The Party of Sam's Club
Now this is telling:
Through May 1, the Democratic presidential field has suctioned up a cool $5.7 million from the more than 4,000 donors who list their occupation as “CEO.” The Republicans’ take was only $2.3 million. Chief financial officers, general counsels, directors, and chief information officers also break the Democrats’ way by more than two-to-one margins. The Democrats’ advantage among “presidents” is a less dramatic but still significant $7.2 million to $6.1 million. And this isn’t new: In 2004 all but one of these categories of top corporate officers broke just as dramatically for the Democrats, the “presidents” being the exception ... Wall Street firms, long a symbol of American elite accomplishment, also tilt decisively toward the Democrats ... Democrats also enjoy enormous fundraising advantages among well-educated professionals — lawyers, teachers, accountants, journalists and writers. They carry practitioners of the hard sciences ... Professors favor Democrats over Republicans by a nine-to-one margin ($3.7 million to $430,000) ... The “objective” media — reporters, journalists, publishers and editors — also breaks heavily for the Democrats ...
Who favors the Republicans? ... In this upside-down campaign season when populist GOP campaigners like John McCain and Mike Huckabee surprised the pundits with their primary victories or, in the case of Ron Paul, their fundraising prowess, it almost makes sense that the party of the country club set has been winning the fundraising race among the common man. That’s right. The white-shirt/red-tie brigade of Republican presidential aspirants holds a nearly three-to-one edge among janitors, custodians, cleaners, sanitation workers, factory workers, truckers, bus drivers, barbers, security guards, and secretaries. While Democrats command the financial loyalty of architects, Republicans successfully woo contributions from the skilled craftsmen who turn their blueprints into reality — specifically, contractors, hardhats, plumbers, stonemasons, electricians, carpenters mechanics, and roofers. This trend extends to the saloons, where the Democrats carry the bartenders and the Republicans the waitresses. The GOP field even secures more financial support from teamsters, steelworkers, bricklayers, and autoworkers.
There are two important points to be made about these numbers, and the deeper reality they reflect. The first, which you hear around these parts a lot, is that the GOP is now a working-class party (with class defined by education and culture more than income, just to be clear; there are plenty of skilled craftsmen who make more money than teachers and journalists and academics), and that it needs to start acting like one if it's going to rebuild its shattered majority. The second is that the GOP can't only be a working-class party; just as the famous Judis-Texeira emerging Democratic majority is built around the mass upper class and the poor but depends on winning some working-class votes to put it over the top, so any future "Party of Sam's Club" Republican majority is going to need to win back at least some of the mass-upper-class votes that the party has hemorrhaged during the Bush years.