A suburban House Democrat is sounding the alarm for her party over new data showing Republicans representing the majority of poor and working-class communities across the United States.
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) released new data indicating what Axios calls a “dramatic political realignment” over the past several decades; sixty-four percent of congressional districts with median incomes below the national average are now electing Republicans.
Kaptur, one of just five House Democrats representing districts won by former President Donald Trump, said her party is increasingly representing affluent, highly-educated urban voters who are benefiting from the growing chasm between haves and have-nots.
“It’s one way for her to highlight … that there are still those districts, especially in middle America away from the coasts, that are not feeling the benefit of all the policies in place,” a Kaptur aide told Axios. “That there is still work to be done to uplift these communities.”
Kaptur also sees another interpretation: “The other way you could look at it is: how is it possible that Republicans are representing the majority of people who struggle?” she told Insider, which first reported on the chart.
Economic hardships made worse by inflation have exacerbated a flight from the Democratic party by working- and middle-class voters. Following Trump’s upset win in 2016, many prognosticators sought to pin his success on appeals to working-class white voters, although subsequent studies cast shade on that notion. Rep. Kaptur’s latest presentation has revealed that indeed the lower-earning stratum of Americans feel Republicans are increasingly speaking to their concerns.
As angst with the current political environment has grown, so too has voters’ taste for outsider candidates like President Trump and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who seriously contended for the 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential nominations. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, another Democratic former presidential candidate, rode into office on a populist platform of realigning the economy toward middle-class Americans and has for years warned her colleagues about the dangers of ignoring their concerns.