Politics

Did Trump rebrand GOP as party of the working class?

Did Trump rebrand GOP as party of the...

EL PASO, Texas - Political experts say it is increasingly evident Donald Trump's appeal to the White working class led him on a path to a stunning electoral victory on Election Day.

Whites without a college degree made up one-third of the 2016 electorate, and according to exit polls, Trump prevailed in that area by nearly 40 percentage points.

"All the way back to the great depression, we coalesce around this idea of working class whites are the foundation of the Democratic Party," said UTEP Assistant Political Science Professor Dr. Todd Curry. "If there's been anything approaching what we in political science would like to call a realignment, which is a shift of a block of voters from one party to another, I think we've finally seen that coalesce in this election."

Curry said the white working class jumping to the Republican party proved the difference.

"If the steel mills have moved out of your town, if you are a farmer and farms subsidies have dropped, if you are any sorts of those things, your common goal is to get it back," Curry said.

In El Paso, Hillary Clinton easily defeated Trump. The majority of votes from Trump were cast in West El Paso and in the Upper Valley.

"The West Side tends to be higher socioeconomic status and more white than the rest of El Paso," Curry said. "That's exactly who turned up to vote for Trump."

"I think people are angry, they're disappointed, they're frustrated," said Adolpho Telles, Chairman of the El Paso Republican party. "The working class, across the board, has not seen growth change opportunity over the last 7 or 8 years."

Telles said the the government needs to provide the working class with opportunities, not handouts. That's the message that I think came out when you talk about the anger of the people. They want opportunity and I think that's what the Republicans have tried to provide for years. I think Donald Trump has put that into a logo that drives that message home."

Dr. Curry said whether Trump delivers on his promises to working class whites remains to be seen. If he does deliver, Curry said,  Trump is the Republican party going forward.

If Trump fails to deliver, Curry is not sure what the Republican party is in four years.


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