Still the Party of Business? How the Diploma Divide and the Culture War Have Complicated Republicans’ Alliance with Corporate America Matt Grossmann Michigan State Universitymatt@mattg.org David A. Hopkins Boston College firstname.lastname@example.org. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, April 7–10, 2022
The two major parties have become polarized by educational attainment over the past two decades, with college-educated voters becoming more likely to identify as Democrats and whites without college degrees increasingly supporting the Republican Party. Over the same time, major corporations and other private-sector institutions have increasingly adopted the social norms favored by most well-educated professionals—especially deference to the policy-making authority of credentialed experts and left-of-center positions on cultural subjects like race and gender. The intersection of these trends has complicated corporate America’s relationship with a stylistically populist Republican Party that remains supportive of the economic policies favored by big business but remains firmly on the conservative side of the contemporary culture war, openly criticizing “woke capitalism” and even entertaining its increased legal regulation.