The Corner

Trump’s Blue-Collar Appeal

Ron Brownstein is one of the more acute observers of American politics and his analysis of the GOP race through the prism of education has been invaluable. From his latest at The Atlantic:

In South Carolina Trump’s core asset — and the key to his performance among evangelicals — remained his extraordinary hold on working-class Republicans. In South Carolina, Trump won fully 42 percent of white GOP primary voters without a college degree, exactly the same imposing percentage he carried in New Hampshire. In South Carolina, Trump won almost exactly as many non-college whites as Cruz (24 percent) and Rubio (17 percent) combined. In New Hampshire, Trump carried more non-college whites than his next three closest competitor combined. Only in Iowa did Cruz narrowly edge Trump among working-class whites. . . . 

Critically, Trump’s success with blue-collar voters crossed the religious boundary. In South Carolina, according to figures provided by CNN’s polling director, Jennifer Agiesta, Trump carried a stunning 44 percent of Evangelical voters without a college degree, as much as the combined vote for Cruz (29 percent) and Rubio (15 percent). Among blue-collar voters who were not Evangelicals, Trump (at 38 percent) also buried Cruz (16 percent) and Rubio (13 percent), with Ohio governor John Kasich actually leading both (at 17 percent).

That largely followed the pattern from New Hampshire where Trump beat Cruz by 13 percentage points among blue-collar voters who were Evangelicals, and by a crushing 36 points among those who were not. In Iowa, Trump had also comfortably carried the working-class voters who were not Evangelicals, but Cruz had amassed a solid double-digit lead among blue-collar Republicans who were.

Trump, in other words, has now carried in all three states voters who fit the historic description of “Reagan Democrats”: blue-collar voters who are not Evangelicals. If Trump can also maintain the advantage among the non-college Evangelicals he’s established in the past two contests, that will make him very tough to beat in upcoming Southern (Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi), border (Tennessee, Oklahoma), and even Midwest states (Ohio and Missouri) that contain large numbers of both working-class and born-again voters.



Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

Most Popular


Two Truth-Tellers, Brave as Hell

Yesterday, the Human Rights Foundation hosted an event they called “PutinCon” -- a conference devoted to the Russian “president,” Vladimir Putin: his rise and his deeds, both at home and abroad. Participating were both Russians and well-wishing foreigners. It was, above all, a day of truth-telling -- a ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Swamp: Navarro Nucor Edition

The Wall Street Journal has a story today about the ties between President Trump's trade adviser, Peter Navarro, and the biggest steel company in the U.S. -- Nucor Corp. It is particularly interesting in light of the stiff steel tariffs successfully pushed by Navarro, which he championed ever since he joined the ... Read More


EMPIRICAL   As I can fathom neither endlessness nor the miracle work of deities, I hypothesize, assume, and guess.   The fact that I love you and you love me is all I can prove and proves me. — This poem appears in the April 2 print issue of National Review. Read More
Politics & Policy

Rolling Back Dodd-Frank

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would roll back parts of Dodd-Frank. The vote was 67–31, with 17 members of the Democratic caucus breaking party lines. If the legislation passes the House and is signed, it will be the largest change to the controversial financial-reform package since it became law in ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Samantha Power Regrets

‘I’ve had a lot of bad ideas in my life,” former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power tells Politico. “Though none as immortalized as that one.” Wow. It’s a major concession. And what might “that one” be? Not standing idly by in the White House while Iranians protested a fixed election in 2009, then ... Read More