White working-class Americans were the first low propensity group Market Research Foundation recognized as pivotal back in 2013, and in 2016 these White Non-college voters were finally recognized by the mainstream when they delivered President Trump a victory most never saw coming. While President Trump is now making historic inroads with Black and Hispanic voters, it is increasingly apparent that adding Non-college Whites in battleground states is a crucial element of his reelection strategy.
The Wall Street Journal recently revisited the White Non-College data and asserts that Non-college Whites still represent a substantial well of untapped voters with a likelihood of supporting President Trump – should they be compelled to vote. White Non-College Americans represent the largest share of nonvoters in contentious battleground states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Among these swing states, Non-College Whites represent between 62% and 67% of nonvoters and a collective 4.5 million untapped potential voters. According to Brookings Institution estimates, Michigan is home to around 1.6 million White Non-College nonvoters, Pennsylvania is home to 2.1 million, and Wisconsin holds over 800,000 White Non-College nonvoters.
There is still immense potential to reach millions of White Non-College voters, many of whom felt neglected by both the Democrat and Republican parties for years as elites destroyed entire sectors of the economy to line their pockets at the expense of the working-class. President Trump is continuing to reach out to nonvoters with an America-First message that rejects globalism and promises a resurgence in American soverignty and self-determination, free of the death grip of globalism.
White Non-college Americans are not a monolith. While they did turn out to deliver Trump a surprise victory in 2016, this is largely due to the fact that disenfranchised Americans represent the largest share of males without a college degree. MRF identified these Non-college males as an influential group within the low propensity segment in Virginia back in 2013. Our research team concluded there are four distinct groups within the White-Non-College male demographic, and disenfranchised Non-College males represented the largest sub-group.
Disenfranchised represent 44% of White Non-College males, and are characterized by a mistrust of government and politics. They also hold a strong preference for lower taxes and strict immigration laws, and are more likely to identify as Independents than Republicans.
GOP Loyalists represent 20% of White Non-College males, and are more likely to be married and have children under eighteen. GOP Loyalists hold strong conservative ideals centered around moral issues, believe GOP politicians care about their needs, and mostly identify as Republicans.
Just a quarter of White Non-College Males fall into the Liberal Sympathizer category, characterized by Democrat or Independent views, favorable views of former President Obama, and a higher likelihood to hold white collar jobs compared to the other groups. However, Liberal Sympathizers do not necessarily consider themselves liberals. They are generally split on describing themselves as conservative, moderate or liberal on economic, social and moral issues.
GOP Leaning Libertarians
The smallest segment of Non-College Males (12%) are GOP Leaning Libertarians. These individuals tend to be higher income and younger than the other groups, favor lower taxes, and are split on Party ID.
Two other important groups are younger Millennial Whites with infrequent voting histories, and newly-eligible Generation Z Whites, both of whom are often assumed to be solidly in the Democrat-camp. Market Research Foundation has conducted a series of surveys on Millennials and Generation Z and identified opportunities for conservatives in both groups. Stay tuned for a deep-dive into both groups coming next week.