Let’s connect some dots.
Republican candidates, meanwhile, show some strength among registered voters who don’t have a college degree, +11 points in vote preference compared with an even split in the 2018 ABC News exit poll.
Non-college adults are 8 points more likely than those with four-year degrees to say they’re not just concerned but upset about the current inflation rate.
Focus in on non-black working-class voters and the divide becomes even more stark.
There’s also a major political/class perception gap when it comes to inflation.
Reports of financial hardship also differ by partisanship. Republicans (67%) are far more likely than Democrats (44%) to say rising prices are hurting their families. Independents fall between the party groups, at 56%…
Lower-income Americans are more likely than others to be experiencing severe hardship — 26% of those whose annual household income is less than $48,000 say prices are causing severe hardship for their families. That compares with 12% of middle-income Americans and 4% of upper-income Americans.
Lower-income Americans are about as likely now as last fall to say they are experiencing either severe or moderate hardship — 74%, compared with 70% in November.
Middle-income (63%) and upper-income (40%) Americans remain significantly less likely than lower-income Americans to say they are experiencing hardship. However, sharply more middle- and upper-income Americans are struggling now than were last November. The increase has been greater among middle-income Americans — up 17 percentage points — than among upper-income Americans — up 12 points.
The growing shift of upper-class urban and suburban liberal Republicans to the Democrats and the move of working-class rural Democrats to the GOP isn’t a new phenomenon. But the Clinton and Bush years helped slow down the dynamic. That probably had less to do with their personalities (although Clinton did help slow some of the bleeding in traditional Dem strongholds, Bush grated on upper-class RINO sensibilities, but not nearly as much as Sarah Palin or Trump would) than a slowing down on the culture war that began in the eighties.
The Obama era pushed the culture war into hyperdrive and the Trump era helped kill the big establishment party image of the GOP. The Dems increasingly look like an upper-class lefty establishment, no matter how many minorities they dress up their rallies with, and it’s alienating the white working class and Latino voters that they need. It also means that the respective bases experience inflation and economic problems differently.
Bill Clinton used his, “I feel your pain” moment to set himself apart on the economy. Biden couldn’t remotely pull that off and wouldn’t bother. The Democrats are detached from kitchen table issues in a way that they’ve never been before. Their base cares far more about identity politics and abortion in part because it is either more prosperous, or works in government, public organizations, or companies more immune to market conditions, or is on welfare.