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.
Jump ahead a few decades, dig through exit polls, and you'll find a very different political landscape.
"The electorate as a whole has gotten both more highly educated and also more diverse," explained Jocelyn Kiley, a researcher who focuses on U.S. politics at the Pew Research Center, who helped us dig through the data.
In the 2012 generational election, half of Mitt Romney's supporters were whites without a college degree, compared to about a quarter of Obama voters. Yet Romney still lost the presidency — and by an Electoral College landslide.
And so while mathematically a candidate can no longer win a general election with their support alone, it's also nearly impossible for a Republican presidential candidate to win a GOP primary without them. The road to the GOP nomination travels through many white working-class neighborhoods. And that's one reason it's been difficult for the party to expand its base.
http://www.npr.org/2016/01/18/462027861/republicans-white-working-class-trap-a-growing-relianceWhite voters without college degrees are an important component of the GOP coalition, an over-reliance on them can be a crutch when hyper-educated and nonwhite populations are growing — and becoming increasingly Democratic.
In general, whites tend to vote Republican more than people of color across educational backgrounds. In 2012, just over half of Obama voters were white, while 89 percent of Romney voters were. So even among white college graduates, Republicans do better than Democrats, with one caveat — people with postgraduate degrees.
"Postgraduates today are overwhelmingly Democratic or lean Democratic in their partisan identification, to much a greater extent than they were 20 years ago," said Kiley, who traced data back to 1988.
Interesting.. this article was published in last January. This makes me wonder whether the white working-class is really to be blamed or credited (depending on ones view point) for Trump's win.
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However, some in the white working class want the federal government to do more for them specifically. Just over a third think Washington already does too much for racial and ethnic minorities, and 63% think it does too much for the wealthy.
Where Olah lives, in rural Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, only 11.1% of white, non-Hispanic residents age 25 and older hold bachelor's degrees -- the lowest share among larger counties in the U.S. And, 93% of the county's roughly 80,000 residents are white, non-Hispanics, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics.
Olah moved to Clearfield in 2007 to be closer to his now ex-wife's family and worked as a mechanic for several years. After being laid off, he enrolled in York Career Institute. He just graduated last month. He has applied to the jails in the area, as well as at a Walmart distribution center, but he has yet to land anything.
He went back to school because he thought it was the only way to find a decent-paying job to support his two teen children. Now, he's saddled with $22,000 in student loans. To get by, Olah and his kids receive $311 in food stamps and $264 in cash assistance each month, as well as public health coverage and a home energy subsidy.
Still, Olah believes politicians and government workers at all levels are ineffective at best and corrupt at worst. They still get paid, he stresses, although nothing gets done to help struggling Americans like him. He'd like to see the federal government make college more affordable, revamp safety net programs to assist more people with low-wage jobs and provide more incentives for companies to create jobs.
http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/21/news/economy/white-working-class-government/Some 34% of working class whites polled by CNN/KFF said someone in their household received government benefits in the past year (excluding Social Security and Medicare). That compares to 21% of college-educated whites, 61% of working class blacks and 48% of working class Hispanics. The most common benefits included Medicaid (19%), disability (12%) and food stamps (11%).
Getting more aid to pay for higher education was a popular request among the Clearfield residents CNNMoney interviewed.
Below is the breakdown of clearfied county election results. Wonder who did these folks that were interviewed voted for. Do they seriously think that Trump who offered no clear plan will help them with their aspirations of higher eduction?
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