By Jon Dougherty
White working-class voters, once a core constituency of the Democratic Party, has nearly flipped completely for Republicans, especially in the age of POTUS Donald Trump.
A new CNN survey on Tuesday found that the president has a double-digit lead over 2020 Democratic presidential contenders Sen. Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist, and far-Left wunderkind Robert “Beto” O’Rourke with working-class whites.
The poll found that 54 percent of non-college-educated whites viewed POTUS Trump favorably. But just a fraction of voters felt the same about Sanders and O’Rourke, the latter a former U.S. representative from Texas who lost a 2018 bid to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz.
Sanders has a 40 percent favorability rating among the key demographic, with O’Rourke’s favorability measuring just 20 percent.
Also, among those candidates, POTUS Trump is the only one whose unfavorability rating of 42 percent did not overshadow his favorables; Sanders’ unfavorable rating is 52 percent while O’Rourke’s 34 percent.
Those results are good news for the president as he heads into his reelection campaign because it means he has a strong favorability rating among white working-class voters in the industrial Midwest.
During his campaign against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016, voters without a college degree backed him by a margin of 52-44 percent.
However, his backing was much stronger among non-college educated whites — 67 percent to 28 percent, which was the biggest margin between a Democrat and Republican candidate since 1980 among that demographic.
The defection of white working class to POTUS was a cause for concern among the Democratic contenders in 2016.
“I think that there needs to be a profound change in the way the Democratic Party does business,” Sanders said at the time. “It is not good enough to have a liberal elite. I come from the white working class, and I am deeply humiliated that the Democratic Party cannot talk to where I came from.”
The president’s high approval numbers in this key demographic come as the RNC posted a record month of fundraising in February — $14.6 million, which could be largely attributed to the fact that in January the party committed to backing him amid rumors that some GOP establishment types may try to challenge him in the 2020 primaries.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10
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