Ted Cruz says the GOP is the party of the working class. He's wrong.


Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) accuses the Democratic Party of being the 'party of the rich,' but voting patterns don't back him up.

In a tweet on Saturday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) slammed Democrats as the "party of the rich," claiming that the GOP is the party of the "working class."

There's just one problem: The facts don't support his narrative.

The misunderstanding began when Cruz retweeted a graphic originally posted by Hillsdale College professor of psychology Ben Winegard which Winegard said showed that "The Democratic Party is rapidly becoming the Party of the professional-managerial class." 

Winegard claimed that in 1980, Democrats won 9 out of 100 of the highest-income counties in the country, while in 2020, President-elect Joe Biden won more than half (57%) of those same counties. He said that, based on the data he presented, although some of this may be attributable to Donald Trump's "unique character flaws," ultimately it showed a "long-term Party reversal."

"Today's Dems are the party of the rich," Cruz said in his retweet. "GOP is and should be the party of the working class."

But according to New York Times exit poll data from the Nov. 3 general election, the reverse of Cruz's assertion is true.

The results of those polls indicate that of voters with household incomes of $100,000 and above, the majority — 54% — voted for Trump, and only 42% for Biden.

This dovetails with other 2020 data, such as a September Morning Consult poll that showed that 52% of those making over $75,000 said in an online survey that they supported Donald Trump in 2020. Interestingly, only 42% were willing to admit their support for Trump over the phone to a live questioner.

And despite Cruz's claims, Biden maintained a firm lead among those in the working-class bloc. The polling data showed that 55% of voters with household incomes under $50,000 voted for Biden, and only 44% voted for Trump.

According to a report published by Reuters on Nov. 10, counties that went for Biden, when tallied together, accounted for 70% of the economic output of the United States.

The division between the candidates of red and blue voters in 2020 was roughly similar to what it was in 2016.

In 2017, the Washington Post reported that it was a myth that the working-class vote disproportionately went to Trump in the 2016 election.

In fact, only about one-third of Trump voters in the 2016 general election had household incomes at or below $50,000.

While education level can be an accurate predictor of party affiliation — the Post noted in 2017 that about 70% of Republicans don't have a college degree — income level does not necessarily correspond to education level. In fact, the Post reported, one in five white Trump voters in 2016 without a college degree had a household income of more than $100,000.

And despite Cruz's claims to the contrary, very wealthy voters are much more likely to be registered Republicans than the average voter.

According to a report published by Forbes in October, only 28% of Americans identify as Republicans — but close to half of American billionaires do.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.