The Great Democratic Inversion

According to the Oct. 20 Reuters-IPSOS tracking survey, Hillary Clinton now leads Donald Trump by 5.6 points among all whites earning $75,000 or more. This is a substantial improvement on the previous Democratic record of support among upscale white voters, set in 2008 when Barack Obama lost to John McCain among such voters by 11 points.

.. According to an Oct. 23 ABC News poll, Clinton also leads among all white college graduates, 52-36. She has an unprecedented gender gap among these voters, leading 62-30 among college-educated white women and tying among college educated white men, 42-42.

.. What these figures suggest is that the 2016 election will represent a complete inversion of the New Deal order among white voters. From the 1930s into the 1980s and early 1990s, majorities of downscale whites voted Democratic and upscale whites voted Republican. Now, looking at combined male and female vote totals, the opposite is true.

.. The data reflects an ongoing evolution in the composition of the two parties.

.. Democrats, including the party’s elite, remain decisively liberal, and have become more cosmopolitan — more readily accepting of globalization, more welcoming of immigrants, less nationalistic — and more optimistic about the future.

.. 81 percent of Clinton supporters expect their family’s finances to improve in the near term, and 72 percent said they expect their children to be better off than they are.

The first group, “the Social Elite. They plan to vote for Clinton over Trump by 74.3 to 14.1 percent.

The second group, termed “the Disinherited”. They plan to vote for Trump by 74.3 to 13.5 percent.

.. 83.5 percent agreed that “in general, Americans lived more moral and ethical lives 50 year ago.”

.. These voters are convinced (72.6 percent) that they can no longer get ahead in America through hard work, and that the government in Washington threatens the freedom of “ordinary Americans” (75.3 percent).

.. These upscale white liberals like government. 52.5 percent have “some” or “a lot” of confidence that public officials will tell the truth, compared with 17.1 percent of the Disinherited.

.. Asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement “Most Americans who live in poverty are there because of their own bad habits and choices,” the social elite sharply disagreed, 81-19, while the disinherited were split (47.2 percent agree, 52.8 percent disagree).

.. A majority (56%) of white college-educated Americans say American society is generally better now than it was in the 1950s, while nearly two-thirds (65%) of white working-class Americans say things are now worse.

White evangelical Protestants have the bleakest view of all: “Nearly three-quarters (74%) say American culture has changed for the worse since the 1950s.”

.. The largely white upscale wing of the Democratic Party is far more liberal on economic policy than its self-interest would suggest. In the UVA-IASC survey, the social elite is not only sympathetic to the poor and to pro-government intervention, but, by 3 to 1, believes that the “system is rigged in favor” of the wealthy; by nearly 6 to 1 believes that Wall Street and big business “profit at the expense of ordinary Americans;” and believes, by better than 2 to 1, that the government “should do more to improve the lives of ordinary Americans.”

.. If Clinton wins, she should have less difficulty holding Democratic factions together than previous Democratic presidents, including her husband. She will, however, face a more hostile and obdurate Republican opposition than her predecessors