The White Working Class as Trumps Electorate Base

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-11-5-14
O. Bogaevskaya,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.
V. Zhuravleva,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Received 09.07.2021.

Acknowledgements. The article was prepared within the project “Post-Crisis World Order: Challenges and Technologies, Competition and Cooperation” supported by the grant from Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation program for research projects in priority areas of scientific and technological development (Agreement 075-15-2020-783).

Abstract. In 2020, the white working class made almost half of all the votes for Donald Trump – about 37 million out of 73.5 million votes that he got. 67% of white Americans with less than four years degree cast their votes for Trump. 100 days after he lost the reelection, 29% of Republicans believed that Trump will come back to the White House before the month of August 2021. Who are they, these Trumps supporters and believers? How did Trump change their role in political life, and what will be their future after him? During the last 45 years, the white working class of America has transformed from the world’s most affluent and secure working class, the linchpin of the New Deal coalition, the protagonist of the American dream into one of the most vulnerable, disintegrated and declining in its number and power element of the American electorate. Trump used their anger and despair in his way to power, bringing them back to politics. Today both the Democratic and Republican Parties are fighting again for the white working class. Historically, this group was the base of the Democratic Party. But for the last two decades, the Party has become much more liberal in its values and focused more on different groups of minorities. These trends made whites without college degree to shift to the Republican Party, regardless its “party of white riches” image. The current shift occurred in the years of Obama presidency – for highly conservative, less educated, mostly South whites this President came as a challenge to their traditional views of America. By the end of the Obama era, the Republican Party almost filled the gap with the Democratic Party in white working class support. Trump became the high pick of this shift. Meanwhile, the Democrats got the trend and came back fighting for its past electorate who suddenly became the focus of a political game and interparty transformations, which makes it highly possible to change the face of the American party system as we know today.

Keywords: the white working class, Trump’s electorate base, Republican Party, Democratic Party, trade globalization, automation of production, the American dream, the redneck, the confrontation of values’ models, polarization


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For citation:
Bogaevskaya O., Zhuravleva V. The White Working Class as Trumps Electorate Base. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2021, vol. 65, no. 11, pp. 5-14.

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