Realignment

There is a lot of attention being paid to how Trump swept up Northern working class voters en route to victory.  This is indeed significant:. in addition to turning the Midwest red, Trump also halved the Democratic margin in states like Coonecticut and New Jersey.

But there is another electoral change taking place:. compared to 2012, the Republican lead in much of the South is vastly smaller:. Clinton was almost competitive in Texas.  Georgia remained in undecided column a long time.   Oddly enough, even as the urban-rural (and presumably class) divide may be sharpening, interregional divide seems to be shrinking.  Conor Sen, an opinion writer for Bloomberg Views seems to think this is unfolding.  The headline is a bit misleading, I think, and the article incomplete.  His twitter feed adds an interesting twist in his thinking that departs from the usual thinking:

Dems: upscale, cosmopolitan, religious

GOP: downscale, white/rural, secular

Implausible, you think?  This is already true among many communities:. many minorities, especially immigrants, are VERY religious and quite supportive of Democrats.  Wealthy and educated Southerners are as religious as their downscale neighbors, but also manage to be cosmopolitan.  The same is true with many Mormons.

It does not seem to me, however, that Democrats and Republicans would necessarily split over religion:. many working class voters who went Trump seem very religious.  They will not become less religious just on the account of Trump.  What is more likely is that the different classes will go to their own churches, if they go to churches at all, that is, and vote their class not their faith.  The religious rich and cosmopolitan may become Democrats like their godless counterparts because they are rich and cosmopolitan, without religion mattering much.

This seems yet another portent of bad things to come: shared religious practice creates and maintains communities, after all.  If different classes keep apart at worship, literally and figuratively, yet another social bond that cross economic divide will have been lost.  Maybe the rich religious won’t have as much issue with Lena Dunham, while the poor religious might.  In an odd way, Wendy Davis might not have been so delusional thinking that she can challenge for TX governorship as a liberal feminist after all–just a decade too soon perhaps.  But, in so doing, the rich religious will be kept from their poorer cousins just like their irreligious counterparts, in their respective echo chambers, with their own truths that make sense beyond their tribes.  We already saw this earlier in the canpaign:. two Corinthians apparently are a big deal among some religious, but not among others.  But I don’t think a second Corinthian indicates greater religiosity, necessarily, except yet another dividing line.

 

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