Polling News

Republican Middle-Class Gains

January 05, 2017

Republicans made significant gains with middle-class voters in 2016, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of 221 metropolitan areas.
Democratic support declined between the 2008 and 2016 in 196 of these regions. 

Of the 57 regions with 55% or more of their population middle-class households (meaning $42,000 to $125,000 annual income for a household of three), 30 voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 27 went for John McCain.  In 2016, Donald Trump not only carried the 27 McCain middle-class metro regions, but 18 of the 30 Obama middle-class metros as well. 

In the 115 metropolitan areas where the middle-class made up 50%-55% of the population, 59 voted for Mr. Obama in 2008.  In 2016, 16 of these went for Mr. Trump. 

There was little movement in the 49 areas where the middle-class share was less than 50%.  Republicans picked up three areas won by Mr. Obama in 2008 while Democrats picked up two areas won by Mr. McCain.

Republicans’ message resonated with these middle-class voters in 2016.  As the Republican-led Congress begins work this week and President-Elect Trump prepares to take office, they should keep in mind how they can deliver on the issues they promised action on during their campaigns, like tax reform and ObamaCare.  If they succeed in this, they have an opportunity to keep these newly-won regions in the Republican column in elections to come.

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