In a country changed by COVID, growing inflation, and culture wars, it should come as no surprise that a great alignment is taking place in politics, too. The Democrat party, long considered the party of the non-college-educated working middle class in America, has seen the GOP taking its place.
"The real rank and file Democrats on the ground, they're leaving their party in droves, because they said, this is unrecognizable. I never signed up for this. I didn't want record-high gas prices. I didn't want zero borders. I wanted a country I wanted, you know, a shot at the American dream. That's what I wanted. And they see that that's not what it's been about at all," said Liz Harrington, President Trump's spokesperson.
The slide has been dramatic. More than 60 years ago, JFK won the white voters without a degree by a two-to-one margin. In 2020, Joe Biden lost those same voters by a two-to-one margin, a total reversal.
The latest poll ahead of the midterms shows the same trend. The GOP holds an overwhelming 61-to-29 percent lead among the white working class. Even so-called middle-class champions like Bernie Sanders see the problem.
"The truth is that the middle class of this country is falling further and further behind. Wages are not keeping up with inflation," Sanders said.
Democrats are also starting to lose their grip on the reliable Hispanic vote. The latest NBC News/Telemundo poll shows that even though Hispanics still prefer Democrats 54 percent to 33 percent, that 21-point lead is lower than in the past. In election cycles over the last ten years, the lead has dwindled from a whopping 42 percent a decade ago to 26 points in 2022.
Given the drop, analysts point to Democrats taking the Hispanic vote for granted, especially in these tough times. And pandering isn't helping.
Jessica Anderson is with Heritage Action for America.
"The Biden regime is completely out of touch and pandering to Hispanic voters instead of actually getting real about the issues that, just like you and I, everyone else in America that we actually care about. And so I think they're tired of being treated like a voting bloc, that it's a one size fits all rubber stamp for the Democratic Party. It is not that," Anderson said.
Cultural issues are also playing a role. Supporting abortion at any stage has turned off many pro-family Hispanic Catholic voters.
"You see the Democrats that are passing radical abortion laws in California and Colorado and New York that say that you can kill seven-pound babies right up to the point of birth. Your average, hard-working Hispanic, Catholic out there does not approve of that. Your African American hard-working African Americans don't approve of that. That's a radical, extreme policy. And that's what the Democrat Party is pushing left and right," said Ted Harvey, a former Colorado state senator.
So while this political realignment is helping the GOP on one hand, it's also reshaping the Democrat party to a whiter, more elite party. An NBC News poll shows Democrats with a whopping 38-point lead among women with college degrees. That's up from 10 points in 2010. Polls show these more affluent Democrat voters care more about abortion, gun control, and climate change. It's a trend not lost on candidate Joe Biden when he chose clean energy over blue-collar jobs in a 2020 debate.
Asked if, as president, he would be willing to sacrifice thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of blue-collar workers' jobs in the interest of transitioning to a greener economy, Biden replied, "The answer is yes."
Democratic strategists believe pursuing the Green New Deal and more progressive priorities will help the party with college-educated voters in key suburban battlegrounds. In this election cycle, however, where the economy is the most pressing issue, this political realignment could lead to a midterm derailment. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the middle class is rising up and pushing back.
"I think those people have all now concluded that a little bit of noise and a little bit of tumult is probably worth it in exchange for a simpler, better life and life where you can afford the things you want to do for your family where you don't have the progressive left attacking you at every moment. I think they can see that. So I think they're going to begin to vote for the party that's going to deliver a better life for their families," Pompeo said.
We get the realigned answers in just a few short weeks.