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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

The Surprising Size of “White Working Class” America – Half of all White Men and 40 Percent of White Women Still Work in Basically Blue-Collar Jobs.

By Andrew Levison
In the last two weeks an energetic argument about voting trends among white “working class” voters and the right way to properly define the group itself has mushroomed across the pages of the New York Times, the U.K. Guardian, The New Republic, The Washington Monthly and a variety of other political journals. The debate is intense and of critical importance because as the 2012 election nears it has become clear that the “base” voters of the Obama coalition– youth, minorities, single women, educated professionals and others are not by themselves sufficient to insure his re-election. By most calculations Obama must win somewhere close to 40% of white “working class” voters (defined as those with less than a four year college degree) in order to win the election. Right now Obama’s support in this group hovers in the low to mid-thirties.
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