“President Trump gave the Republican Party a political gift: we are now the party supported by most working-class voters.”
~ Jim Banks
President Trump gave the Republican Party a political gift: we are now the party supported by most working-class voters. The question is whether Republicans reject that gift or unwrap it and permanently become the Party of the Working Class.
Donald Trump won the Presidency in 2016 by drawing working-class voters into the GOP. During the 2020 race, he drew on the same base of support, receiving an unprecedented number of votes and boosting Republican candidates across the country.
Certain occupations overwhelmingly supported President Trump in 2020. Of those who donated to a presidential campaign: 79% of mechanics donated to Trump and 21% gave to Biden; 60% of small business owners donated to Trump and 40% donated to Biden; and 59% of custodians donated to Trump while 41% gave to Biden.
Republicans must know their electorate. They must be able to explain the X-factor. What do janitors, restaurant owners and car repairmen have in common that motivated each group to donate their hard-earned income to the Republican presidential candidate?
This could help: 94% of college professors donated to Biden while 6% donated to Trump; 86% of marketing professionals donated to Biden and 14% donated to Trump; and 73% of bankers donated to Biden while 27% donated to Trump.
Especially on the last data point, things have changed. In 2012, Wall Street contributed roughly $6 million to Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, and gave more than three times that amount to Mitt Romney.
In 2020, Wall Street donated four times more to Joe Biden than Donald Trump. President Trump didn’t just shift each party’s role—he caused a paradigm reversal.
After five years, it’s clear this reversal isn’t a temporary realignment contingent on Donald Trump’s presence in the White House–both parties are undergoing coalitional transformations.banks-working-class-memo