MIGHT BE A CNN CLICK BAIT HEADLINE
BREAKING DOWN THE WORKING CLASS
We can assume that most Latino and African American blue-collar voters won’t pull the lever for Trump, given his anti-immigration message and his much-discussed hesitation before disavowing David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan. (Even before that incident, Trump’s unfavorable rating among non-white registered voters was measured by CNN at 74 percent.)
That’s why the question is typically framed as whether Trump can flip white blue collar votes—a shrunken constituency within the Democratic Party. Nowadays it’s already Republicans, not Democrats, who claim the majority of white working class voters.
The first fallacy, then, in speculating that Republicans might appropriate the white working class from Democrats if they nominate Trump is that you can’t steal something you already possess.
Granted, the white working class is not the electoral prize it once was. In 1940, fully 86 percent of the adult population was white and lacked a college degree. Growing racial diversity and educational opportunity shrank that proportion to about one-third today, down from one-half as recently as the 1990s. As of 2012, white working class voters represented 36 percent of all voters.