the 78% to 16% advantage that Mitt Romney held over Barack Obama in the 2012 election. Overall, this trend impacted the elections significantly since an estimated 52% of white mainline Protestants made approximately 15% of the total votes Trump garnered over Clinton who only managed to get 44% votes during the 2016 elections.
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Part
11

Rural Poor and Working Class White Voters

We compiled an overview of how the poor and working-class white voters in rural areas typically vote whilst focusing on these three aspects: the profile of the typical rural American voter, the attitudes and habits of the white rural American voters who fall under the poor and middle-class category, and the party preferences of these voters.

Rural American voters

Rural American voters are "more likely to be white and less likely to have college degrees than people in urban areas. Both whiteness and lower levels of college education are characteristics connected to voting Republicans." This is even more prominent in the rural Southwest.

Overall, rural areas are recorded to have an older population compared to the rest of the nation, with the median age in rural areas around 40, which is three years more than the median age of 37 for the rest of the US. Additionally, rural areas are less educated when compared to urban and suburban areas. These areas are also whiter, with 80% of people in rural areas identifying as non-Hispanics (compared to 64% in the US as a whole).

POOR AND WORKING-CLASS WHITE VOTERS ATTITUDES and habits

Rural voters have historically felt like both the Democratic and the Republican party have little to say to them as both parties seem to be focused on urban supporters. This particularly applies to poor and working-class white voters. This can specifically be seen in large parts of rural America that have been ravaged by the opioid epidemic, an issue that has been largely ignored by the previous administrations. Moreover, rural voters that earn less have watched their central business district hollow out and their manufacturing operations close while their children and grandchildren move somewhere else. The rural challenges are overall rarely mentioned in political speeches, especially when it comes to plans for the future that are meant to secure jobs that would keep young families in rural towns.

Poor and working-class white voters in rural communities specifically care about issues regarding guaranteeing property loans, increasing the access to clean water and expanding the reach of broadband. Another two major issues that are important to poor and working-class white voters in rural communities are the slump in commodity prices and layoffs among manufacturers. Furthermore, rural voters deeply care about the large divide created between cities and rural areas. These intense negative feelings coming from poor and working-class white voters in rural areas are known as "rural resentment." This is an occurrence where rural people perceive that their children don't have the same opportunities as do the children living in some suburban and city schools.

Rural poor and working-class white voters are, however, not driven by anger over the past. Instead, they are driven by fear of what may come. All in all, white, Christian and male voters largely feel their status is at risk as the dominance of the urban areas is considered to be a "threat to their group’s dominance in their country overall."

PARTY preferences

In general, poor and working-class white voters in rural areas typically vote Republican. This divide has been growing more between 2012 and 2018. As local counties get progressively more rural, they grow more and more Republican. Overall, in the last three elections, living in a rural area caused voters to vote more Republicans. Furthermore, as the polls move towards more isolated and sparsely populated rural areas, the white poor and working-class vote steadily grows more Republican.

Since 2016, rural poor and working-class white voters heavily leaned towards supporting Trump and the Republican party. More so, Trump does exceptionally well among older, poor, white and non-college-educated Americans.

However, it seems that it is not voters who live in rural areas that turn Conservative but the opposite. Research shows that people who are conservative "prefer places where the population is more spread out."

The topics that had no sway when it comes to party preferences among white poor and working-class rural voters are:
  • Losing a job or income
  • The perception that a person's financial situation had worsened
  • A person’s opinion on how trade is affecting personal finances
  • Unemployment
  • The density of manufacturing jobs in the area

A 2018 research showed that economic hardship had the biggest party sway. Notably, voters in poor financial shape in a white rural area swayed more towards supporting Hillary Clinton. More specifically, poor white voters in rural areas were 1.7 times more likely to support Clinton compared to those in better financial shape.
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Part
12

Poor and Working Class White Voters in 1980

After conducting extensive research, we were unable to provide a demographic profile of the poor and working class white voters in the rural and urban areas of the United States as of 1980. However, we found that 63% of voters at the 1980 presidential elections were whites who had not completed a four-year college degree.

Provided below are the research strategies used to ascertain that the requested information is unavailable, as well as some helpful findings.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To find a demographic profile of the poor and working-class white voters in the rural and urban areas of the US in 1980, we began by searching for publicly available information in some reputable websites. The sites visited include CNN, Daily Mail, Hollywood Reporter, Pew Research Center, Media Post, SAGE Journals, CBS News, PR Newswire, Jacobi, Publishing Perspectives, The New York Times, Pew Social Trends, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and other related websites. However, we were unable to find any information for a demographic profile of the poor and working-class white voters in the rural and urban US areas in 1980. We only found data on the 1980 presidential election and the percentage of the white electorate.
Next, we checked some government websites such as NCBI, Census.gov, Vote.gov, the US Election Assistance Commission, and other related websites with hopes of finding data for a demographic profile of the poor and working-class white voters in the rural and urban US regions in 1980. Based on this search approach, we were also not able to obtain any useful information, as our findings led us to a result similar to the previous one.
Our last strategy was to expand our research criteria by going beyond the 10-year source timeline rule because the requested information dates to an older timeline. With this approach, we hoped to look for slightly outdated, but useful information for a demographic profile of the poor and working-class white voters in the rural and urban US regions in 1980. However, this search failed to provide any valuable results as well. The reason for the unavailability of the requested information may be due to the level of specificity, and a limited number of publications as of 1980.

HELPFUL FINDINGS

In the 1980 presidential elections, 65% of the US electorate were whites who did not have a college degree. According to Exit Polls, "Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980 by an electorate in which 63% of voters were whites who had not completed a four-year college education." Also, 70% of all the voters from Union households were whites who did not have college degrees. However, 48% of Union members and their families had been voting for the Republicans in the presidential elections and 45% for the Democrats. In 1980, the majority of white men (88%), aged between 25 and 54 years had jobs. As such, 35% of white voters were working-class people.
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Part
13

Poor and Working Class White Voters

In this study, we found that 23.89% of the present day voters are poor and working class white voters in rural or urban U.S. Below is a detailed explanation of our methodology and findings.

METHODOLOGY

We initially started the research by searching for publicly available statistical information, demographic data, online articles, polls, and surveys regarding the poor and working class white voters who were urban and rural dwellers from government-related and other websites such as Data.gov, American FactFinder, Census, Pew Research, CNN, USA.gov, Vote.org, PPP, Politico, CNBC, and many more. However, we could not find any relevant information available. We only found an overview of the present day voters and several overviews of voters for different elections.
Next, we directed our research strategy to searching for demographic data from a recent national election (preferably presidential election). After a thorough search in the online databases and websites from the sources mentioned before, we decided that the 2016 presidential election was the most appropriate because it was not only a recent election, but also an election in which most of the voting population participated unlike the 2018 midterm elections with fewer of the eligible voting population participating. We found the most comprehensive voter demographic data from Fox news. We also found a survey on 23,472 voters that was selected over the other compilations because of its accuracy and number of respondents. Overall, we found two essential demographic data, namely: the number of children and home ownership.
Lastly, we focused on searching for the two missing points in the demographic data. Our sources are the same as the websites previously mentioned. Unfortunately, we could not find the required information. We only found information for the entire population when we search for the specific voters.
Of all 23,472 respondents, the total responses are as follows:
  • 71% of the respondents were white.
  • 47% of the respondents were male, while 53% were female.
  • 19% of the respondents were 18 to 29 years old, 25% were 30 to 44 years old, 40% were 45 to 64 years old, and 16% were 60 years old and above.
  • 17% of the respondents have exactly $30,000 total household income, 19% have $30,000 to $49,999 total household income, and 30% have $50,000 to $99,999 total household income.
  • 59% of the respondents are married, while 41% are unmarried.
  • 18% of the respondents are high school graduates and below, 32% have college and associate degrees, 32% are college graduates, and 18% are postgraduates.
  • 17% of the respondents dwell in rural, while 34% dwell in urban (city).
To determine the required data for the requested population, the following calculations and assumptions are made:

SKIN COLOR
  • 17% were rural and 34% were urban for a total percentage of rural and urban voters of 51% (17% + 34%)
  • Households that earn $30,000 and below annually are considered poor, while those that earn $42,000 to $126,000 annually are considered middle-class (working class). Therefore, the poor and working class voters include households that earn $0 to $126,000 annually. Based on the polls, the available information is for $0 to $100,000, which gives 66% (17% + 19% + 30%). The total percentage of poor and working class white voters is 46.86% (66% * 71%). Lastly, the percentage of poor and working class white voters who were rural or urban dwellers is 51% of 46.86% or 23.89% (51% * 46.86%).
GENDER
  • 47% of 23.89% were poor and working class white males who dwell in rural or urban areas or 9.79% (41% * 23.89%), while 53% of 23.89% were poor and working class white females who dwell in rural or urban areas or 12.66% (53% * 23.89%).
AGE
  • 4.53% (19% * 23.89%) were poor and working class whites with ages 18 to 29 years old who were rural or urban dwellers, 5.97% (25% * 23.89%) were poor and working class whites with ages 30 to 44 years old who were rural or urban dwellers, 9.55% (40% * 23.89%) were poor and working class whites with ages 45 to 64 years old who were rural or urban dwellers, and 3.82% (16% * 23.89%) were poor and working class whites with ages 60 years and above who were rural or urban dwellers.
MARITAL STATUS
  • 14.09% (59% * 23.89%) were poor and working class married whites who dwell in rural or urban areas, while 9.79% (41% * 23.89%) were poor and working class unmarried whites who dwell in rural or urban areas.
EDUCATION
  • 4.3% (18% * 23.89%) of the present day voters are high school graduates and below, 7.64% (32% * 23.89%) have college and associate degrees, 7.64% (32% * 23.89%) are college graduates, and 4.3% (18% * 23.89%) are postgraduates.
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Part
14

White Voters in the U.S. in 1980

Research indicates that the typical white voter in 1980 was a married man or woman who owned a home and had three children. Ages 30-44 years was the most common age group within this election period, followed by 45-59 years. There was a fairly balanced share of female and male voters, however, the women outnumbered men by 6 percentage points (53% female, 47% male). In addition, white Americans who earned an annual income of $15,000-$50,000 and possessed a high school diploma or less, constituted the largest share of the electorate.

METHODOLOGY

Our research team was unable to find any precompiled reports, articles, and surveys with information on the demographics of white voters in the US in 1980. However, we were able to extract information from credible government, academic, and news sources to triangulate the required demographics.
In order to achieve this, we began by investigating the racial distribution of voters during the 1980 presidential election. Since presidential elections require the participation of all Americans, we safely assumed that any demographic analysis of the 1980 presidential election is a true reflection of the national voter demographics. Our findings revealed that white voters constituted about 88% of the total number of participants in that election; only 10% were African-Americans, with Hispanics accounting for 2% of the electorate. With this statistic in mind, we assumed that any surveys or reports found on the demographic profile of 1980 voters also applies directly to white voters.

We also assumed that since the US total fertility rate in 1980 was 3.2, this implies that the average number of children per married voter was approximately three. Also, since 65.6% of households across the nation owned their homes in 1980, we assumed that this statistic also applies to the Caucasians who took part in the 1980 presidential elections.
This request is historic in nature so our sources are also a bit dated and outside the standard 2-year Wonder time frame. However, we ensured that the sources cited are the most recently published or revised reports available publicly. Please read on for details on our findings.

AGE, GENDER, AND INCOME

Caucasians aged 18-21 years accounted for 6% of the total voter population. 17% of these voters were aged 22-29 years, while 31% were within the ages of 30-44 years. Those aged 45-59 years had a 23% share, while voters who were 60 years and over accounted for 18% of the electorate.
Although a survey conducted by CBS News and the New York Times indicates that men had a 51% share while women had a 49% share during the 1980 elections, statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau prove otherwise. According to the Census Bureau, there were 53% female voters and 47% male voters; this statistic seems to be more accurate as the bureau went further to establish that women voters have outnumbered men by about 7 percentage points in all presidential elections from 1980 to 2016.
Whites who earned less than $10,000 comprised 13% of participants in the 1980 presidential elections, while 14% were within the $10,000-$14,999 range. 30% of these voters earned $15,000-$24,999, while 24% made an annual income of $25,000-$50,000. Caucasian voters who earned over $50,000 had the lowest share of 5%.

MARITAL STATUS, EDUCATION, HOMEOWNERSHIP AND CHILDREN

The total share of white married voters was 67%, while 33% were unmarried. 21.4% of voters had less than high school education, 38.7% possessed a high school diploma, while 19.3% had acquired a college or associate's degree. The most educated group, which had a bachelor's degree or more, made up 20.6% of the voter population.
According to a publication by The Washington Post, which referenced the US Census Bureau, 65.6% of households across the nation owned their homes in 1980. The National Center for Health Statistics estimated that the total fertility rate (TFR) was 3.2 (approximately 3) children per woman; this implies that white families who participated in that election had an average of 3 children within their household.
Part
15
of fifteen
Part
15

White Voters in the U.S.

Available statistics suggest that present-day white voters in the United States are typically 45-64 years old, female, affluent, married, and educated. They are typically homeowners with no children under 18 in their respective households.

METHODOLOGY

To find the requested demographic profile, we began with a press search and looked for news articles and reports describing the country's white voters. We found, however, that while there are numerous sources touching on the subject of white voters, they do not provide the desired information. They focus on voter preferences, including which candidate and party the white voters support. We noticed the statistics cited in these sources can be traced back to information released by the Census Bureau, so we scoured the bureau's website for tables and datasets. With this strategy, we were able to find the bureau's latest data releases in relation to the November 2018 midterm election. We readily found the breakdown of white voters by age, gender, and education.

Information on income, marital status, homeownership, and number of children was trickier to find. Utilizing American FactFinder and searching through the bureau's Current Population Survey and reports on voters or the electorate did not produce helpful information. Consulting scholarly studies, news articles, exit polls, and reports on voter turnout did not work either. As a workaround, we looked at the percentage of voters accounted for by whites and made assumptions based on the fact that most voters are white. These assumptions enabled us to use the demographic profile of the country's current voters in terms of income, marital status, homeownership, and number of children.

AGE

Of the 99,255,000 whites who voted in the November 2018 midterm election,

  • 6,576,000 or 6.63% were 18 to 24 years old.
  • 26,695,000 or 26.89% were 25 to 44 years old.
  • 37,217,000 or 37.50% were 45 to 64 years old.
  • 17,313,000 or 17.44% were 65 to 74 years old.
  • 11,454,000 or 11.54% were 75 years old or older.
Of the 89,075,000 non-Hispanic whites who voted in the November 2018 midterm election,

  • 5,294,000 or 5.94% were 18 to 24 years old.
  • 23,053,000 or 25.88% were 25 to 44 years old.
  • 33,717,000 or 37.85% were 45 to 64 years old.
  • 16,213,000 or 18.20% were 65 to 74 years old.
  • 10,797,000 or 12.12% were 75 years old or older.

GENDER

Of the 99,255,000 whites who voted in the November 2018 midterm election,

Of the 89,075,000 non-Hispanic whites who voted in the November 2018 midterm election,

INCOME

While the breakdown of white voters by annual family income is not publicly available, the breakdown of voters in the November 2018 midterm election by annual family income may serve as a substitute. Whites, after all, accounted for 99,255,000 or 81.17% of the 122,281,000 people who voted in the November 2018 midterm election. Of the 90,599,000 voters who reported or refused to report their annual family income,
  • 1,259,000 or 1.39% had an annual family income of less than $10,000.
  • 1,305,000 or 1.44% had an annual family income of $10,000 to $14,999.
  • 1,043,000 or 1.15% had an annual family income of $15,000 to $19,999.
  • 3,562,000 or 3.93% had an annual family income of $20,000 to $29,999.
  • 5,623,000 or 6.21% had an annual family income of $30,000 to $39,999.
  • 4,863,000 or 5.37% had an annual family income of $40,000 to $49,999.
  • 14,599,000 or 16.11% had an annual family income of $50,000 to $74,999.
  • 11,711,000 or 12.93% had an annual family income of $75,000 to $99,999.
  • 15,519,000 or 17.13% had an annual family income of $100,000 to $149,999.
  • 16,657,000 or 18.38% had an annual family income of at least $150,000.
  • 14,457,000 or 15.96% did not report their annual family income.
Voters who did not know their annual family income were not included in the breakdown.

MARITAL STATUS

The breakdown of white voters by marital status is not publicly available as well, but the breakdown of voters in the November 2018 midterm election by marital status may serve as a proxy. As previously mentioned, whites accounted for 99,255,000 or 81.17% of the 122,281,000 people who voted in the November 2018 midterm election. Of the 122,281,000 people who voted in the November 2018 midterm election,
  • 71,230,000 or 58.25% were married and living with their respective spouses.
  • 1,556,000 or 1.27% were married but not living with their respective spouses.
  • 8,080,000 or 6.61% were widowed.
  • 12,981,000 or 10.62% were divorced.
  • 1,689,000 or 1.38% were separated.
  • 26,746,000 or 21.87% were never married.

EDUCATION

As mentioned in a report published by the Census Bureau in 2018, of the 100,849,000 non-Hispanic whites who voted in the 2016 presidential election,
  • 3.4% had some high school education.
  • 24.0% had a high school diploma.
  • 30.0% had an associate's degree or some college education.
  • 42.6% had at least a bachelor's degree.

Of the 122,281,000 people who voted in the November 2018 midterm election,
  • 1,283,000 or 1.05% did not reach 9th grade.
  • 3,879,000 or 3.17% reached 9th to 12th grade but did not graduate high school.
  • 27,778,000 or 22.72% were high school graduates.
  • 36,267,000 or 29.66% had an associate's degree or some college education.
  • 32,867,000 or 26.88% had a bachelor's degree.
  • 20,207,000 or 16.52% had an advanced degree.

The distribution is nearly the same as that observed among non-Hispanic whites.

HOMEOWNERSHIP STATUS

The breakdown of white voters by homeownership status could not be located in the public domain, but the breakdown of voters in the November 2018 midterm election by tenure may serve as a substitute. As previously mentioned, whites accounted for 99,255,000 or 81.17% of the 122,281,000 people who voted in the November 2018 midterm election. Of the 122,281,000 people who voted in the November 2018 midterm election,

  • 95,943,000 or 78.46% were living in owner-occupied units.
  • 25,227,000 or 20.63% were living in renter-occupied units.
  • 1,110,000 or 0.91% were living in no-cash-rent units.

NUMBER OF CHILDREN

The breakdown of white voters by number of children could not be located in the public domain as well, but exit polls in 2018 show that:

  • 70% had no children under 18 in their respective households.
  • 30% had at least one child under 18 in their respective households.

Given that voters that year were mostly white, we assume that the distribution of white voters by number of children is more or less the same as this percentage distribution.

Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "Arguments for courting white working-class voters are bound up with a corollary, often unspoken, claim: Democrats must choose between non-college white voters and voters of color."
  • "This January, they canvassed 800 homes, conducting half their conversations with white respondents and half with people of color. Each respondent was shown two flyers. "
  • "The test was over which narrative – the one that avoids race or the one that uses race to explain the origins of economic inequality – could more effectively beat real Republican messaging. Among white respondents, a majority agreed with the initial dog whistle script. When these respondents were shown the class-only progressive flyer and asked which candidate they would select, 55% stuck with the racially divisive politician, and 44% shifted to the progressive candidate."
  • "But for those shown the race-class message the numbers flipped. Only 43% stayed with the conservative candidate while 57% switched to the progressive who addressed race and class together. Put bluntly, the race-class message was significantly more effective at generating progressive votes than the class-only script. And this was among white voters initially keen on the divisive message."
  • "Admittedly, these are early results, with caveats about sample size, region, method, and so on. Nevertheless, they suggest Democrats can tackle racism and economic inequality simultaneously, making gains with white voters and voters of color simultaneously. "
  • "A message that demonstrates the foundational link between economic and racial injustice helps white working-class voters identify the true culprit for their hardships"
  • "Democrats must go after white working-class voters. Yes, Democrats must address racism. And, yes, progressives can do both simultaneously – and do better with both white voters and voters of color in the process. "
Quotes
  • "Unions are critical to mobilizing even white working class voters for a progressive agenda. Democrats need to do more to strengthen them."
  • "union members are more likely to participate in election campaigns, more likely to vote, and more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than Americans who are not in unions."
  • "labor unions—the organizations that in the past were most effective at mobilizing low-income and working-class voters (including white workers) around their economic interests—have been under attack and in steady decline since the 1970s,"
  • "Since 1996, the AFL-CIO has conducted surveys of union members to understand how they vote compared with their non-union counterparts. Their data show that when voters’ loyalties are divided between their economic interests and other concerns, union membership is a crucial determinant of how Americans vote."
  • "most impressive is the influence that unions had in persuading and mobilizing white members—particularly white working class members—to vote for Obama. In that election, only 40 percent of white non-college graduates voted for Obama, but 60 percent of white union members who did not graduate from college did so."
  • "Stronger unions will bolster the capacity to address the low turnout of low-income and minority voters as well as renew the loyalty of more white working class voters for policies and politicians that promote solidarity rather than divide-and-conquer racism and nativism."
  • "A similar dynamic was a work four years later...Obama won the votes of 35 percent of white evangelicals who were also union members, but only 16 percent of white evangelicals who had no union affiliation."
  • "By 2016, however, the labor movement had sunk to membership levels lower than at any time since the early 1900s. Its capacity to mobilize and educate was never weaker. Even so, the AFL-CIO survey found that 56 percent of union members voted for Clinton compared with 37 percent for Trump. That 19-point margin is smaller than in most previous years, though still significant."
Quotes
  • "as we seek to organize white workers, we cannot do so starting with disdain. We know from countless union organizing and contract fights that material gains often count for far less than the imperative to be treated with respect and dignity. This is equally so in politics. To forge deeply rooted mutually reinforcing social movements that simultaneously champion class-wide economic goals and specific community justice goals, the required education and transformation can only happen in the course of building those movements as they should be, from the bottom up with leadership across the board committed to the mutuality that is required to achieve social and economic justice for all."
  • "Rather than speaking of the working class in terms that reduce it to only categories of race and gender, the emerging field of working-class studies is settling on definitions of class that are rooted in the power relations established in production, extending outward into politics and culture. [1] In this view, working-class people are in jobs where they have little or no control over the pace and content of their work"
  • "it is important to examine voting patterns in those counties, especially in rural areas, that went for Barack Obama in 2012 but flipped last year to Trump. There are anecdotal reports of white workers in Ohio and other Rust Belt areas who flipped their votes. [4] Politico reported significant falloffs in union household support for the Democrats in swing states."
  • "The significant erosion of union support for the Democratic Party in Michigan and Ohio and the modest gain in national union support for Trump reflect the close relation between Trump’s basic economic message and the AFL-CIO’s long-standing priorities: end the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), build new infrastructure, and create millions of good-paying jobs, especially in manufacturing. "
  • "Clinton’s history of support for the TPP, in her pre-campaign words the “gold standard” of trade agreements, and her unfortunately expressed but truthful observation in a West Virginia forum that “we’re going to put a lot of coal companies and coal miners out of business,”[6] made her a suspect champion on these issues. "
  • "Democratic support in the Rust Belt collapsed as a huge number of Democrats stayed home or (to a lesser degree) voted for third-party candidates. Trump did not really flip white working-class voters in the Rust Belt. Mostly the Democrats lost them."
  • "Whatever the flaws in the Clinton campaign, it is certainly a serious concern that millions of white workers did vote for Trump. In total, 42 percent of people in union households (not the same as union members) voted for Trump. The American Federation of Teachers estimates that Clinton failed to get the votes of 20 percent of its members, while the National Education Association’s internal polls showed that only 65 percent of their members supported Clinton.[9]"
  • "While these are better outcomes than for the population as a whole, union leaders and progressive activists need to confront the reality of Trump support among white people, and white workers in particular. Here, we can look at specific conditions white workers faced in the period leading up to Trump’s election, and observe their voting behavior in the historical arc dating from the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965."
  • "Countless images of working-class progressives . . . are thus rendered invisible by a ratings-fixated media. . . . This year [2016] more Kansans caucused for Bernie Sanders than for Donald Trump . . . The two-fold myth about the white working class—that they are to blame for Trump’s rise and that those among them who support him for the worst reasons exemplify the rest—takes flight on the wings of moral superiority affluent Americans often pin upon themselves. . . . It wasn’t poor whites who criminalized blackness by way of marijuana laws and the “war on drugs.” Nor was it poor whites who conjured the specter of the black “welfare queen."
  • "The need for a united working class as an organized progressive political force cannot be overemphasized. "
  • "It is worth considering how different the situation would be today if, in place of that long list of Democratic-sponsored social programs of the sixties, all of which antagonized workers, there had been instead . . . liberal proposals which championed workers’ real and unmet needs and indicated a genuine concern for their interests. "
From Part 05
Quotes
  • "The voters have had it up to here, according to exit polls released Tuesday evening. The national survey of voters showed broad dissatisfaction with both parties, the Obama administration and Congress."
From Part 07
Quotes
  • "[...]there has not been a divergence in rural, suburban, and urban viewpoints in recent years[...]"
From Part 09
Quotes
  • "During the 2008 Presidential election, 51% of white voters who earned less than $50,000 a year voted for John McCain. The Pew Research Center reported that, during the 2012 election, the GOP held a 54 percent to 37 per cent advantage over Democrats among whites without a college degree — which correlates with income at a lower level. While people at the very bottom of the income level vote Democratic, a majority of white people in the lower middle class (those earning from $30,000 to $50,000) vote Republican. Of the ten states with the lowest household median income in 2008, nine voted Republican. "
  • "So why does the white, lower middle class, population continue to favor the Republicans despite the fact that the economic promises of the party have been shown to be bogus? Partly it is a cultural phenomenon. The Republican platform is against abortion and gay marriage and for gun rights, important issues for lower middle class whites. Various studies also show that Americans who attend church frequently are significantly more likely to be Republican and less likely to be Democratic. Only 25% of white Protestants who attend church once a week vote Democratic. And 61% of the religiously unaffiliated vote Democratic. These statistics suggest that ideology trumps self-interest."
Quotes
  • "Why do poor people vote Republican? It’s a good question, especially after a year and a half of Donald Trump serving as the US President, enough time to evaluate his government’s performance. When Trump campaigned in 2016, he conducted a populist campaign aimed at “draining the swamp” of Washington insiders including “crooked Hillary” Clinton, told working-class Americans he would bring back outsourced jobs, equated undocumented Mexicans with criminals, slapped a ban on Muslim immigration, and showed his disdain for political correctness - remember the Access Hollywood tape?"
  • "His base - composed mostly of white, rural, poor Americans fed up with politics as usual - ate it up. They didn’t care that Trump was a crass, unethical billionaire whose road to riches was filled with giant potholes. Like them, he was fallible, spoke without a politician’s filter, had strong opinions, and was a rich guy who would protect them from all the wrongs in the world, particularly those that weakened America."
  • "One of the Republicans’ biggest voting blocks is whites who didn’t go to college. These are people who desperately need unions, need health care…"
  • "66% of whites without a college degree voted for Trump versus 29% who voted for Clinton."
  • "Analysts say Trump’s success among white voters is partly attributable to his tapping into concerns about immigration and a feeling among many voters that the U.S. should be a white, Christian country. - Newsweek"
Quotes
  • "In 2012, Obama lost whites without a college degree nationally by 25 points. "
Quotes
  • "Indeed, President Obama carried lower-income whites handily in Ohio in 2008. While Obama narrowly lost lower-income whites to McCain on a national level (51 to 47 percent), he lost non-college whites at an even sharper rate (58 to 40 percent).17 Obama’s national losses of lower-income whites were substantially driven by Southern voting patterns"
  • "The so-called “cultural” issues of civil rights, feminism, and gay rights drove down support for the Democrats amongst Southerners, and working-class voters’ cultural conservatism meant that these voters were the most likely to have defected for the Republican Party."
  • "Yet, the downward trend in Democratic presidential vote choice between 1956 and 2008 is concentrated amongst the Southern white working class. "
Quotes
  • "This study uses data from the American National Election Study to examine the effect of the racial attitudes—specifically racial resentment—of whites on vote choice in the 2008 presidential election. Findings show that racial resentment exerted a large influence on vote choice, one that was only exceeded by party identification. Furthermore, the effect of racial resentment was greater than in any prior election for which data on racial resentment is available."
Quotes
  • "While economic struggles may have played a role in his rise, the bigger factors seem to be racial and cultural resentment."
  • "About 68 percent of the white working-class voter “believe the American way of life needs to be protected from foreign influence.”"
Quotes
  • "This new paper fits with a sizeable slate of studies conducted over the past 18 months or so, most of which have come to the same conclusions: There is tremendous evidence that Trump voters were motivated by racial resentment (as well as hostile sexism), and very little evidence that economic stress had anything to do with it."
Quotes
  • "Perhaps the most dominant narrative over the last several election cycles is the idea that Democrats “lost” the white working class, who focus on cultural issues (e.g. “God, guns, and gays”) at the expense of their economic self-interest. Indeed, President Obama’s 2008 off-the record remarks that economically-distressed are Americans “bitter” and “cling to guns or religion” dogged him throughout the last campaign."
  • "Political scientist Larry Bartels provides yet another counter-argument, suggesting that the defection from the Democratic Party represents a regional story about Southern white working class voters, rather than a national trend."
From Part 12
Quotes
  • "In 1980, whites without a college degree made up almost two-thirds of the electorate (65 percent). Back then, both Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter relied heavily on white working-class voters — 60 percent of Carter voters were whites without a college degree, compared to 70 percent of Reagan voters. Keep in mind, Reagan won that election in a landslide."
Quotes
  • "That has changed, and rapidly, at the same time the nation's economy has shifted to favor those who hold college degrees. Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980 by an electorate in which 63% of voters were whites who had not completed a four-year college education, according to exit polls. "
  • "In 1980, 70% of all voters who came from union households were whites without college degrees"
Quotes
  • "In 1980, about 88 percent of 25- to 54-year-old white men without college degrees had jobs; today, that number is 80 percent."
Quotes
  • "In 1964, it was 55 percent of working-class voters. By 1980, it was 35 percent."
Quotes
  • "Two things are clear from the table. First, an average of about 40 percent of union members and their families have been voting Republican in presidential elections for a long time, with the Democrats winning a little under 60 percent of the union household vote for the last four decades. Only in 1948 and 1964 did over 80 percent of union household members vote for the Democratic candidate, Harry Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson respectively."