RELEASE: New Data Show Working-Class Americans Support Progressive Economic Policies in Every State

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress Action Fund released a new issue brief that uses state-by-state survey data to reveal the fallacy of the common narrative of America’s working class as white and conservative. In “WorkingClass Americans in All States Support Progressive Economic Policies,” David Madland, a senior fellow and the senior adviser to the American Worker Project, and Malkie Wall, a research assistant for Economic Policy, show that members of the working class are more diverse and have far more progressive policy preferences than is commonly portrayed.

The issue brief breaks down working-class support in every state and in the District of Columbia for a variety of progressive economic policies, including raising the minimum wage; increasing taxes on the wealthy; and investing in health care, education, and infrastructure. They find only a handful of instances in which the majority of a state’s working-class population—defined as members of the labor force without a four-year college degree—does not support progressive economic policies.

“Working class voters have immense power to influence elections, yet they are little understood by many political commentators. Since 2016, the pervasive narrative has been that working-class voters are disaffected, white, and conservative,” said Madland. “The reality is that the working class is both racially and ethnically diverse, and regardless of their background, workers support progressive economic policies in every state in the union.”

View the data and read the issue brief: “WorkingClass Americans in All States Support Progressive Economic Policies” by David Madland and Malkie Wall.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Julia Cusick at  or 202-495-3682.