A new report published by the Manhattan Institute argues that the Democratic Party is becoming a tension-generating mix of college-educated Whites and non-college-educated nonwhites.
The new demographic makeup of the DNC may create a “tension” the report’s author, Zach Goldberg writes, “when it comes to political priorities.” The rapidly changing makeup of the Democratic Party presents “an awkward paradox,” he claims.
“[T]he Democratic Party will likely become a majority-minority party relatively soon, but one that is still largely and disproportionately steered by liberal college-educated whites.”
This ensuing clash of political agendas between the two wings of the party, Goldberg asserts, will likely favor richer, better-educated, white Democrats. “Those with a college education tend to be wealthier and have higher socioeconomic status than those without, but they also tend to be more socially liberal and more likely to prioritize post-material moral concerns over kitchen-table issues.”
This can have significant implications for the Democratic Party’s future direction.
One recent poll found that white Democrats were nearly three times as likely as non-white Democrats to pick abortion or climate change as the most important political issue of the day. By comparison, the latter group was twice as likely as white Democrats to prioritize matters such as the economy, inflation, gas prices, taxes, and crime.
This new dynamic could be a windfall for Republicans seeking to entice minority voters into the tent turned off by the Democrat’s embrace of college-educated preferences such as identity politics, affirmative action, and political correctness. Commandeering the Democratic Party as a vehicle to enact the prerogatives of educated white progressives may drive “a small but electorally consequential subset of them into the arms of Republican Party candidates, if not into the party itself.”
The realignment also marks a significant departure from the traditional view of Democrats being the political home of the blue-collar working class. Instead, the DNC will increasingly be aligned with “big business”: historically a pejorative the Republican Party has been caricatured as.
The growing “diploma divide” has become particularly pronounced amongst white Americans. In 2020, the Democratic Party drew more college-educated whites (27.3 percent) than non-college-educated whites (25.2 percent) for the first time on record.