Everyone knows that Republicans have political problems, from their failure to repeal Obamacare to President Trump's erratic tweets to his sputtering efforts to make populism a governing philosophy. But what about Democrats? While their problems don't get as much media attention, Democrats are now both the minority party and a toxic brand to much of middle-class America.
Take last Friday, when Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia announced he was becoming a Republican. "The Democrats walked away from me," he told a Trump rally in Huntington. "Today I tell you as West Virginians, I can't help you any more being a Democrat governor."
"I think it's a sign of the times," Jose Gonzalez, a 37-year-old project manager at a local steel plant, told the Washington Post at the rally. "The Democratic Party used to look out for the downtrodden, but more and more working people are going for Republicans."
More from National Review:
What's the matter with Democrats?
The Fusion Party: Democrats and the progressive media
Al Franken, un-funny man of the Senate
Trump certainly broke the mold in 2016. He did better among low-income whites than among upper-income whites — the first time a Republican has done that at the presidential level. He won 62 percent of the vote among white voters without a college degree who make less than $30,000 a year. In 2012, Mitt Romney had only won 52 percent of votes in that group. They made the difference in key working-class states that Trump won, carrying them for the GOP for the first time since the 1980s — Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Republicans now control the White House and both houses of Congress and have complete executive and legislative control in 26 states.
Since the November election, Trump's popularity has largely held with those voters. Concerns about his lack of focus have been assuaged by the recent growth in jobs and wages. Democrats have not improved their position — in part because of their obsession with leading the "resistance" against Trump. A Washington Post/Abc News poll published July 19 found that 52 percent of Americans don't believe the Democratic party stands for anything beyond opposing Trump. Even 42 percent of nonwhite voters agree that Trump-bashing is all the party is focused on.
The Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic party is convinced it has a solution: have the party move left. "People are looking for a populism, but a multi-racial populism," Heather McGhee, of the leftist voting-rights group Demos, said on Meet the Press this morning. "They're looking for candidates who say, 'I'm willing to take on the wealthy and powerful, and also I'm not willing to let the wealthy and powerful divide us from each other so that they can have the spoils of our great nation.'"
But that's not what the polls taken by Democrats themselves are showing. The House Majority PAC last month released an exhaustive survey. McClatchy's Alex Roarty summarized the findings as "white voters without a college degree still view Trump relatively favorably, their opinion of Democrats is in the dumps, and they reject some of the party's favored economic initiatives."