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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Diploma Divide and Democratic Brahminization

Our more recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses voter demographics and the diploma divide.

 Michael Baharaeen at The Liberal Patriot:

College-educated white voters have been trending more Democratic with little interruption since the 1970s. And while both parties were competitive with non-college whites through the latter half of the 20th century, this group began to definitively break toward Republicans around 2000:
While the Democrats’ losses among white voters without a college degree are well documented, it’s also worth noting that their slide over the past decade with the non-college demographic disproportionately came from non-white voters. This bloc moved toward Republicans by a whopping 19 points between 2012 and 2020. In other words, Democrats have been losing ground with non-college voters of all races.

It is possible that these trends will work out for Democrats as more Americans graduate college. As things currently stand, however, non-college voters make up a far greater share of the presidential electorate (62 percent) than do college degree-holders (38 percent). Though it’s difficult to know for sure which party will ultimately benefit the most from this widening “diploma divide,” it’s likely to continue molding both our politics and the culture in profound ways in the coming years.

Also at The Liberal Patriot, Ruy Teixera writes of the "Brahminization" of the Democratic Party:

Another indicator of the Brahminization of the Democratic Party is the current distribution of congressional seats. Democrats now dominate the more affluent districts while Republicans are cleaning up in the poorer districts. Marcy Kaptur, who represents Ohio’s working-class 9th district and is the longest-serving female member of the House in American history, has said of this pattern:
You could question yourself and say, well, the blue districts are the wealthiest districts, so it shows that the Democrats are doing better to lift people's incomes. The other way you could look at it is: how is it possible that Republicans are representing the majority of people who struggle? How is that possible?
How indeed. Kaptur has a two-page chart that arrays Congressional districts from highest median income to lowest with partisan control color-coded. The first page is heavily dominated by blue but the second, poorer page is a sea of red. You can access the chart here. It’s really quite striking. Overall, Republicans represent 152 of the 237 Congressional seats where the district median income trails the national figure.

In light of all this, consider how Democrats are proposing to run in 2024. First, they are not going to back down an inch on the party’s commitment to cultural leftism, a key marker of the party’s Brahmin turn. Indeed, they believe the abortion issue currently gives them cover in this area due to the Dobbs decision, where the party has been able to occupy center ground in opposition to significant parts of the GOP who wish to ban the procedure. But crime isn’t the abortion issue. Immigration isn’t the abortion issue. Race essentialism and gender ideology aren’t the abortion issue. Even the abortion issue isn’t the abortion issue once you get past opposing bans and start having to deal with the nitty-gritty of setting some limits on abortion access (as the public wants).

The fact is that the cultural left in and around the Democratic Party has managed to associate the party with a series of views on crime, immigration, policing, free speech, and of course race and gender that are quite far from those of the median working class voter (including the median nonwhite working-class voter). These unpopular views are further amplified by the Democrats’ “shadow party” (as John Judis and I put it in our forthcoming book, Where Have All the Democrats Gone?), the activist groups, think tanks, foundations, publications and websites, and big donors, and prestigious intellectuals who are not part of official party organizations, as well as within the Democratic Party infrastructure itself, all of which are thoroughly dominated by the cultural left.