The "White Working Class" Debate
Need a break from poring over gift-rule and lobbyist-disclosure provisions? If so, Ruy Teixeira has posted an excellent summary of the simmering debate that's been going on in academic and political circles since November 2004 about Democratic weakness in the "white working class," and just as importantly, how to define that group.
I'll let you read this long post yourself, but do want to quote some rather startling 2004 stats that dramatize the different impact of educational levels and income on voting behavior:
Among non-college-educated whites with $30,000–$50,000 in household income, Bush beat Kerry by twenty-four points (62 percent to 38 percent); among college-educated whites at the same income level, Kerry actually managed a 49 percent to 49 percent tie. And among non-college-educated whites with $50,000–$75,000 in household income, Bush beat Kerry by a shocking forty-one points (70 percent to 29 percent), while leading by only five points (52 percent to 47 percent) among college-educated whites at the same income level.
I'm sure age is a variable affecting these numbers, but still: guessing at an average of those two groups, it's pretty clear the bulk of the non-college-educated white middle class went for W. by roughly a two-to-one margin. That's correct, but Lord knows it ain't right. --