The election is less than four months away, but the Republican Party is already struggling to win over its base.
The Trump campaign has yet to capture the white working-class vote, but its strategy to reach out to blue-collar voters is paying off.
The Trump campaign is spending heavily to reach rural voters in key battleground states, including Iowa, Colorado and New Hampshire.
And its outreach to women and minority voters is growing.
The campaign is also aggressively recruiting women to run for office.
The campaign has also shifted focus to winning over suburban and college-educated voters, a demographic that the party has traditionally struggled to win.
Trump has spent millions on advertising to boost his poll numbers among suburban white voters, and he has spent $2 million on radio ads targeting college-aged voters.
The Republican Party’s strategy to win back white working class voters was one of the most significant policy shifts during the 2016 election.
The party lost support among white men and college graduates in the past three presidential elections, according to exit polls, with only 44 percent of them voting for Republican candidates in the 2020 midterm elections.
But in the 2016 presidential election, Trump was able to win both rural and college voters, as well as blue- and college grad voters, the pollsters found.
The GOP has also been able to gain a foothold in white working classes by emphasizing the importance of building the wall along the southern border, and by supporting a controversial plan to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
But Trump’s approach to the GOP’s future is also hurting the party’s prospects for reaching blue- collar and college educated voters in rural and suburban areas.
A new survey from the nonpartisan Cook Political Report found that the Republican party lost white working people by 3.7 percentage points, from a high of 27.3 percent in 2018, to 26.3 in 2020.
That decline was particularly significant among college-graduate voters, who are traditionally a swing group that tends to support Republicans in the midterm elections, the survey found.
While rural and white working Americans have lost their support, suburban and white voters have gained it, the researchers said.
They also found that white voters without college degrees are growing, while those with college degrees have been shrinking.
In 2020, a plurality of white working men supported the GOP candidate, Trump, while 46 percent supported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Cook Political report found.
That’s a change from the 2016 cycle when just 30 percent of white men supported Trump.
Meanwhile, in 2020, 54 percent of women voted for the Republican candidate, but Trump won that group by a landslide, with 61 percent of the vote.
Trump won white working women by a whopping 51 percentage points.
Trump’s win was also bolstered by a surge in support for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who was polling in the high single digits, and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who garnered support from fewer than 2 percent of voters.
In the 2020 presidential election cycle, Trump lost support from white working and college men, but he was able win support from suburban and blue- college women, according the Cook survey.
Trump is now struggling to attract women to the Republican ticket.
Women comprised less than half of the electorate in 2020 but made up nearly 50 percent of Republican primary voters.
But Trump still won them by a wide margin, with more than 70 percent of their votes going to him.
In 2019, more than half the electorate voted for Trump, but women voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in 2020 and her running mate, Tim Kaine.
But the Republican nominee struggled to gain support among suburban and older women.
The results were similar in 2020 among white working families, who made up just 31 percent of primary voters, but they made up 37 percent of all voters in the general election.
That percentage dropped slightly to 26 percent in 2020 from 32 percent in 2019.
In 2018, Trump also lost support in rural areas, where he was ahead by 10 percentage points among white women, but lost the support of rural voters by 6 percentage points in 2020 compared to the results of the 2016 midterm elections when Clinton won rural voters.
Trump also did poorly with working- and middle-class white voters.