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Party of the People

Inside the Multiracial Populist Coalition Remaking the GOP



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About The Book

An eye-opening, “must-read” (Ben Shapiro, founder of The Daily Wire) about the future of the Republican party as they unite working-class voters in a multi-racial, cross-generational populist coalition.

Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election shocked the world. Yet his defeat in 2020 may have been even more surprising: he received 12 million more votes in 2020 than in 2016 and his unexpectedly diverse coalition included millions of nonwhite voters, a rarity for the modern Republican party.

In 2020, Trump defied expectations and few journalists, strategists, or politicians could explain why Trump had nearly won reelection. Patrick Ruffini, a Republican pollster and one of the country’s leading experts on political targeting, technology, and demography, has the answers—and the explanation may surprise you. For all his apparent divisiveness, Trump assembled the most diverse Republican presidential coalition in history and rode political trends that will prove significant for decades to come.

The shift is profound: seven in ten American voters belong to groups that have shifted right in the last two presidential elections, while under three in ten whites with a college degree belong to votes groups that are trending left. Together, this super-majority of right-trending voters forms a colorblind, populist coalition, largely united by its working-class roots, moderate to conservative views on policy, strong religious beliefs, and indifference to or outright rejection of the identity politics practice by the left. Not all these voters are Republican, and in certain corners of the coalition, only a small minority are. But recent elections are pointing us towards a future where party allegiances have been utterly upended.

The Party of the People demonstrates this data. Ruffini was as wrong as every pollster in 2016 and spent the intervening years figuring out why and developing better methods of analyzing voters in the digital age. Using robust data, he shifts you away from the complacent, widespread narrative that the Republican party is a party of white, rural voters. It is, but more importantly for its longevity, it’s a party of non-college-educated voters. And as fewer voters attend college, the Republican party shows no signs of stagnation. With rich data and clear analysis, Party of the People is a “deeply researched book” (Amy Walter, editor-in-chief of The Cook Political Report) that explains the present and future of the Republican party and American elections.

About The Author

Photograph by Ryan Monaghan

Patrick Ruffini is a Republican pollster and one of the country’s leading experts on political targeting, technology, and demography. He is a cofounder of Echelon Insights, a polling and analytics firm, and has advanced the digital and data-driven transformation of American politics in numerous roles over nearly twenty years. Ruffini began his career working for President George W. Bush, including roles at the Republican National Committee, his reelection campaign, and in his Administration. From 2005 to 2006, he was the lead digital strategist for the RNC. Ruffini’s expertise is widely sought after in the media, with pieces published in The Washington Post, FiveThirtyEight, Politico, and National Review, and appearances in outlets ranging from NPR to Fox News.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (November 7, 2023)
  • Length: 336 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982198626

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Raves and Reviews

“brilliantly dissects the changes within the disparate voting blocs in America, combining rich data analysis with vignettes from American history.” —The Economist

“copiously researched . . . engaging”—Ronald Brownstein, CNN

“Patrick Ruffini is one of America’s smartest political analysts. In Party of the People, he explains how and why Republicans are building a multiracial populist coalition based in America’s working class. He builds his case with careful empirical documentation and illuminates both the challenges and opportunities the GOP faces as they attempt to bring this trend to fruition. The phrase ‘must-read’ is tossed about too easily but this really is a book both Republicans and Democrats need to read to understand where their country is going—and what they must do if they hope to succeed.”
Ruy Teixeira, co-author of The Emerging Democratic Majority and Where Have All the Democrats Gone?

“Patrick Ruffini cuts through the noise and partisan blinders that afflict the modern political discourse. Party of the People is a thorough, thoughtful, and nuanced look at the demographic and cultural trends that are shaping and re-shaping the Republican and Democratic coalitions. This deeply researched book, chock full of quantitative and qualitative data, provides much-needed context for how these coalitions came to be, and why it is the party that best appeals to the ‘multiracial mainstream middle class’ that will be successful for the foreseeable future."
—Amy Walter, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Cook Political Report

“Party of the People is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the cultural and economic forces that are reshaping the Republican party and, with it, our national politics. Ruffini’s insights illustrate how the GOP’s multi-ethnic, working-class coalition is a natural outcome of long-standing trends, making this book a timely and thought-provoking exploration ahead of the 2024 election.”
—Ben Shapiro, founder of The Daily Wire

“Education polarization may sound like a term suited for academia. But with striking data and vivid anecdotes, Patrick Ruffini makes the case for why Republicans can rebuild their party by seizing on the populist realignment unfolding before our eyes.”
—Jonathan Martin, senior political columnist at Politico

“This book is essential to understanding the Republican coalition. The GOP is transforming before our eyes, and Patrick Ruffini is here to explain it. He thinks not just within the limits of our political moment, but about what comes next, charting the future for the parties and the country.”
—Ben Domenech, editor-at-large of The Spectator World and host of Fox News’ “The Ben Domenech Podcast”

“Ruffini identifies the complex conservative-populist coalition that is the Republican party of today. He understands who is drawn to this new Party of the People and its potency—something that reporters and strategists in DC and NYC too often miss.”
—Salena Zito, CNN political analyst and author of The Great Revolt

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