Democrats won the working class, Republicans won the less-educated
2022 continued the pattern of two diverging trends.
I plead once again: stop conflating education with economic position. Even leftists have routinely bought into this, in part simply because polling data broken down by education is more readily available; but also, I’m afraid, because the right has spent the last several years trying to redefine class as education.
And above, you can see why. If you look at voter income, you’ll see that Democrats were overwhelmingly preferred by the poor and rejected by the rich. But if you look at education, you’ll see what seems like the “opposite” trend: voters with less formal education prefer Republicans, while those with advanced degrees prefer Democrats.
There’s some good academic work on how different combinations of income and education predict different political orientations and I think they provide a lot of intuitive answers about these superficially conflicting trends. And yes, they give us good reason to pay attention to the GOP’s consolidation of uneducated voters. But anyone who tries to talk about “class” while ignoring basic material questions of income and wealth are only going to get half the picture at best, and one that is heavily skewed to misrepresent who the GOP’s base actually is.