The makeup of American political parties is shifting, with more nonwhite and non-college-educated voters choosing to vote Republican. People discuss why that is and what it means.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
The Working Party
Once known as the party of the working class, Democrats have been losing blue-collar workers since the 1970s. At the same time, they’ve been gaining college-educated voters.
The NonWhite Vote
Nonwhite, working-class voters, who historically aligned with the Democrats, have also been heading to the right. Though this demographic group backed Biden by 48 pts in 2020, things are rapidly changing. Polls suggest they now back Biden by a mere 16 pts.
Many say this hardly comes as a shock. “Have you been around a lot of nonwhite folks?” one commenter asked. “A lot of them are pretty conservative in a lot of their thinking.”
Retrain vs Retain
“Where Dems used to fight for union workers to keep their jobs, now those workers are told they will get retrained on new jobs,” another person said, going on to cite the “learn to code” campaign that swept the media in 2019.
Culture War Consequences
Others thought the shift was a symptom of the culture war. “The Culture War has been a gift to the right,” explained one person. “It’s so easy to leverage rainbow panic, cultural Marxism, wokism, and CRT mind control.”
Big City Problems
Several people noted that major cities aren’t doing well, and it disproportionately affects nonwhites and working-class voters who live there. “Dems have traditionally had control of their cities/locations for decades, and for many, they have not seen improvements,” one person said.
Another person explained that “failing public schools, defunding the police, the idea that giving criminals that committed crimes a lower sentence is ‘justice reform,’ and promising to invest in lower-income communities but doing basically nothing” all amounted to higher taxes without improvements.
Ignored and Underserved
Others thought the right-wing message resonated with working-class and nonwhite voters because they felt overlooked. “It’s simply, ‘this system has continued to underserve or outright ignore my needs. Time to take a hammer to it,'” one commenter said.
A few pointed out that liberal policymakers sometimes appear to be talking down to nonwhite and working-class voters. “I do think there is a growing problem for the democratic party, a tendency to treat groups of people as monoliths with identical struggles and identical political opinions that are based on their identity characteristics, which simply isn’t true,” one person said.
Another person thought it was simply a worldwide trend. “We are going through a populist wave in much of the world,” they explained. “And right-wingers tend to be more adept at delivering populist messages.”
Blame the Media
Other commenters thought that the shift was due to journalists who tend to focus on divisive topics. “I’m going to say it’s primarily the media-controlling narratives, focusing on controversy for engagement and effectively driving wedges in doing so,” one said.
Out of Touch
One person pointed out that the Democrats aren’t in touch with what many Americans care about. “As the Democratic Party has become home to more of the educated, upper-class, it has shifted its focus to more social issues,” they said. “These social issues are not as important to minorities and in some cases are actually against the general cultural ideas of the group.”
Another thought it was a side effect of a two-party system. “When voters realize that one party sucks, the only option is to switch to the other party. Of course, after a while, they realize that one sucks too, and then they try the first one again. Rinse and repeat,” they explain.
Others thought it wasn’t anything the Democrats did or didn’t do but rather something that changed within the conservative party. “When conservative parties drop the xenophobia, that is when they can start to pick up lots of voters from immigrant and minority groups,” said one person.
What Happens Next
Few were willing or able to hypothesize about what the shift in parties meant going forward. One commenter predicted a change in party behavior. “Major left-wing parties will stop pushing fringe social issues or risk losing ‘minority’ votes,” they said. “If they refuse to quit pushing it, the trend will increase.”
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