Democratic Party Continues to Struggle With White Voters

Many political observers have predicted huge gains by the Democratic Party in the 2018 national elections. However, a Democratic sweep may not occur unless the party can capture a larger proportion of one voting group that has given it some trouble in recent years. Though more diversified than the name implies, the group is nevertheless known as the white working class. It was the loss of these voters that cost Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton the presidency.
Those who believe that the party can win elections without the support of less-educated white voters must face some hard facts. According to these facts, only 30 percent of the white American voters who participated in the 2016 elections had college degrees. White voters without such degrees also surpassed the African-American, Asian and Latino voting blocks that today comprise much of the Democratic base. This issue is particularly significant in the Rust Belt states, most of which went Republican in 2016. Learn more about the quest of the Democratic Party to expand its base at
Although Barack Obama also lost the majority of white voters without college degrees, his performance among these voters was sufficient for him to capture Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, the critical states that Clinton failed to win. Had she matched Obama’s performance among these voters, the available evidence shows that she would have won these states and would have also been victorious in Florida and Ohio. Furthermore, Democratic victories in 2017 would not have been possible had the party received the same percentage of the white vote as Clinton the previous year. The win by U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones in Alabama was not attributable to a mere increase in his support by minority voters.
Democratic observers believe that the party must emphasize “white collar” issues, including increased infrastructure spending and financial support for community projects, in order to guarantee success in congressional elections later this year.

Leave a Reply