Congressman says GOP is the party of 'working class' people — who voted for Biden
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) credits Donald Trump with the ‘gift’ of attracting working-class voters to the party.
In a memo to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy dated March 30, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) said that the GOP has transformed into the party of the working class and that Republicans must “enthusiastically” rebrand themselves.
But the results of the 2020 presidential election indicate that the working class overwhelmingly supports President Joe Biden.
Banks serves as chair of the Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus of conservatives in the House of Representatives.
The memo, published by Axios on Wednesday, bears the subject line “URGENT: Cementing GOP as the Working-Class Party.” It credits Donald Trump with the “gift” of attracting working-class voters to the party and directs Republicans to embrace the new coalition in order to succeed in the 2022 midterm elections:
Donald Trump won the Presidency in 2016 by drawing working-class voters into the GOP. […] Republicans must know their electorate. They must be able to explain the X-factor. What do janitors, restaurant owners and car repairmen have in common that motivated each group to donate their hard-earned income to the Republican presidential candidate?
In 2020, Wall Street donated four times more to Joe Biden than Donald Trump. President Trump didn’t just shift each party’s role — he caused a paradigm reversal.
After five years, it’s clear this reversal isn’t a temporary realignment contingent on Donald Trump’s presence in the White House—both parties are undergoing coalition transformations.
Banks advises Republicans to live up to Trump’s legacy by hosting “roundtables or townhalls featuring natural members of our working-class coalition like electricians, nurses, factory workers and police officers” and create a “Working Families Task Force” to “produce a definitive report on GOP-endorsed policies to protect American jobs, promote working-class values and assist working families.”
Banks says Republicans should focus less on corporate fundraising and more on grassroots fundraising from working-class donors.
He sums up, “Our electoral success in the 2022 midterm election will be determined by our willingness to embrace our new coalition. House Republicans can broaden our electorate, increase voter turnout, and take back the House by enthusiastically rebranding and reorienting as the Party of the Working Class.”
But New York Times data drawn from exit polls taken after the Nov. 3 general election demonstrates that Republicans are far from the party of the working class.
Poll results show that among voters with household incomes of $100,000 or higher, 54% voted for Trump and only 42% for Biden.
Conversely, Biden maintained a strong lead among working-class voters, winning 55% of those with household incomes under $50,000, while only 44% of those in that income bracket voted for Trump.
Polling before the election, including a Morning Consult online survey conducted in September 2020, showed 52% of voters making over $75,000 claiming to support Donald Trump.
And CNBC’s Millionaire Survey found during the presidential primaries that almost 36% of millionaire voters reported they would support Donald Trump as the presidential candidate, while only 14% reported they would support President Joe Biden.
Data continues to show that there has been no sudden “coalition transformation” of supporters to justify calling the GOP the party of the working class.
Working-class voters disproportionately shied away from Trump in 2016 as well, with only one-third of Trump voters having household incomes at or below $50,000 a year.
According to the website Statista, in 2012 57% of working-class voters with household incomes between $30,000 and $50,000 a year voted for former President Barack Obama and only 42% for candidate Mitt Romney, roughly the same proportion of the working-class vote that Trump got in 2020. More than 60% of 2012 voters with households incomes under $30,000 a year voted for Obama, with only 35% voting for Romney.
In his memo, Banks also said Republicans ought to lean into Trump’s supposed “opposition to the Chinese Communist Party’s predatory trade practices and support for trade policies that promote American industry and create American jobs.”
According to a 2019 financial disclosure, Banks has thousands of dollars of mutual fund investments in several Chinese companies.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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