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Partisan Affiliation by Class Among White Americans Over Time
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A few notes upfront. The data on both social class and partisan affiliation are based on self-reports. Until the year 2000, the GSS question about racial identity included only three options–“white”, “black”, and “other”. Those who participated from 2000 onward and self-identified as Hispanic split evenly between “white” and “other” on the aforementioned ternary question. Roughly then, the whiter half of the country’s Hispanic population is included in these figures.

Working class whites:

They’ve steadily streamed out of the Democrat party over the last fifty years. The GOP has stubbornly managed to look a gift donkey in the mouth for decades, though, because they haven’t received a warm welcome from the Republican party. They haven’t really received a welcome at all. The party often appears embarrassed by their support. Donald Trump won the upper Midwest by finally inviting them into the lobby, but the party establishment is intent on keeping them locked outside the convention hall.

Middle class whites:

The pattern is similar but less pronounced and more GOP-friendly than among the working class. The rule of law, opposition to racial preferences, and a conscious effort to avoid being the marionettes of a 1% that generally despises it is a reasonable blueprint for the GOP to improve these numbers.

Upper class whites:

Democrats have hauled more in corporate donations than Republicans have since 2006. The last Republican presidential candidate to outraise his Democrat opponent was George W. Bush in 2004. Yet Republicans still catch the lion’s share of the flak for being the party of the rich. There’s a reason the GOP is often referred to as the Stupid Party.

Post-script, per commenter Saint Louis, lower class whites:

The trend is similar to to that of the working class with the entire curve shifted more towards Democrats.

GSS variables used: YEAR, PARTYID(0-1)(2-4)(5-6), RACE(1)

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Ideology • Tags: Class, GSS, Politics 
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  1. AE, this is one of your best posts ever. Simple, trenchant, and correct.

    • Agree: Talha
    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
  2. Time for the Republican Party to go the way of the Whig Party in the 1850s.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  3. Mark G. says:

    As government becomes bigger and bigger it becomes more and more likely that the wealth of a rich person comes from political connections rather than selling goods or services out on the market. A wealthy person who gets special favors from the government or government bailouts if his business gets in trouble and an inner city black woman with four kids collecting welfare are really in the same category so the idea that many socialists have that it is rich versus poor is overly simplistic and incorrect. The real divide is not between rich and poor but between those who gain wealth from government and those who don’t.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
  4. neutral says:

    Despite the fact that the biggest corporations are all in with negro worship religion, you still hear the narratives from the BLM/woke left that they are fighting capitalism, and from the cuck patriotards that they are for free markets and low taxes for woke capital. This level of stupidity can obviously not last forever, something has got to give. The problem is that unlike the Soviet Union, the US empire will want to drag the entire world down with it before it admits defeat.

  5. LondonBob says:

    Higher education brainwashing explains why there are almost as many Democrats as there are Republicans amongst the upper class, funny how the media portrays there actually being a clear majority, perhaps all the left wing wealthy jews skews the perception. In Britain the upper classes are more right wing, less jews but crucially the private education system is much larger and inoculates people against nonsense.

  6. iffen says:

    What % of the population refuses to be polled or interviewed? How can the selection process be considered random when it is unknown if the opinions of the refuseniks track with the respondents?

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    , @Technite78
  7. dfordoom says: • Website
    @iffen

    What % of the population refuses to be polled or interviewed? How can the selection process be considered random when it is unknown if the opinions of the refuseniks track with the respondents?

    That’s the problem with polls, and it’s a really really big and probably unsolvable problem.

    It can be solved to some extent when it comes to election polling because the polling results can be checked against actual election results. But when it comes to other sorts of polling there’s no way at all to know if the polls bear any relation whatsoever to reality. When the polling questions involve social questions the situation is even worse since social issues are rarely reducible to simple choices between Option A and Option B. And of course if sex is involved polling results are entirely meaningless.

    Polls are mostly useful as a means of influencing, rather than reflecting, public opinion.

    Opinion polling is like any other pseudoscience or “social science” – it’s worthless but lots of people’s careers depend on it so they’re not going to admit that it’s worthless.

    Polls do however serve as useful catalysts for discussions on blogs such as this.

    • Replies: @iffen
  8. Twinkie says:

    What jumped out for me:

    1. 1990s were the high water mark for the GOP.

    2. Independents have grown (despite severe ideological polarization), which tells me that the two political parties have lost legitimacy‘trust among the public, which is par for the course for all major institutions in the country. It’s clear neither party is perceived to be serving the interests of the public well.

    • Agree: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    , @Mark G.
  9. @dfordoom

    Polls are mostly useful as a means of influencing, rather than reflecting, public opinion.

    Exactly.

    Write this down. Post it by your monitor. Read it every time you read the news of the latest poll.

  10. @Twinkie

    Agree. The the enormous goodwill of the Reagan Revolution is really evident, as is the subsequent squandering of that goodwill by the Bushes.

  11. @Diversity Heretic

    Don’t kill it. Take it over.

    https://theprecinctproject.wordpress.com/

    The Republican Party is currently a rudderless ship being run by a skeleton crew of careerists, hacks and saboteurs. Rather than sinking it and leaving those like yourself unrepresented, take it over and sail to victory!

    • Replies: @James Braxton
    , @TomSchmidt
  12. Znzn says:

    Well the traditional GOP platform is geared towards the business community and your typical upper middle class striver type. I mean yeah, a business can save on money by bribing local officials, but it can also save money if the officials decide to basically not enforce laws, such as laws on overtime pay, pollution, working hours, occupational safety laws, laws on not hiring illegals, not having to or by defunding the officials that enforce them, or water down existing laws on pollution to reduce regulatory costs for companies.

    • Agree: Lockean Proviso
  13. @Almost Missouri

    Maybe take it over the structure, but rename it and repurpose it. Is there any worse brand than the Republican party?

  14. Realist says:

    What difference does it make what political affiliation, classes of White Americans belong to? Voting changes nothing…the rich get richer and everyone else poorer. The important issues are decided by the Deep State. The problems of the US will not be solved by voting.

    • Replies: @botazefa
  15. Mark G. says:
    @Twinkie

    1. 1990s were the high water mark for the GOP.

    That’s interesting. Why do you think that is? I’m trying to think back to the nineties. Could it have been talk radio? Back in those days a lot of working class whites would have the radio on while they were working and I can remember a lot of them tuned into people like Rush Limbaugh.

    That was probably the point when working class whites were first becoming disillusioned with the Democrats and were most open to a Republican message. The most popular conservative talk show hosts of that era all had a populist streak which would have been appealing to them. Almost Missouri just mentioned the Republicans blew their chance by turning into the Wall Street bailout party under Bush.

    I remember the real bete noire of people calling in to those nineties talk radio shows wasn’t Bill Clinton but his wife. Even then working class whites could sense she looked down on them. Twenty years later when she ran on her own lots of older working class whites remembered they disliked her and voted for Trump. Trump was the anti-Hillary.

  16. @neutral

    > This level of stupidity can obviously not last forever, something has got to give.

    Don’t make me tap the sign.

    (Markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.)

    • Replies: @neutral
  17. iffen says:
    @dfordoom

    Opinion polling is like any other pseudoscience or “social science” – it’s worthless

    Social sciences are not worthless. Just because many (most?) of the people in the field do not adhere to scientific methods does not negate the science of those that do.

    It can be solved to some extent when it comes to election polling because the polling results can be checked against actual election results.

    Yes, I think that it is evident that working class whites have moved from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. Anecdotally, it appears to me that many former UMC Republicans have moved from the Republican to the independent group and Trump has accelerated this trend. Political scientists have shown rather conclusively that independents are not really independent in that they consistently vote either Democratic or Republican 90% of the time or more. Saying one is independent gives the cachet of being a thinking person.

    • Replies: @Not my Economy
    , @dfordoom
  18. neutral says:
    @Not my Economy

    I was talking more about political concerns. But if you want see how the planet of the apes American economy will end up as, then there are a lot of examples in sub Saharan Africa as useful guides.

  19. @neutral

    I agree 100%. My preferred term for the latest mass stupidity is Negrolatry, it means the same as negro worship and is less euphonious but it gets one safely past at least some censorship. I get the sense that a large majority of the country, across all races, except perhaps Jews, are disgusted with the current prog-engineered shenanigans but are afraid to express themselves openly lest they be subject to violent harasment, job loss, and other informal punishments wielded by our ruling and political classes.

  20. botazefa says:
    @Realist

    The problems of the US will not be solved by voting.

    The decreasing white working and middle class support for the democrats coincides with the downward spiral over the same time period of both classes, regardless of race. Maybe that’s what you mean when you say voting doesn’t matter.

    A Trump landslide would make a difference. Maybe not initially. Maybe not permanently. It could buy some time, not unlike how an airbag works by decreasing crash forces. That’s not nothing.

  21. @iffen

    I think it has less to do with cachet and more to do with basic practical concerns. Party registration is public information. I switched from GOP to independent in 2017. I live in a Trump State by only 5 digits worth of votes and I work for a megaCorp. I don’t want to be targeted when the GOP will do nothing to protect its members.

    Trump won 2016 the moment he encouraged his supporters to knock out the heckling loudmouth disrupters inside the rally and said he would cover their legal fees. He actually did politics: used his position to give protection to the people beneath him, in return for their vote.

    • Replies: @iffen
  22. AWM says:

    I wish Trump actually would put his money where his mouth is, and defend regular folks who were first assaulted by the Marxist/Racist left and then a second time by the police.

    One word of advice for the “patriot” group, make sure your women are very well armed and trained.
    If she blows the BLM perp away, the cops will still take her to jail but she will probably get out in the AM. For the average white man out there, not a chance, five to ten, maybe even life.

  23. Both parties are in reality “parties of the rich”. But different interest groups. The GOP is basically the party of rich people who see the government as their enemy (extraction industries, tech libertarians like Thiel and Mercer, hedge fund managers) the Democrats are the party of rich people who see government as an ally (attorneys, entertainment industry, tech oligopolists, much of the financial industry). Each group manipulates the classes below them and plays them against each other. The ability of America to divide the working class along racial and ethnic lines has always prevented any real challenge to the domination of the country by the rich. In the 1930s-70s labor unions were able to provide some pushback, but Reagan destroyed them.

    • Replies: @128
  24. 128 says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    Isn’t the government basically a tool, like an 88mm gun? Whether it is an ally or a threat honestly depends on who wields it, and which direction the gun barrel is pointed at.

  25. @Mark G.

    Absolutely agree. My now-deceased dad would become spitting mad every time he saw WJC on TV, but I’d tell him “Dad, the guy’s just a hillbilly with a hard-on. She’s the one who’s dangerous.”

    And I seem to recall the media peddling a story about how the pristine Hillary Rodham was corrupted by by Slick Willy; it was only after they met that she learned to lie. Bullshit. Hillary Rodham had plenty of conniving, deceitful tendencies when they met. If anything, she corrupted him, not the other way around.

  26. Republicans are embarrassed by who votes for them. Ho hum. Just UMC elitism.

    I am reminded for some reason of a couple of stories from nearly 50 years ago:

    1. The “Rural Purge” at CBS in 1971. This was case of shows being canceled because they were considered hopelessly uncool, not because of poor ratings. The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Gomer Pyle, et al were all taken off the air.

    2. The same year, ABC decided that Lawrence Welk had to go. Not due to bad ratings, but because old people tuned in, and that’s hopelessly uncool. Welk got a syndication deal, and continued on the air for another 18 years, probably putting more money in his pocket doing so than he could possibly have imagined. Shoot, Welk reruns still appear on the PBS station here in Boise.

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
  27. Dr. Doom says:

    The GOP does nothing for its voters. You cannot win with them.

    The Left actually does what their voters want, wrongheaded or not.

    Steve Sailer said that the GOP can win by making the opposition the black party.

    The GOP will never do that, and continue to pander like cuckservatives.

    The Left through BLM is doing it for them. They believe their fringes will follow the blacks.

    Civil War is inevitable now anyway. The Marxists are pushing for revolution.

    Counter-revolution is now NECESSARY for White Survival.

    See y’all at the WAR.

  28. @Almost Missouri

    Take it over and rename it. It’s doable.

  29. @Mark G.

    As Peggy Noonan put it, “the protected versus the unprotected.” The unprotected have gotten even more unprotected since 2016, no thanks to Trump. He seems to realize that he needs to start protecting them.

  30. iffen says:
    @Not my Economy

    I think it has less to do with cachet

    Thanks, but I think that you might be an exception. Most states are “open” in one way or another. Even so, do you not vote Republican most of the time?

  31. Something is missing here; the underclass. There are a lot of people who don’t belong to any of these three classes: welfare queens, prisoners, criminals, etc. To the extent they were polled, they presumably were included mostly in the working class, which I think would skew the numbers more toward the Dems.

    Way back in 2002, I was speaking privately with a Democratic candidate for governor in my state, and in a moment of candor he told me that his party was quickly becoming the party of the very rich and the very poor. That always stuck with me. I believe that trend would be reflected more in the graphs above if the underclass was also included.

  32. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Mark G.

    That was probably the point when working class whites were first becoming disillusioned with the Democrats and were most open to a Republican message. The most popular conservative talk show hosts of that era all had a populist streak which would have been appealing to them.

    Interestingly enough much the same thing happened in Australia. Right-wing talk radio was a big thing and right-wingers like Alan Jones became major media celebrities. Now Alan Jones has his faults but what he did have (and still has) was a genuine affection for and a genuine concern for ordinary people. He used to talk a lot about the plight of ordinary people living on Struggle Street.

    Unfortunately the decent right-wingers of that sort seem to be increasingly rare.

  33. dfordoom says: • Website
    @iffen

    Political scientists have shown rather conclusively that independents are not really independent in that they consistently vote either Democratic or Republican 90% of the time or more. Saying one is independent gives the cachet of being a thinking person.

    That makes sense.

    Admitting to being a Republican would be pretty embarrassing. A bit like admitting to being a secret meths drinker, or admitting that you enjoy stealing candy bars from small children.

    • Troll: Twinkie
  34. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Saint Louis

    Something is missing here; the underclass. There are a lot of people who don’t belong to any of these three classes

    Class is still very real and it’s still the driving force behind politics, but it’s not the old classes. You can’t divide people into bourgeoisie and proletariat any more. There are new classes. There’s the technocratic/managerial class. It overlaps with the capitalist class but it’s not identical with it. There’s the media/academia/intellectual class. There’s the lowest stratum of the middle class, low-level office drones, schoolteachers, nurses, etc. They have interests in common with the working class but they despise the working class and have no intention of making common cause with them.

    The working class is much smaller than it was. The underclass, the lumpenproletariat if you like, is bigger than it was.

    Classes always exist but they evolve, old classes lose power, new classes arise and gain power.

    And many of these classes simply do not understand that things have changed, that the established political parties which may once have represented their interests no longer do so. They’re still voting for politicians who now hate them.

  35. Dr. Doom says:

    The Democrats are now the Really Rich and Really Poor.

    A wise politician could get them to kill each other.

    Alas, the GOP is THE STUPID PARTY.

    Controlled opposition probably, because no one could be THIS STUPID.

    They play The Washington Generals, while the Harlem Globetrotters are supposed to win.

    At least the democrats do what their voters want though.

    The STUPID PARTY calls their voters names and seem embarrassed to receive their votes.

  36. @Sgt. Joe Friday

    You are being unfair to ABC. It is not all about ratings, it is about advertisers. Most of the companies that spent big money on network television ads in the 1970s wanted to reach the younger affluent boomer demographic, not a bunch of spendthrifts who grew up in the depression. Old people don’t buy life insurance, new cars, lots of beer, etc. Syndication was cheaper and could reach a targeted audience. Made sense for the networks and Welk to shunt him off to channel 56 or whatever. The “rural purge“ was no doubt a similar consideration as advertisers wanted to chase those new yuppie dollars as people flocked to the suburbs.

    • Agree: iffen
    • Replies: @Sgt. Joe Friday
  37. Znzn says:
    @Saint Louis

    I think that is incorrect, the average non-Bernie Democrat is still a lot more left wing on issues like tax cuts for the rich and subsidized health care, or things like raising the minimum wage, compared to establishment Republicans.

    • Agree: iffen
    • Replies: @Saint Louis
  38. @Znzn

    I think that is incorrect, the average non-Bernie Democrat is still a lot more left wing on issues like tax cuts for the rich and subsidized health care, or things like raising the minimum wage, compared to establishment Republicans.

    Not sure what that’s supposed to mean. Plenty of rich people are in favor of those.

  39. Made sense for the networks and Welk to shunt him off to channel 56 or whatever.

    Just how many channels do you think there were in 1971?

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    , @Mr. Rational
  40. Twinkie says:
    @Mark G.

    In the 80’s, Reagan assembled a large coalition that smashed the previous liberal establishment consensus (which lasted from the FDR years to Carter – yes, that includes the Nixon years). His political team melded country club/the Chamber of Commerce types with the culture warriors and the Religious Right. It also peeled away blue collar, lower middle class workers who were beginning to be disillusioned with the Democrats for both social and economic reasons.

    I think the 90’s were the apex of that trend after lackluster campaigning by Bush handed power to a pretty weak candidate in Clinton who was deeply disliked by many. But Clinton also laid the ground with his “centrism” of the second term for the eventual alliance of the technocratic elements of the society with the socially liberal – something that is now reaching its apex as educated suburban voters, once a reliable Republican voting bloc, abandons the GOP in droves while the latter is increasingly becoming a party of the rural, disaffected whites.

    I can’t blame the Bush family enough for giving us two terms of Clinton and Obama each and for seriously damaging the country, not just the Republican Party.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
  41. Twinkie says:
    @Saint Louis

    Just how many channels do you think there were in 1971?

    UHF channels sometimes had random high numbers.

    I still remember having 3-4 VHF channels and 1 UHF channel. I’d drive my father crazy by rotating the UHF knob too quickly and making a grinding noise.

  42. @iffen

    I’m part of that population that refuses to be polled or interviewed. Why would I offer yet more information that could be used against me in the future?

  43. @Peter Akuleyev

    You are being unfair to ABC. It is not all about ratings, it is about advertisers. Most of the companies that spent big money on network television ads in the 1970s wanted to reach the younger affluent boomer demographic…

    True enough, but let’s also note that younger people, especially females, are much more susceptible to peer pressure and fear of being excluded. In other words, they’re naive and impressionable, which is what the sponsors are looking for.

  44. Sobey1683 says:

    Hello, are you aware of a similar database for Canadian statistics? Thanks

  45. This is not a mystery. The Dems supported affirmative action programs that screwed over whites in favor of a variety of third world groups, many of whom had no history of discrimination in the USA. If it were restricted to blacks and Native Americans, I think most whites would not have had a huge problem with it, but to see Indonesians, Mongolians, Afghans, Indians and others streaming in to take advantage of programs designed for blacks was a big insult.

  46. Anonymous[872] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sobey1683

    This would be meaningless. Conservatives and Liberals are the same in Canada.

    Why ANYBODY votes Conservative (especially rural people) is beyond me. Look at how cucked the Doug Ford government has been.

    Regardless, the power is in the hands of the Paper Canadians now in Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto.

  47. J1234 says:

    Democrats have hauled more in corporate donations than Republicans have since 2006. The last Republican presidential candidate to outraise his Democrat opponent was George W. Bush in 2004. Yet Republicans still catch the lion’s share of the flak for being the party of the rich. There’s a reason the GOP is often referred to as the Stupid Party.

    Great observation. This also represents a dramatic change of perception of corporate America by an also dumbed down American public: the obscenely rich are on your side.

  48. Mikey D. says:

    Both parties continue to exist only due to the incredible stupidity of their opposition.

    We don’t have “a stupid party.” We have two.

  49. @Saint Louis

    UHF TV broadcasting began in the 1960’s, though channel tuners weren’t exactly easy to handle; they were tuned like the radios of the day, not like the click-tuning that was normal for VHF.  Getting a UHF station tuned in with a clear picture could be a bit of a chore.

  50. @Sobey1683

    I’m not. There is the World Values Survey, which is similar (but not nearly as useful). They only do select countries every five years or so, though, and I don’t know offhand the last time Canada was included.

  51. @Saint Louis

    Good point, added at the bottom of the post.

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