NBC News‘ “Meet the Press” displayed new data Sunday that demonstrates a shift in the demographics of political parties in the United States. Data from an NBC News poll showed that more blue-collar workers might be joining the Republican Party.
“Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd noted that “both parties are undergoing massive changes in who their voters are.” According to NBC News, “one massive shift is coming in employment: the kinds of jobs Democrats and Republicans hold. There are signs across racial and ethnic demographic groups that Republicans are becoming the party of blue-collar Americans and the change is happening quickly.”
Over the last 10 years, the percentage of “blue-collar voters” who describe themselves as Republicans grew by 12 points, while at the same time, the number in that group who identify as Democrat went down eight points.
The number of “white-collar voters” has remained mostly the same with a small increase for Democrats (one point) and a slight decrease for Republicans (one point).
NBC News reports that this might lead to a shift in policy proposals of the GOP. “Some signs of what this change could mean became visible just after the election when Republican voters aligned with former President Donald Trump called for larger Covid-19 relief payments from the government. A larger cash payout is not a policy choice one would normally associate with Republicans.”
The number of white blue-collar workers increased 12 points over the past 10 years, but the Republican Party also saw an increase in minority blue-collar workers aligning with them, as well.
The GOP saw a 13-point increase in Hispanic blue-collar workers, which is slightly higher than the white blue-collar worker numbers. According to NBC, “For years the assumption has been that the Democrats had an inside track to winning the Hispanic vote, but maybe that’s less true than had been believed, especially among blue-collar Hispanics.”
Black blue-collar workers also increased from five percent to 12 percent over the last 10 years.
Notably, each of the different groups discussed in the poll — white, Hispanic, and black — all had increases within the GOP from 2010 to 2016, as well. The more significant jumps, however, came between 2016 and 2020.
From 2010 to 2016, the Hispanic blue-collar voters aligned with the GOP grew one percent. The black blue-collar voters grew four percent and the white blue-collar voter numbers went up two percentage points. The numbers might seem small, but they are significant enough to show an increasing trend that continued from 2016 to 2020 instead of declining or remaining the same.
According to NBC News, these data points seem to show that the GOP “is increasingly reliant on blue-collar voters as a key, if not the key, component of its coalition.” This could reportedly lead to a change in policy proposals as the GOP moves to speak to these voters.
In describing the data, Chuck Todd said, “The two parties are trading places to a certain extent. As Democrats make gains in traditionally Republican suburbs, Republicans are picking off blue-collar voters who used to call themselves ‘Democrats.'” The host added, “Increasingly, the current Republican Party is looking more and more like the Democratic Party of the mid-20th century. Think ’50s and ’60s.”