John Sides: There Is No White Working Class. There Is a Southern White Working Class and a Rest-of-the-Country White Working Class, and Nobody Pays Attention to Either
John Sides on the centrality of race in this sliver of the electorate:
Puncturing Myths about the White Working Class: A new survey… is a valuable corrective…. For example, consider this:
In mid-August, Romney held a commanding 40-point lead over Obama among white working-class voters in the South (62% vs. 22%). However, neither candidate held a statistically significant lead among white working-class voters in the West (46% Romney vs. 41% Obama), Northeast (42% Romney vs. 38% Obama), or the Midwest (36% Romney vs. 44% Obama)….
In my experience, the white working class gets a ton of attention, especially when elections come around…. But when we discuss the white working class during elections, another fact rarely raises its head: the enormous inequalities in political voice that arguably marginalize the white working class when it comes to policy-making…. [O]nly the views of the upper class appear to affect whether policies are enacted in law. So the problem isn’t that the white working class is trending Republican or that it votes against its economic interests or that it’s being hoodwinked by social issues. The the problem is that no matter what the white working class thinks, no one is listening.