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Opinion, Why are so few us politicians from the working class?

Par Nicholas Carnes - 4 mn

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Nicholas Carnes is associate professor of public policy and political science at Duke University

This year at least two races for seats in the US House of Representatives will feature high-profile candidates with significant experience in workingclass jobs – the manual labour, service industry and clerical jobs that make up over half of the American labour force. In Wisconsin’s first district, the Democratic nominee is a delivery-driverturned-ironworker named Randy Bryce, nicknamed “Ironstache”, who takes credit for “scaring off ” Paul Ryan. In New York’s 14th congressional district, a former bartender and waitress named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made headlines for her stunning primary-election upset over incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley.

Candidates such as Bryce and Ocasio-Cortez – politicians with significant experience in the kinds of jobs most Americans punch in for every day – are genuine anomalies in 2018, and in US politics more generally.

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