Many of us know the story of The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. Written in 1882, it is the story of two characters that switch places and take on the life of the other. One hundred years later in 1983, a remake of the story appeared as the movie, Trading Places. Today, almost forty years later, the story is being retold once again. This time, however, it is two US political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans that are changing places.
In the past 10 years, the percentage of blue-collar voters who call themselves Republicans has grown by 12 points, while those that call themselves Democrats has fallen by 8 points.
This switch from the Democrat to the Republican Party by blue-collar voters includes white, Hispanic, and black demographic groups and is helping the Republican Party become the party of the blue-collar worker.
Almost all of the Republican’s blue-collar growth took place during the presidency of Donald Trump which is not really surprising since Donald Trump made it no secret that he wanted to help the people who make America work — the truck drivers, farmers, factory workers, miners, hospitality workers, etc.
Unlike former DNC Chairman Tom Perez’s explanation that Hispanics only voted for Republicans because they were tricked by the Russians overlooks something very important: Hispanic voters, like all voters, place great importance on having a job. Donald Trump understood this and offered up the promise to work to bring blue-collar jobs back to America from China and elsewhere. He worked to bring back jobs that Democrats frowned upon and jobs they said could never come back. He opened up thousands of jobs by making America energy independent. This surprised many in the blue-collar ranks because no one in recent memory had ever stepped up to actually help the American worker by putting America first.
The Democrat party has long bragged they are the party of the American worker, but in truth have few programs that lift people up and out from where they are. Historically, Democrats push to increase benefits just enough to make people content with where they are. They understand that when people depend on the government for money they will keep voting for that government.
In contrast, Republicans favor the goal of everyone having the opportunity to be successful and are determined to get government out of the way so people can have better-paying jobs and move up in America. Donald Trump was a master at getting rid of regulations so businesses could thrive and create more jobs. The blue-collar workers of America saw this and sensed that Donald Trump actually could help them and so rewarded him and the Republican Party with their votes.