Who Needs the White Working Class?
inthesetimes.com — In the likely presidential face-off this fall, President Obama will rely on support from a core of young voters, single women, African Americans, Latinos, highly educated voters, liberals and union members. Mitt Romney will count on lopsided votes from social and religious conservatives, wealthy business-oriented voters and the anti-Obama crowd – from virulent haters to frustrated voters ready to blame whoever holds power. Up for grabs is the white working class, which constitutes a key segment of the electorate, especially in the important Midwestern states that are likely to decide what now looks like a close race. During the primary, Romney has fared worst with Republican voters who do not have a college degree or make less than $50,000 a year – common, if inadequate definitions of “working class.” His weakness with workers may open the white working-class door slightly to Obama. Yet decades of repetition of conservative economic ideology has shaped the thinking of workers whose experience might otherwise provide a contrary view.