How Will the GOP Realign, If At All?

I’m a little under the weather today. If I had more energy, I’d do a deep dive into Joshua Green’s excellent piece on the Republican Party realignment we’re witnessing.

I encourage you to read it and to keep two things in mind.

First, if the GOP goes with Trump or Cruz, it will, ironically, signal a movement away from the financial sector wing of the party. The party base will be less educated and more working class. Professionals and many high earners will gravitate toward the Democrats.

Second, if Rubio (or Kasich, Christie or Bush) becomes a stand-in for the financial sector Establishment and takes the nomination, the blue collar element of the GOP will be extremely alienated. Participation could drop off a cliff, and many of these voters could move to Sanders, if he were the nominee for the Democrats. On the other hand, professionals and high earners would probably stick with the party.

The latter scenario would leave the cleavage between the two parties largely intact. The blue collar “protest” voters wouldn’t be reliable Democrats. Their basic attitude is anti-Washington and anti-Establishment. It’s doubtful they’d stick with any incumbent.

But the former scenario would have the potential for some serious realigning. The GOP would get smaller and lose voters in droves in the suburbs.

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Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at