As a long term subscriber to the New York Times, I know that the attitude of the New York Times to Donald Trump, changed when he was nominated as the Republican Presidential Candidate in July 2016.
It is unlikely that the Devil, Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun would actually ever meet in one place. However, the New York Times appears to believe they have all met in the one person, Donald Trump. So, I was more than interested to read in the pages of the New York Times on 29 March, a serious article which was all about Trump, but never mentioned his name. The article was a piece by political commentator and academic Thomas B Edsall. It was called "The 2016 Exit Polls Led US to misinterpret the 2016 Election".
Edsall discussed two recent surveys of democratic and democratic leaning US voters and how they voted in the 2016 presidential election. Both these surveys found that the number of White working class voters were markedly larger than had been previously thought. Importantly White working class voters (those with only a high school degree) were the largest single voting group.
Figure 1: National turnout rates and voter composition 2012 and 2016 presidential elections
SOURCE: Estimates based on authors' analysis of data taken from Bureau of Census, American Community Survey, published November 2017
In Figure 1 above, we have the composition of US voters as shown in a 2017 study by the Centre for American Progress. This shows White working class voters as 45% of voters, Whites with university degrees as 29%, Afro American as 12% and Latino as 9%. White voters without university degrees outnumbered White voters with university degrees by 16% of the population.
Figure 2: Regional Employment Growth
SOURCE: Authors' calculations using Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) Current Population Survey data published March 2018
The number of working class voters was underestimated by pollsters, because college graduates and especially those with post graduate degrees, tend to answer polls more frequently that those with only high school degrees. Importantly, the White working class is also the largest block of Democratic Party voters. Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton only won 28% of White working class votes.
What do White working class voters think?
This article was first published by Morgans.
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