At one time the Democrats were the populists. They were the party of the working class and labor. They placed economics and individual welfare first. They seemed to understand and were emphatic with the plight of the working class. While by no means a leftist party they nonetheless supported class-based legislation and they were mostly trusted by and connected to the needs of many workers.But somewhere along the line the Democrats became the party of the intellectual, middle class elite.
Source: What is to be Done? Burning Questions for the Democratic Party – CounterPunch.org