OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Former President Donald Trump’s polling among average, working-class Americans has been climbing for months, but a new survey shows him with an even more commanding lead among that voting demographic.
The Center Square’s polling of “2,573 likely voters, conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights, shows Trump’s support is highest among Republican voters making less than $50,000 and those without a college degree.”
The poll revealed that among all probable Republican and Republican-leaning voters, Trump enjoys a substantial lead over other GOP contenders. Among these likely voters, 61 percent expressed their preference for Trump. Following far behind were former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley with 13 percent and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with 12 percent. Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy garnered 7 percent support, while former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has since suspended his campaign, secured just 2 percent, the Center Square reported.
Among voters with a household income of less than $50,000, Trump garnered the support of 70%. For voters in the $50,000 to $100,000 income range, the former president had 58% support. However, this figure declined to 51% for those with a household income above $100,000 annually. Regardless of the income level, Trump enjoyed more support than all of his GOP competitors combined, the outlet noted further.
“Voters without a college degree backed Trump with 68% support compared with 48% for those with a college degree,” the outlet’s report noted further, citing the survey data.
Michael Bitzer, politics department chair at Catawba College in North Carolina, told Center Square: “With the growing diploma gap between the two parties, if college-degree Republicans are softer in their support of the former president come the general election in November, that may pose a challenge for a candidate that believes he can only win his base and secure an electoral victory.”
He noted further that support from the suburbs will also weigh heavily.
“The other interesting dynamic is among suburban Republican voters compared to urban and especially rural Republican respondents,” Bitzer said. “Compared to almost two-thirds of urban and rural Republicans supporting the former president, the below 60% of suburban voters supporting the former president in the primary may be another warning signal for the general campaign, since nationally so many suburban areas tend to be the swing areas of deciding November’s election.”
David Byler, chief of research at Noble Predictive Insights, which conducted the poll for The Center Square, added: “Trump’s strength with the working class is a product of policy and persona,” he said. “On policy, he moved the GOP away from supply-side economics and toward tougher immigration policies – the working-class wing of the GOP wanted that for a long time. He made those moves and built unique credibility with working-class voters.”
How Trump comes across personally to voters is another factor.
“Persona is also part of the equation,” Byler said. “We let Trump supporters tell us, in their own words, why they backed him. And a decent chunk of his loyalists said he was tough, a straight-shooter and honest in a way that other politicians aren’t. Not every voter thinks this persona is genuine – but his supporters do.”
President Joe Biden, meanwhile, has spent his entire political career hailing his blue-collar roots, but increasingly, his Democratic Party has attracted wealthier Americans over the course of the past several election cycles.
“Republicans’ grasp on the upper crust of American society is beginning to slip, while Democrats are increasingly becoming the preferred party of America’s elite. And it could cost them their grip on the White House,” Newsweek noted in a June analysis.
“Republicans have appealed to America’s wealthy with a platform that’s long committed itself to lower taxes and fewer regulations for big businesses. However, wealthier Americans are gravitating more toward Democrats, voting blue in the last two presidential elections. And the new appeal to wealthier individuals is creating a divide with a key Democratic voting bloc: blue-collar workers,” Newsweek added.