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WASHINGTON—The Republican Party has become the party of blue-collar America.
After the 1992 election, 15 of the 20 most manufacturing-intensive Congressional districts in America were represented by Democrats. Today, all 20 are held by Republicans.
The shift of manufacturing from a Democratic stronghold to a Republican one is a major force remaking the two parties. It helps explain Donald Trump’s political success, the rise of Republican protectionism and the nation’s polarized politics. It will help shape this year’s midterm elections.
South Carolina’s third Congressional district, on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, epitomizes the swing from blue to red.
Many counties that leaned toward Democrats lost so many factory jobs during the past 25 years that they ceased being manufacturing centers.
As the U.S. factory workforce diminished in size—from 15.4% of the U.S. workforce in 1992 to 8.5% today—it moved out of big cities that were union strongholds and into blue-collar suburbs.
The Northeast and New England, strongholds for Democrats, largely disappeared from the map of manufacturing-intensive counties, according to an analysis for the Journal by the Brookings Institution’s metropolitan policy program. There are no manufacturing-intensive counties any longer in Massachusetts or Connecticut.
Pittsburgh, another Democratic bastion, shed its Steel City heritage and became a university and health-care center. Manufacturing jobs declined by 37,000 in the metropolitan area since 1992, while the number of service-industries employees increased by 168,000.
The new manufacturing heartland runs through areas outside suburbs along interstate highways south from Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin through Ohio and into the Carolinas and the deep South.
There, whites without a college education, who identified with the Republican Party’s focus on social issues and abortion restrictions, took up many of the factory jobs. The Trump administration’s tough stance on trade deepened the bonds with workers who believed they were hurt by free-trade deals.
“Manufacturing moved to where the Republican party has been building strength,” says Jonathan Rodden, a Stanford University political scientist, who studies the geography of political change.
Other manufacturing areas have flipped to vote for Republicans. In 1992, there were 860 counties where at least 25% of the working population was employed in manufacturing. Democrat Bill Clinton won 49% of those counties. By 2016, manufacturers employed at least a quarter of the workforce in only 320 counties. Ninety-five percent of them went for Donald Trump.
Democrats should understand a harsh reality, their economic policies throughout the last 25 years have been detrimental to our country
Generally highly paid finance bros on Wall St aren’t a focus or a need within labor rights.
originally posted by: neo96
a reply to: Xcalibur254
The far Left have always been strong defenders of worker rights.
Except if you happened to work for a firearm manufacturer, a bank, or Wall Street, or coal mine.
Then they are public enemy number one!
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