The Corner

Why The Working Class Vote Matters, in One Chart

Read this article and look at the chart. 

The strategist who called attention to the data, Mike Podhorzer, finds that, in the last ten years, national elections have been decided solely by how well Republicans did among voters earning less than $50,000 a year, a.k.a the working class. Podhorzer lumps voters of all races and ethnicities into this group, but if he had broken out the African-American vote (which comprises a much larger share of this group than their 12 to 13 percent of the overall vote, and which rarely give Democrats less than 90 percent of the vote) he would have found even larger swings — and smaller Democratic margins. In short, unless Republicans can figure out how to capture significantly more of the middle and upper-middle-class vote, comfortable control of the Senate and holding the White House depends on their winning the oft-overlooked working class.

— Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Editor’s Note: This post has been amended since its initial publication.

Henry OlsenMr. Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, an editor at, and the author of The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism.