This year’s presidential election has broken molds and busted myths
about politics as the candidates find their way forward in new ways.
Republicans the party of ’fat cats’ and Democrats of ‘the little guy’?

This little item on the Acton Institute’s blog looks at an interesting demographic trend and wonders what it may mean, going forward.

The gravamen is that Democratic presidential candidates
in the current election have exhibited a whopping advantage among all
kinds of elite groups, identified by professional, financial, or
educational status. Meanwhile, Republicans garnered more support from
plumbers, truckers, and janitors.

What a switch, if conventional wisdom prevailed. But there’s little
to no conventional wisdom left in this campaign year. So follow the
trending data. Which the National Review article Kevin Schmiesing is
analyzing here does, but doesn’t explain that well.

Confused? The plumbers, truckers and janitors support for
Republicans is “a phenomenon” that the National Review reports, but
doesn’t explain…

other than to note that Democrats have enjoyed a $200
million advantage in general, which may go a long way toward generating
the more specific category advantages. And which may further be
explained (this is my speculation) as being due to a) more people
thinking a Democrat will win the White House and wanting to support a
winner, or b) the Democratic primary race being more competitive than
the Republican, or c) a combination of the two.

But I’m wondering about the speculation on the influence supporters will have on the two parties. Here’s what the National Review says:

What should we make of all this? National political
parties, after all, reflect their supporters, and party leaders
traditionally feel a responsibility to cater to their supporters’
whims. A party that receives overwhelming support from elite Wall
Street investment firms, corporate bigwigs, and highly educated
professionals may find it exceedingly difficult to raise their taxes or
impose draconian new Big Government regulations on them. Similarly, a
party that is losing well-educated suburban professionals and gaining
support from blue-collar workers may find it more difficult to support
free trade agreements and embrace globalization.

This is making big assumptions. But that’s been another trend in
this election, if little else has been constant. It’ll be interesting
to watch the parties construct their platforms at the summer
conventions, to put it mildly.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....