October/November 2014

The White Working Class Roundtable Newsletter is a bi-monthly publication that provides information and discussion about the white working class--a critical group in American politics and society.


The Newsletter is a project of the Democratic Strategist. Its goal is to assist Democrats to reach out and regain the support of this once Democratic constituency.


Each issue of the newsletter will highlight new and significant articles, polls and other sources of information regarding the white working class, focusing particularly on materials that discuss and evaluate strategies Democrats can employ to gain greater support from this still-critical electoral force.


In the coming months the Newsletter will also plan an ongoing series of original roundtable discussions among leading Democratic strategists and thinkers. These discussions will follow on the June 6th Roundtable on Progressives and the White Working Class that was organized in coordination with the Washington Monthly and the Democratic Strategist. That online roundtable gathered the largest group of top experts since the Reagan era to share ideas in this area.


We look forward to your interest and active participation in our work. You can subscribe to the Newsletter below. 

Read the Book
The book very dramatically shows:

That white workers remain a critical swing group in American politics.

Welcome to the first issue of the bi-monthly newsletter of the White Working Class Roundtable project. A number of significant articles and other materials have appeared over the summer.


Several articles analyzed the challenges Democrats face in seeking to increase white working class support in future elections. Most notably, Newsweek ran a very dramatic cover story titled "Why working class white men make democrats nervous" that quotes no less than four different contributors to the June Roundtable (Karen Nussbaum, Andrew Levison, Stan Greenberg and Ruy Teixeira). Writing in The New Republic, Andrew Levison used unique data from Democracy Corps to show that, contrary to a number of analyses offered at the time of the 2012 election, white working class support for Obama was not extremely low only in the South but also across red states, small towns and rural areas of the country. Writing in The American Prospect Anna Clark noted troubling trends in the Rust Belt and James Oliphant reviewed the likelihood that Hillary Clinton will be able to gain a higher percentage of the white vote than did Barack Obama in 2008 or 2012. Timothy Noah also raised an important point by noting that there are significant sources of tension and misunderstanding between Democratic liberals and labor leaders that both groups must address in the coming period.


Discussion of economic and social issues facing the white working class over the summer included an extensive New Republic interview with labor strategist Richard Yeselson on the prospects for the trade union movement, a American Prospect review by Harold Meyerson of "Labor's New Groove" -- seeking economic advances in city and state politics they cannot achieve by collective bargaining -- and Robert Kuttner's examination of the political implications of an economic recovery that is largely producing unstable, low-wage jobs.


Rounding out the materials in this first issue of the Newsletter are two papers presented at the 2014 American Political Science Association, one by well respected political scientist Jennifer Hochschild and another by Elizabeth Theiss-Morse as well as a survey about attitudes toward work, employers and government conducted by the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. Also noted is a provocative book that discusses "Strengthening Social Movement Groups by Seeing Class Cultures."

Why Working-Class White Men Make Democrats Nervous by Matthew Cooper.

Democrats have a white working class problem--and not just in the South by Andrew Levison.

Midwest Maladies: The Democrats hold on the Rust Belt Grows Shaky by Anna Clark.

Read More... 


The most challenging issue facing Liberalism Today by Timothy Noah


Can Hillary Clinton Bring Back White Men by James Oliphant

Read More... 

Economy and Society

Happy Labor Day. Are Unions Dead - an interview with Rich Yeselson


Labor's New Groove: Taking the Struggle from The Streets to legislatures at the twilight of collective bargaining by Harold Meyerson


No Jobs But Crappy Jobs: the next big political issue by Robert Kuttner

Academic Books and Articles
Survey: After Great Recession, Americans are Unhappy, Worried, Pessimistic, Rutgers Study Finds

Here They Treat Us Like a Different Race: Political Implications of Class-in-Race Inequality by Jennifer Hochschild and Vesla Weaver. -APSA 2014 Annual meeting paper.


The Effect of Political Candidates' Occupational Background on Voters' Perceptions of Candidates' Policy Competences and Support for Candidates. by Hilde Coffe and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse. APSA 2014 Annual Meeting Paper.

Book: Missing Class: Strengthening Social Movement Groups by Seeing Class Cultures. by Betsy Leonder-Wright