In 1969, conservative analyst Kevin Phillips announced in his work, The Emerging Republican Majority, that a new coalition of voters would end New Deal Democratic hegemony and create a Republican lock on the Electoral College for years to come.
Sure enough, repulsed by the flower children rioting in the streets and their Democratic allies, southern Protestants, working-class Urban Catholics, and rural Westerns flocked to the Republican Party.
These voters turned to Richard Nixon in 1972 when he ran against “acid, amnesty, and abortion.” In 1980, they gave Ronald Reagan a decisive mandate to downsize government, cut taxes, and defeat communism.
Then in 2002, liberal analysts John Judis and Ruy Teixeira argued in their book, The Emerging Democratic Majority, that the conservative national majority was disintegrating and a new coalition committed to the Democratic party was rising.
The offspring of many World War II-era cultural conservatives had left ethnic neighborhoods and rural areas to suburbia. Having achieved upper middle-class status, some were embarrassed by the traditional moral beliefs of their forefathers.
According to Judis and Teixeira, this emerging class of metropolitan professionals were joining Blacks, Hispanics, and working women in an embrace of progressive politics that would guarantee the Democratic Party a large national electoral majority.
But in their newly published book, Where Have All the Democrats Gone?, Judis and Teixeira concede that their Democratic electoral expectations did not come to pass.
The explanation: “Democrats have steadily lost the allegiance of everyday Americans — the working and middle-class voters that were the core of the older New Deal coalition.”
Since the Clinton years, radical leftists and globalist elites, who dominate the party, have been advocating economic and social positions that have driven working-class voters into the arms of the Republicans.
Those issues, according to Judis and Teixeira, include:
- Support for “trade deals that led to factory closings in many small town and mid-sized cities in states that were once Democratic strongholds.”
- Opposition to measures that would contain the illegal immigration of unskilled workers.
- Opposition to any restrictions on abortion.
- Opposition to displays of religiosity.
- Desecration of traditional American symbols.
- Support of gender ideologies.
- Support for strict gun controls.
The promotion of these policies by Democrats have led to a “great divide” that has “pitted the dynamic post-industrial Metro areas of the country ... and dominated by the outlook of the burgeoning professional class against the working-class areas in the small towns, rural communities and mid-sized cities scattered across the Heartland that still depended upon manufacturing and resource extraction.”
In Ohio, for example, while Obama carried the state in 2008 and 2012, the popular vote for Democratic House of Representative members began to decline. In 2008, the Democrats had a statewide five-point advantage and in 2010, they experienced a 12-point deficit. A swing of 17%.
And Trump carried the state in 2016 and 2020 thanks to the defections of white working-class voters.
There’s another electoral factor at play — the increasing defections of minority voters from the Democratic fold.
Democratic Party leaders have assumed that the ever-growing Hispanic and Asian populations would be natural constituencies.
But the tone deaf Democrats, Judis and Teixeira admit, have been misreading the attitudes of Hispanics and Asians who see it as “a party of Hollywood, Wall Street, and Silicon Valley that no longer cared about the welfare of the ‘forgotten middle class.’”
A Pew study revealed that in 2020 Trump garnered a stunning 41% of working-class Hispanic voters. He carried heavily Hispanic counties in Texas that no Republican had carried since 1920.
Post-election polls indicated that 50% of Hispanics supported Trump’s economic policies, and opposed COVID lockdowns.
“Nationally, 55% backed boosting boarder security spending and 51% supported limiting asylum seekers.”
Increasing numbers of Asians have also been registering their discontent with Democrats at the polling booths. Between 2018 and 2022, Democratic margins declined 19% among Asians.
Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese Americans, rejecting the left’s racial radicalism, have increasingly supported Republicans. A majority oppose defunding the police in inner cities.
In deep-blue New York, incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul’s 2022 Republican challenger, Lee Zeldin, running on an anti-crime platform, ran “17 points ahead of Trump among black voters, 18 points ahead among Hispanic voters and 34 points ahead among ‘other races,’ a category that mostly comprises Asians.”
Judis and Teixeira fear that “the loss of working-class voters, who constitute the great majority of the electorate, could undermine Democrats’ chances not simply of being the majority party but of being competitive with the Republican Party.”
However, if the Republican Party is to counterbalance the growth of natural Democratic constituencies, it must reach out to blue-collar and middle-class minorities. The Republicans must become a part of their lives and promote their beliefs and interests from City Hall to Washington.
Conservatives must convince them, in the words of that great social philosopher Michael Novak that “a politics based on family and neighborhood is far stronger socially and psychologically than a politics based on ideologies and bureaucracy.”
George J. Marlin, a former executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is the author of "The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact," and "Christian Persecutions in the Middle East: A 21st Century Tragedy." Read George J. Marlin's Reports — More Here.
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