Home / General / Focusing on the white working class is how privileged white people avoid confronting who actually put Trump in the White House

Focusing on the white working class is how privileged white people avoid confronting who actually put Trump in the White House

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Which is to say, themselves.

A very simple breakdown:

Some demographic groups that were more likely to vote for Clinton rather than Trump:

Women

Blacks

Hispanics

Asians

Young people (under 45)

LGBT people

Jews

And oh yeah:

PEOPLE WHO MAKE LESS THAN $50,000 PER YEAR

$50,000 is vastly more than the median individual income in the US and barely less than median household income. Working class people (let alone poor people) were far more likely to vote for Clinton than for Trump.

Some demographic groups who were less likely to vote for Clinton than for Trump:

White people.

WHITE PEOPLE WITH COLLEGE DEGREES

WHITE PEOPLE WITH COLLEGE DEGREES WHO MAKE A LOT OF MONEY

Etc.

Trump basically split white women with college degrees with Clinton!

The white middle and upper classes elected Trump. These are the people who have always run the country and still run it today.  These are the people who still have the lion’s share of the votes and the money and the power in America.  These are the people who,  in short, have approximately infinitely more influence on electoral politics (and everything else that matters) than some semi-employed white guy in the meth belt who has the Stars and Bars in the back window of his broken-down truck.

What could possibly explain the approximately 100 to 1 ratio of post-election stories written about that guy relative to those people?

. . . What I find particularly invidious is the constant refrain about how the Democrats lose elections because “the elites” are out of touch with Real Americans.  THE ELITES IN THIS COUNTRY VOTE REPUBLICAN.

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  • xq

    Partisan Republicans remain partisan Republicans isn’t news?

    • Rob in CT

      Right.

      From the standpoint of diagnosing what went wrong & what Democrats should do going forward, this is basically meaningless, because upper-income white people always vote GOP. It does show that this group isn’t going to abandon someone like Trump en masse because he’s awful. A few did, but most came home like they always do.

      And that is a damning indictment of those people! Which I take to be Campos’ point.

      In other news, while it looked on election night that Trump might’ve won my town (after Obama won 55% of the vote in 2012), HRC ended up pulling it out. By 5 votes.

      Not that this matters much because CT wasn’t remotely in play. But it shows a similar shift that we saw in the swing states. Turnout, at least in my town, was high. ETA: turnout was up state-wide. It was about – it was 78.9% (vs. 73.9% in 2012) this year. There was movement towards the GOP, despite the awful human dumpster fire they had at the top of their ticket.

      • Rob in CT

        Damn, sorry, ran out of time for another edit.

        Turnout was up state-wide but there really wasn’t a state-wide movement toward the GOP. The Dems bled some support but it went 3rd party I think. In my town, there was a shift toward the GOP.

        2012: 58.09 Obama/Biden to 40.75 Romney/Ryan statewide.
        2016: 54.57% Clinton/Kaine to 40.93% Trump/Pence statewide.

  • kayden

    Why is the White working class so special that it deserves all this attention? Black people are probably more likely to be part of the working class than White people. Ditto Latinos.

    And what does it mean to reach out to the White working class? What does the Democratic Party have to give up to appeal to Whites who probably harbor racist sentiments?

    • MAJeff

      And what does it mean to reach out to the White working class? What does the Democratic Party have to give up to appeal to Whites who probably harbor racist sentiments?

      One of the folks I went to grad school with posted this on FB.

      https://hbr.org/2016/11/what-so-many-people-dont-get-about-the-u-s-working-class

      One of the things that I was taken by was the focus on policing. While the issue of mass incarceration has gotten a fair amount of press in recent years, what’s been overlooked is that mass incarceration has been a jobs program for working-class whites. Cops, prison guards, probation officers and the like are seen as employment opportunities. Hell, we build prisons in rural white areas. These jobs are often largely about controlling black populations, both incarcerated and free but subjugated.

      This is a problem with the whole “talk economics” issue. Reaching out to these voters on these particular economic issues is to pretty much reinforce the white supremacist carceral state. Not good.

      • NewishLawyer

        Yeah that is a big problem.

        • Gregor Sansa

          WWC men want manly jobs. That means something making over $20/hr, that doesn’t require a college degree, where you’re not taking care of kids or sick people.

          What are the options? Mostly: manufacturing, construction, transportation, or law enforcement.

          The left is never going to be able to promise as many law enforcement jobs as the right. Transportation and manufacturing are always deeply vulnerable to technological change; even if all the jobs were to stay in the US, robots take most of them. So that leaves construction as the big one for the left to push.

          And we have a plan! Infrastructure, stimulus! We just need to talk about it as “guys building tomorrow’s energy grid” or whatever, using concrete language that makes people imagine doing the job, and not “infrastructure” or “stimulus”. Because you can’t say “infrastructure” without sounding like an absolute dweeb (or, as the case may be, un mamón).

          • pseudalicious

            WWC men want manly jobs. That means something making over $20/hr, that doesn’t require a college degree, where you’re not taking care of kids or sick people.

            Ugh. I’m not arguing. Just… ugh.

          • Murc

            That means something making over $20/hr, that doesn’t require a college degree, where you’re not taking care of kids or sick people.

            You forgot “and aren’t serving the general public.”

            You could offer these guys 50k a year flipping burgers, and they’d do it, but they’d be angry.

          • StellaB

            We saw this in my husband’s “WWC” family. They work hard at multiple jobs and live paycheck to paycheck. One of the nephews decided to enter a program that his high school offered to earn an LVN. His father and the other uncle were horrified and gave him a really hard time about it, but the kid loved the nursing classes — he went from a C student to an A student. He was persuaded to get a BSN and an RN and is now the only cousin to break out of pattern of multiple, crappy jobs. His father is still uncomfortable with his son’s choice.

            Out of this family, besides my husband, there is only one Clinton voter. Guess who?

          • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

            “WWC men want manly jobs…. manufacturing, construction, transportation, or law enforcement.”

            Throw in an Indian chief, and you just reunited The Village People.

          • Jackov

            Have you ever actually spoken to a machinist?

      • BoredJD

        For all the talk about his supporters hating professionals, his tax plan would represent the single greatest tax cut for them in history. Under Trump’s plan, a biglaw partner pulling down 2mm would be paying a 15% tax rate.

        • Denverite

          Actually, I was reading yesterday, his tax plan is pretty much designed to fuck over two-income upper middle class families. He basically subjects all earned income over $112k to the top marginal tax rate (that point is currently at $190k IIRC), plus he eliminates personal deductions, meaning if you have multiple kids, you lose the $1200 per you’re currently getting.

          It’s not the end of the world, and there’s a good argument to be had that upper middle class families should be paying a lot more than they already are, but it is notable that Trump (or his handlers) apparently identified the professional class as the people who really deserved to get it.

          • DrDick

            Somebody has to pay for those tax cuts for the very wealthy and the upper middle classes are almost the only other ones with any money.

            • JohnT

              As I note below, the willingness of (mostly white) professional-but-not-superrich Americans to vote for people who want to take their money and are likely to destabilise the system that keeps them on top is a bit of a mystery to me.

              • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

                I worked for a time for a group of insurance salesmen / financial planners, who fit this to a tee. They all said, “in my heart I’m a Democrat, but 9-5 we support the Republicans because it’s good for business.”

            • Dennis Orphen

              Exactly this, and they are probably more likely to live in WA,OR,CA,NY,MA,VA,MA then Dumbfuckistan.

              Prepare to pay a dear price for things of little to no value, if not harmful.

          • BoredJD

            The more important change if you are an established professional is his proposal to lower “pass-through” income (income gained from partnerships or other corporate entities) to 15%. The way it is now, doctors/lawyers/consultants/hedge funders that generate income via profits from their partnerships or LLCs are taxed on this income at their personal rates (40%). Now, they will be taxed at 15% regardless of whether their personal rate goes up or down under his plan.

            A lot of Trump’s businesses happen to be structured as pass-through entities. I’m sure this has no relation to his tax plan whatsoever.

            For professionals who are salaried, Trump wants to dump the AMT which, although originally supposed to be a hyper focused tax on the .0001% is now more of a broad based tax on upper middle class families. The problem with the AMT is that you lose a lot of deductions. Trump’s plan will actually benefit upper middle class professionals in high tax states, even if their rates go up, since they can now take a lot of deductions they were ineligible for prior to Trump.

          • liberal

            Where did you see the bit about changing the bracket like that?

            It would really screw me. (Yeah, yeah, I know, there are lots of folks worse off, but WTF—this is really adding insult to injury.)

            • djw

              Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have your back.

          • Solar System Wolf

            Don’t worry, I hear that single parent families are going to get it too, with the elimination of the head of household deduction.

          • Rob in CT

            So we get hit and we don’t even get to spend the money on good things. It goes to uber rich people’s tax cuts.

            Is this the newer of his tax plans? I vaguely recall his first plan (which was a total shitshow too, mind you) didn’t look like it was going to nail us.

            Fucking hell.

      • Fozzz

        Interesting that the article, which bemoans the loss of status of non-college whites, only mentions unions once, and even then it’s only in the context of the lie sold to these people by Republicans.

        Without unions, non-college workers are not going to generally live well. Further, there is no inextricable link between manufacturing jobs and unions, it’s just that those service sector jobs that followed the hollowing out of our manufacturing base arose in a political climate hostile to unionization. Right to work laws are what killed these people, and which party has been pushing those for decades?

        • Davis X. Machina

          Without unions, non-college workers are not going to generally live well.

          They would, if white, seem to be content with someone unlike them living worse, and being allowed to watch them doing it.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        From the article:

        Trump’s blunt talk taps into another blue-collar value: straight talk. “Directness is a working-class norm,” notes Lubrano. As one blue-collar guy told him, “If you have a problem with me, come talk to me. If you have a way you want something done, come talk to me. I don’t like people who play these two-faced games.”

        “Until you say something about our bigotry. Then we want eupehemisms again.”

        • georgekaplan

          That’s not a working-class trait, that’s a toxic-masculinity trait. “I always tell it like it is” is the lie that toxic maleness tells itself while it’s busy pretending that its own feelings don’t exist.

          • BiloSagdiyev

            It’s also a great excuse for running around popping your mouth off like an asshole. And then, the fistfights! (Note, these guys never brag about the dustups they lost.)

          • Origami Isopod

            This isn’t untrue.

            That said, as someone who grew up working-class-to-lower-middle-class, I can say it is absolutely true that euphemistic, indirect speech is very much a hallmark of middle-class values. It is the ultimate root of corporate/MBA-speak.

            • BiloSagdiyev

              Yep. And somewhere in there I put my standard anti-John-Kerry-talking rant, in that his sentences seem almost German, you wait and wait and wait for something at the end to make it all tie together somehow, but you feel like the end may never come and you want to strangle him.

              I do appreicate that Trump talks simply and clearly. Maybe too simply, yeesh! But there’s a lesson to be learned there. THat’s it, that’s my praising of DJT for the next four years. : D

              • Davis X. Machina

                Strong and wrong, baby.

            • BiloSagdiyev

              Now here’s some plain talk from the heartland!

              http://time.com/4571315/west-virginia-michelle-obama-ape-heels/

              (They must be suffering from economic anxiety.)

              • Origami Isopod

                I saw that yesterday — and, in kinda-sorta conjunction with it, this story from a year ago that I’d missed. It’s about some marketing POS who got fired after he posted a workplace selfie that included a co-worker’s son (who is black) and he and his BFFs went on a no-holds-barred racist commenting binge. Seriously, the screenshots are vile.

                Note that the HuffPo reporter, a black feminist YouTuber, had recently been threatened with rape by an insurance agent whose racism she had also reported and who had gotten fired as a result.

                Before they lost their jobs, these two white men were very, very economically anxious, I’m sure. Especially since they had no qualms about writing these things under their real names, while having their workplaces mentioned by name on their social media accounts. Soooo much anxiety there. And I’ll bet you money that the rape threatener, at least, voted for Trump.

      • sleepyirv

        While this article is otherwise excellent, I can’t help but notice the people the author thinks will be bothered by her defense of police making split second decisions are her “friends on the left coast.” If you’re a Democrat politician, you’re far more worried about upsetting the VICTIMS of those split second decisions, black voters.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        From the HBR article linked:

        One little-known element of that gap is that the white working class (WWC) resents professionals but admires the rich. Class migrants (white-collar professionals born to blue-collar families) report that “professional people were generally suspect” and that managers are college kids “who don’t know shit about how to do anything but are full of ideas about how I have to do my job,” said Alfred Lubrano in Limbo. Barbara Ehrenreich recalled in 1990 that her blue-collar dad “could not say the word doctor without the virtual prefix quack. Lawyers were shysters…and professors were without exception phonies.” Annette Lareau found tremendous resentment against teachers, who were perceived as condescending and unhelpful.

        This and other bits of her essay fit with what I have already said on this blog about hardly anybody actually know any really rich people, but they sure know their bosses at work and Hillary reminds them of their bosses.

        Also, what we’re seeing since Palin is a grassroots rebellion of people who didn’t like school, didn’t do well in school, and think school is stoopit. What can we do about it? I suppose we can talk about treating students with more respect. Or making more of an effort to not replicate the class system. Of course, any efforts to do that, let me see, which party in American politics would freak out about that?

        Same with the author’s recommendation that we have an industrial policy. That’s not allowed, and it’s not a decision the Democratic party gets to make.

        Michèle Lamont, in The Dignity of Working Men, also found resentment of professionals — but not of the rich. “[I] can’t knock anyone for succeeding,” a laborer told her. “There’s a lot of people out there who are wealthy and I’m sure they worked darned hard for every cent they have,” chimed in a receiving clerk.

        Here’s where I go completely bananas. Maybe it’s just me or the family I grew up in – but you most certainly can knock somebody for succeeding if they broke laws or cheated and swindled and bullied people. How you win is just as important as winning. But remember, the GOP is all about the values.

        Also, that receiving clerk has trouble grasping how different the $$$/effort ratio is for the rent seekers in our society. I figured our long ago that most rich people haven’t a clue how the poor live, and vice versa.

        Progressives have lavished attention on the poor for over a century.

        I fear the way she writes about this, she thinks it’s all liberals have done. In the sentences after that one, she gives an example of how means-tested programs breed resentment by people a notch or two higher on the class ladder, but doesn’t mention the universal programs that liberals also made happen that are very big and very popular. (To be fair, this was a brief essay, not a book.)

        (She and her sister-in-law also seem to lack the imagination to consider that carrying things in a Macy’s bag may only mean that you found some Macy’s bags and want to be seen as someone who can shop at Macy’s.)

        • Maybe it’s just me or the family I grew up in – but you most certainly can knock somebody for succeeding if they broke laws or cheated and swindled and bullied people. How you win is just as important as winning. But remember, the GOP is all about the values.

          This sounded to me like a focus on moral values that in some way is admirable but is ultimately, I think, self-defeating. Sure, there’s no reason to be filled with envy all the time. But that doesn’t mean you have to help people who cheated kick down at others.

          I fear the way she writes about this, she thinks it’s all liberals have done. In the sentences after that one, she gives an example of how means-tested programs breed resentment by people a notch or two higher on the class ladder, but doesn’t mention the universal programs that liberals also made happen that are very big and very popular.

          It’s always difficult to be in the middle. That doesn’t go away no matter what level programs are directed at.

          • so-in-so

            A pity that “behind every great fortune lies a great crime” fell out of fashion. I wonder why?

        • Origami Isopod

          This essay, which someone linked to earlier this week, is shit.

          Annette Lareau found tremendous resentment against teachers, who were perceived as condescending and unhelpful.

          In that thread, I, Snuff Curry, and Lord Jesus Perm pointed out the author’s misogynist assumptions (yes, she’s a woman; women can be misogynist) about how “insulting” it is to offer “feminine” jobs to men, working-class or otherwise. I strongly suspect that the resentment toward teachers is also gender-based: “Bossy” women who don’t want to “let boys be boys” in class but expect them to sit still and raise their hands and pay attention, which is “for girls.”

          • Dennis Orphen

            I strongly suspect that the resentment toward teachers is also gender-based: “Bossy” women who don’t want to “let boys be boys” in class but expect them to sit still and raise their hands and pay attention, which is “for girls.”

            I’ve always thought the bile and hatred and outright lies about Hilary Clinton can be traced to this kind of attitude, both in the school and the home. Clean your room, don’t chew with your mouth open, wash a goddamn dish once in a while, don’t say fuck in front of the the little kids,…..

            • Origami Isopod

              I’ve seen it theorized over the years by various people that the root of misogyny is resentment of the mother. I don’t know, myself, but it’s plausible.

              • Snuff curry

                It sometimes seems to me to work that way individually, anyway (misogyny being a good deal older than the nuclear family, and childhood and adolescence as we know them being of relatively recent vintage). Male children might tolerate, in a culture where male supremacy is highly visible, the temporary domestic power of the mother knowing they will, one day, supplant her. Imagine the existential horror and knee-jerk ‘snot-fair rage, then, when confronted in the civil sphere with a government helmed by someone they regard as both inherently tyrannical and inherently inferior, a monster who knows not her place and is operating by unfeminine, therefore aberrant ambition. Lord knows I’ve met enough of those types at work and higher education, where women are expected by their male colleagues to be good mommy (ally), bad mommy (opposition), or wife (non-threatening helpmate, homework checker, editor, research assistant).

        • Jackov

          I am shocked to learn only the wwc is skeptical of millenials college kids with big ideas on how other people should do their jobs.

          Also interested in how this resentment of class migrants works when a large portion of the older wwc consider scrapping buy to send their son or daughter to college their biggest accomplishment. Were all those guys in the Obama steel ad lying?

      • ASV

        I live about 100 miles southeast of St. Louis in southern Illinois. The entire drive until you hit the suburbs, and especially the 50 miles before you hit the interstate, is super rural. Out in the middle of it, there’s a house with a “We Back the Badge” sign. It showed up after the killing of Michael Brown. Is it there because unincorporated Perry County, IL, is experiencing a crime wave? Seems unlikely.

        The first time I saw it I had a visceral reaction. Having lived most of my life in the rural midwest, I didn’t believe for a second that the people living in that house had had the kinds of experiences that could lead them to put that sign up for any other than racist reasons. This piece in Roll Call both backs my assumption of those people, and tracks with my own experience living in these communities. Fear of The Other, forged in rank ignorance, is a majorly underappreciated factor.

        • ColBatGuano

          My example is the guy I met who lived in rural NE Indiana who said he always had a gun in his trunk because of the gangs. Yeah, those Amish are an unruly bunch.

      • cpinva

        “One of the things that I was taken by was the focus on policing.”

        what I found ridiculous about that, was the author’s claim that police face life & death decisions on a daily basis. um, no, they don’t. the average police officer (including all levels) never draws his/her weapon in the line of duty, in their entire career. in fact, they so rarely face a life or death decision moment, that in that extremely rare circumstance that they do, they usually make the wrong decision, because they have zero first-hand experience doing so, and they don’t get much in the way of ongoing training on how to respond to those situations. I would submit that the closest the average police officer gets, to making a life/death decision, is at an automobile accident scene, while awaiting the arrival of the EMT’s. should they leave the person in the vehicle, until the pro’s get there, or try and get them out, and risk further damage to them?

        basically, what I got out of that whole article, is that working class white males get their fee fee’s hurt, a lot. in response, they lash out in anger, doing as much damage as they can, to who or whatever is closest to them. much like a 4 year-old, that doesn’t get its way. oddly enough, we don’t let 4 year-olds vote.

        • efgoldman

          oddly enough, we don’t let 4 year-olds vote.

          … or carry firearms.

    • NewishLawyer

      I think it goes back to the work of Ira Katznelson in stuff like When Affirmative Action was white. The unskilled WWC got the plummest factory jobs and skilled union jobs and jobs that provided some measure of self-esteem.

      They were never at minimum wage jobs and are going to be damned if a burger flipper or maid gets a high wage.

      • Amanda in the South Bay

        Yep those people yearning for the factory jobs of their youth will never condescend to bag groceries.
        Look at how a leftist labor historian like Loomis treats it. Stuff like Fight For 15 exists in a conceptually different works than Recollections of 1970s Oregon Paper Mills.

        • We had a paper mill in this New England town until the mid 1980s.

          The building is still mostly vacant if anyone wants it.

          And yet the town still went 65-35 or so Democrat.

          • Amanda in the South Bay

            There was a paper mill in my rural Oregon hometown for most of the 20th century until 2007. This was the first year in which ( a solid majority) of the county voted for the Republican candidate in ages.

            • so-in-so

              Somehow they never quite grasp that the guy who shipped the jobs overseas probably wasn’t a Democrat.

          • Dennis Orphen

            So you vote with paper ballots then?

            • Ha ha. Yes, we do.

              • Dennis Orphen

                Color me shocked.

                If anyone is up for reading Phil Dick (and a strongly suggest you do), read these four books in exactly this order:

                1) Solar Lottery

                2) The Man in the High Castle

                3) The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich (Trump is a very Eldrichian figure)

                4) The Ganymede Takeover (co-written with Ray Nelson, and a great description of where our Gluttonous Oligarchic Idiocratic Kleptocray is ultimately headed in form and function)

    • Nobdy

      It’s worth noting that while black people are probably more likely to be working class than white people, there are (I believe) more working class whites than blacks, just because there are so many more white people than black people in the United States. This is part of the issue with the Democratic party “writing off” WC whites. You cannot win elections without significant white support.

      Of course the Democratic party HAS significant white support, especially among the working class (as Paul points out) so it doesn’t have to write off anyone except core racists. Hillary Clinton won working class whites and the popular vote, so the idea that the Democratic party should chuck all its values and go chasing right-wingers is just an insane overreaction, generally promoted by people who want the Democrats to chuck their values for non-strategic reasons.

      • Thom

        “Hillary Clinton won working class whites…” This is interesting, can you provide some support?

    • Brien Jackson

      Centering economic issues in a better way would help. Obama beat Romney in large part by defining him as Mr. Bain Capital, while the Clinton campaign put comparably little effort into attacking Trump as the asshole who made routine practice of not paying contractors. Betting on revulsion at Trps racism, sexism, temperment etc shoukd have been enough in a sane world…but it wasn’t.

      • Yes.

        It seems to me worth it to add that Obama pulled that off in part because he framed it, at least in part, as a defense of American business. The press and pundit class didn’t follow up on that in the past 8 years and neither did Clinton, though it isn’t entirely obvious why she wouldn’t have.

        • Brien Jackson

          And what made it more annoying is that trump telegraphed that it would work. When it was brought up he’d say stuff about them not doing good work. Every contractor knows and hates this asshole! Why couldnt they find someone Trump gad ruined and replay the Alicia Machado angle?

          • twbb

            They did for one ad, an architect, and it was the worst possible choice. Trump could have run the ad without change himself.

            • cpinva

              apparently you weren’t paying attention to the Trump supporters, when they said he could kill puppies by the roomful, and rape 10 year-olds, and it would make exactly zero difference to them. people who voted for Trump are impervious to facts, and they just didn’t care. I’m not exactly certain how you get through to people like that.

      • witlesschum

        Yeah. The Dems lost the election by 13,000 votes in Michigan or whatever the final tally will be. That doesn’t immediately scream to me that there’s a need to majorly change the party’s direction.

        • Dennis Orphen

          There would need to be structural changes at the state government level, initiated by state legislature and implemented by the Michigan Secretary of State’s office. Good luck with that amigo(a).

        • Jackov

          Two presidential wins masked a great deal of weakness at the Congressional and state level. See every ‘Dems are in denial’ story after 2014 or 2010.

  • aturner339

    In the words of Avike Roy.
    “Conservative intellectuals, and conservative politicians, have been in kind of a bubble. We’ve had this view that the voters were with us on conservatism — philosophical, economic conservatism. In reality, the gravitational center of the Republican Party is white nationalism.”

    They are not the only ones desperately trying to remain in that bubble.

    • And for 40 years, Republican politicians had been giving them the discount, back-of-a-van, unsatisfying racism. Trump offered them the pure, uncut shit, and they were like “FUCK YEAH I FORGOT HOW GOOD THIS FEELS.”

      • Origami Isopod

        Are Quotes of the Week passé these days?

    • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

      Please note that Avik Roy has crawled back to the lovin’ white nationalist arms of the GOP and is advising them on legislative maneuvers that can most effectively implode Medicare. Christ on a crutch.

  • Grumpy

    There’s plenty of blame to go around, but solubility is more important. As a purely strategic matter, were privileged white people the most gettable marginal votes in swing states? If a high fraction of privileged white people in OH, WI, FL, and MI voted R in 2008 and 2012, but a high fraction of WWC people in those states voted Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016, then maybe we need to give up in rich white people.

    • Manny Kant

      This is indeed more or less what happened. Clinton did do slightly better among privileged white people than Obama did in 2012, but barely (somewhat better in both the Dem-leaning Philly suburbs and the GOP stronghold Milwaukee suburbs, for instance). But the difference maker was indeed poorer white people. Yes, Clinton won voters making under $50K. But she won them by much less than Obama did. And that was the difference maker.

      For a comparable example, look at Pennsylvania. Clinton won Lackawanna County, just like Obama did, and by a wider margin than she won the national popular vote. But She won it by 3 points. Obama won it in 2012 by 27 points. County went from Obama +26K votes to Clinton +3K votes. That’s 23,000 net votes Clinton lost. You can’t say that’s not a problem because Clinton still won Lackawanna County. It’s a disaster. That fall off represents 1/3 of Trump’s margin in Pennsylvania.

      • Paul Campos

        The election postmortem is being driven by framing effects. It’s true that a higher percentage of working class and poor voters voted for Trump relative to those who voted for Romney. But this is also true for black voters, Hispanic voters, Asian voters — basically all ethnic groups other than white voters (Trump got one percent more of the white vote than Romney did).

        If the baseline isn’t Trump v. Romney but Trump v. the electorate in general, then you get a very different narrative, since the overwhelming majority of non-white voters, and a strong majority of working class and poor voters, voted for Clinton, not Trump.

    • twbb

      Right, exactly.

      I do not understand all the intellectual effort spent in proving racist white people elected Trump. If at the end of day you’ve convinced everybody, what does that do for 2018 and 2020?

    • Srsly Dad Y

      The song remains always the same.

      On average:

      Rich people vote Republican.

      Poor people vote Democratic.

      Races are decided by the average income level at which people “bail out” and vote GOP. I.e., mostly at the level of employed but not well-off people, the great majority of whom are white.

      One way or another Dems have to win enough of those white people to tip the class balance in our favor. Not all of them. Not even most of them. Enough.

      End.

      • Dennis Orphen

        Good point, and the blue states might be democratic because the upper middle classes in them are far more liberal than in the ungovernable tribal regions. It might be backwards in the blue states, where the better off lean Democratic and the poor working class leans Kleptocrat. I live in rural central California, deal with a lot of people of all classes, and nearly everyone, if not everyone on welfare,unemployment and disability is a staunch republican.

        • Jackov

          Not according to Gelman’s research on red and blue states.
          The rich in blue states are still Republican but much less so than the rich in red states.

          1. Voters in richer states support the Democrats — even though, within any given state, richer voters tend to support the Republicans.

          2. The slope within a state — the pattern that richer voters support the Republicans — is strongest in poor, rural, Republican-leaning red states and weakest in
          rich, urban, Democrat-leaning blue states.

          3. These patterns have increased in the past 10 or 15 years.

        • Srsly Dad Y

          IIRC from Andrew Gelman’s Red State, Blue State, the curve plotting income vs. likelihood of voting Dem/Rep is pretty smooth in every state, it just crosses the 50/50 line at lower incomes in red states. This time, Trump moved the line lower in some blue states. I don’t think there is any state where people who are literally “poor” lean Republican, even among whites, although I could be wrong about West Virginia or Alabama or somewhere.

          ETA Jackov beat me to it (but then some jackov always beats me to it)

          • Jackov

            I am inside your commenting loop.
            It helps that the FSB has access to all the information..

      • ColBatGuano

        One way or another Dems have to win enough of those white people to tip the class balance in our favor. Not all of them. Not even most of them. Enough.

        This can’t be said enough. It seems like people are trying to imagine ways that Democrats have to win over all of the wwc vote which is absurd.

    • DrDick

      Exactly. Democrats need to give more focus to economic issues that impact middle and lower income Americans. At the same time, we should not abandon support for minorities, women, and the LGBT community and these economic issues disproportionately benefit them. Since the mid-70s, the Democrats have largely abandoned working class issues in favor of civil rights issues and it has cost us by alienating an important part of the alliance.

      • Amanda in the South Bay

        Why do WWC reject civil rights for non whites, LGBT people, etc should be the correct way to reframe what you say.

        • Jackov

          Why do rich whites? Probably something to do with being white. Yet poor whites are more likely to vote for Democrats than middle and upper income whites.

          • DrDick

            Exactly. This misguided focus on the white working class is simply snobbery and a refusal to admit that it was people just like us who put him in office.

          • msmarjoribanks

            They don’t break down the numbers by race and income, but that doesn’t appear to be true, to me.

            Lower income people are the only ones who vote Dem, yes:

            Under $30K: 53/41 Clinton, and $30-$50K: 51/42 Clinton. But take out the non white voters and what are the numbers? Given the percentages, I don’t think it’s clear that Clinton wins.

            Then we get the group with the strongest pro Trump vote, $50-100K: 46/50 Trump.

            Higher income groups are almost evenly split, even though there are likely a lower percentage of non-whites:

            $100-200K: 47/48 Trump.
            $200-250K: 48/49 Trump.
            $250K+: 46/48.

            Overall white vote: 37/58 Trump.

            That just doesn’t support the claim that higher income whites were more likely to vote Trump, while working class whites were more likely to vote Clinton. (And the college grad numbers are even more telling.)

            I happen to agree that treating this election as about the WWC, the inability of the Dems to connect, and Trump’s supposed mobilization of that group is completely wrong. Seems to me that Trump surprisingly did as the generic R would have in a year after 8 years of Republicans, with a more unpopular than average D, but did slightly worse among educated and upper income people than one would expect in that case (in other words, I think Romney would have won this year and done BETTER than Trump did, with basically the same WWC votes and more of the upper income ones).

            People outside of traditionally blue areas just don’t seem to have seen Trump (even if they personally disliked him) as as much of an aberration as many of us (well, me, anyway) expected. I think part of this is that even if they disliked him personally there’s a broad, eh, does it really matter that much how qualified the president is thing that exists in much of the country.

      • In my dark moods, I think maybe Democrats and whatever progressive Republicans remained sat down and decided they could frame charitably granting equality of nonwhite and white workers with one another more easily, in terms of preserving their own status and not having to share power, then they could frame helping workers generally. At the same time they drilled into the left, especially those who were less than lily white, less than gender confirmant, etc,, that they would get nowhere unless they realized “the people” are rally the white Protestant heartland etc. people.

        I don’t know what to do about that. Probably my suspicions aren’t true, so that’s comforting.

  • The white middle and upper classes elected Trump.

    The US white upper and middle classes elected a Corbynista. Wow! We really do live in a workers’ paradise!

  • Harkov311

    Seriously, when did “working class” become a shorthand for the social milieu of no-college white people? I thought “class” actually referred to economic status. Silly me.

    • Ronan

      Education can be a good predictor for income, the less education you have on average the lower your income. It also helps you account for differencs in income explained by being at different life stages.
      But anyway, class has always been tied up in cultural attributes; what your occupation was, what your parents did, where you lived, how you spoke, and (yes) what level of education you had. I understand this might be different in the US but surely class has never been reducible to income?

      • Manny Kant

        College education is a crude measure, but much better than income, certainly.

      • Ronan

        Beyond that though. Education level does seem to correlate quite strongly with certain voting patterns and values (this seems to be the case in a number of countries)
        Im not sure how far this ‘working class’ rhetoric goes, as the WC doest as coherent a social category, or reliable a voting bloc, as it used to be. People could just talk about income and class separately I guess (though that leads to a lot of rhetorical excess where lack of education is implied to be causally related to nationalistic values.

        • Ronan

          that should be..income AND *education* separately

    • MAJeff

      It’s not just income but also source of income. The general dividing line between “working class” and “middle class” has generally been blue vs. white collar, even if some of those blue collar folks had higher incomes than their white collar counterparts.

      • DrDick

        Exactly.

    • DrDick

      Class is a status group which is based partly on income, but much more on other social markers, like occupation, education, and dialect. You can still be working class and make an income in the high teens in the right occupation.

  • Honoré De Ballsack

    Some demographic groups who were less likely to vote for Clinton than for Trump:
    White people.
    WHITE PEOPLE WITH COLLEGE DEGREES
    WHITE PEOPLE WITH COLLEGE DEGREES WHO MAKE A LOT OF MONEY

    Those groups, unfortunately, ALWAYS vote predominantly Republican becuase “tax cuts.” I think it’s simplistic to say that this time they voted for the Republican because “tax cuts and racism.”

    • aturner339

      I think that’s precisely the mistake Avik Roy pointed out in my quote above.

      These people always vote GOP because of racism. The tax cuts are just a bonus.

      • Honoré De Ballsack

        These people always vote GOP because of racism. The tax cuts are just a bonus.

        I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree, because based on my personal experience living in red-state America, they always vote GOP because of tax cuts. Other than George F. Will (and apparently Avik Roy), I don’t think anyone cares, or ever cared about “philosophical conservatism.”

        • aturner339

          Perhaps growing up in Alabama informs my experience but I strongly suspect that conservatives are not voting GOP for tax cuts that Obama was going to give them anyway.

          • Nobdy

            Also Trump will be increasing taxes on many people.

            It seems…suspect…that a large percentage of the electorate voted to increase their own taxes so that rich people could get additional tax relief.

          • Jackov

            One county level study suggested, high income whites in rural areas were the most Republican voters in the country. They happened to live in rural areas with high poverty – the Black Belt, near tribal reservations and the colonias.

            Perhaps tax cuts are worth more in those counties.

        • FlipYrWhig

          “Tax cuts” means “cutting off the gravy train for Those People and giving Hardworking People Like Me our due.” Tax cuts and racism are two sides of the same coin. For several decades now the Republican Party has been predicated on resentment that the state provides social welfare to people of color.

          • UncleEbeneezer

            Bingo. Ask someone why they favor tax cuts and you pretty quickly get into lazy, moocher territory (or worse, Cadillacs and T-bone steaks). Anyways, it’s usually pretty clear that they aren’t talking about the white people who actually make up the majority of welfare recipients.

            • Uneekness

              Yep. It’s why “cut the waste, fraud and abuse” line is so popular. No matter how many charts or stats or studies you come up with to show that there is a vanishingly small amount of WFA in these programs, people “know” that every black person is living the high life on the dole and shouldn’t be, so their “truthiness” wins

              Which is why “no welfare benefits for looters” is in no way smug or condescending, but just Real Americans Telling It Like It Is.

            • madmonk

              Don't forget all the free food, cars and college tuition that illegals get!

              I’m not exactly sure who administers these benefits, or how illegal immigrants go about applying for them, but their existence is an article of faith for a lot of folks.

        • nkh

          My sample is admittedly small and highly non-random, but the people I know who ended up voting for Trump are generally college educated, well employed (or comfortably retired) and while they may or may not enjoy tax cuts, are certainly not well informed on Trump’s proposed tax policies to the extent that those really exist. Their justifications were almost entirely tribal and racialized (even if they’re not entirely conscious of that), “I work hard and have to pay for those people who don’t”, “if you don’t like me, get out of the country”, etc. And these aren’t people in the deep south. These are Iowans and Utahans (?), Minnesotans, and the like. So I’m not willing to dismiss the idea that there is a very strong racial aspect to the voting patterns here.

        • Donnaquixote

          As another lifelong resident in a Southern Red State the racism always informs the votes and policies of Republicans. Otherwise, we’d be talking about President Clinton now instead of President Trump.

          I live in a minority/majority city that 2 years ago moved to non-partisan elections of a combined city (controlled by AA’s) and county (controlled by the GOP) which put in place a majority white run government. This was made possible thanks to a Republican state legislature that enabled the change to “non-partisan” elections and moved them to May when AA’s were less likely to turn out and vote.

          This is why we Democrats have to organize and stay organized at the grass roots beginning now.

  • Woodrowfan

    I think Paul makes a good point, but there is another factor at play perhaps. When there is a disaster there will be a focus on who caused it. When a ship rams an iceberg it’s more interesting to write about the crewmen who decided that was a good idea than those laboring away trying to do their job right.

    OTOH, since most of the MSM seems not to regard this election result as a disaster, they can’t use that excuse.

  • WMB

    I agree with the tenor of this post, but the rural white vote did turn the election in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida, which justifies some degree of analysis. But rather than blaming Clinton and the DNC for losing that demographic, how about blaming Trump and Bannon for running a flat out racist and anti-Semitic campaign to attract those votes? The conventional wisdom that Romney had maximized the white vote was sadly proven wrong. Sanders, an urban liberal, was not going to stem that tide.

    • Amanda in the South Bay

      I blame those same white people for electing Tea Partiers 6 years ago who helped disenfranchise urban minorities in large cities in those states.

    • twbb

      “how about blaming Trump and Bannon for running a flat out racist and anti-Semitic campaign to attract those votes”

      I am pretty sure everyone involved in the conversation has been doing that for a year.

    • Nobdy

      Blaming Trump and Bannon doesn’t work because we can’t unilaterally change their behavior. They’ll ignore us and just do it again. We can only change our own behavior to try to counter them. They don’t feel shame or responsibility.

      Sitting around and saying “this was unfair” is kind of useless even if it was unfair, because nobody who has the power to change it is listening.

      Sanders, an urban liberal

      It’s pronounced JJJEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

    • Manny Kant

      “Rural” is a bad choice here. We’re talking mostly about exurban voters, and voters in small cities.

    • Jamoche

      Sanders was on Colbert last night talking about the “liberal elites” as if that’s the only kind of liberal that is, and how they need to get in touch with the working class. Right. This was our great alternative hope?

  • rdennist

    I still maintain that Clinton actually won the popular vote. Again, we’ve been “rigged” for the second time in my adult life, we have a structural problem here.

    • Amanda in the South Bay

      There’s nothing to maintain, she really did win the popular vote.

    • twbb

      An unsolveable structural problem. The only chance of ever changing the electoral college is if either the GOP wins the popular vote but loses the EC.

      The focus now should be on how to take the country back, not to validate an ontological narrative of Who’s to Blame?

    • Quaino

      A completely unfixable structural problem. Removing the electoral college is less likely than convincing enough people from New York and California to move to the Midwest to turn those states permanently blue.

      • Gregor Sansa

        The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact already has more than half the EVs it needs. If it got the Clinton states, plus Texas (and maybe Maine and Nebraska, because their system is really stupid), it would go into effect. Texas isn’t going to do that while it’s Republican-controlled, but it is actually in the interest of ordinary Texans (Republican or Democrat) to do so, so building a movement there that’s ready to slip this in if the politician class there ever lets its guard down is worthwhile.

        • twbb

          “If it got the Clinton states, plus Texas (and maybe Maine and Nebraska, because their system is really stupid), it would go into effect.”

          What is the advantage of moving EC votes in those Clinton states from “assured” to “maybe”?

          • Gregor Sansa

            NPVIC only kicks in if it includes a majority of EVs. If the Dems had a majority of EVs in safe states, NPVIC would not be a good idea tactically, though I think it would still be morally the right thing to do. But they don’t. If NPVIC matters, it matters because it has at least as much chance of gaining us EVs as of losing them. And whether it gains them or loses them, it doesn’t matter how many it gained or lost, because by definition it’s enough to control the election in either way.

            • twbb

              Fair enough, hopefully it does some good.

  • Amanda in the South Bay

    I think there’s two different groups (using rural Oregon here as an example).

    Lets say you have a small town dominated by a good paying paper mill (with an assortment of plywood plants, veneer plants, etc dotted around the landscape). Those jobs have always paid well for high school grads, even people doing menial unskilled work (and the people who become millwrights, electricians, etc get paid *ALOT* more).
    You also have people in that town who work in the service sector (the people who check their groceries at the local Safeway), low paid office/clerical workers, etc. These people tend to actually be looked down upon by the former group.Journeymen electrician salaries to the contrary, they are all working class, but the first group will consider themselves part of the class gifted and destined from birth for good paying mill jobs. I think they’ll sneer a bit (at least inwardly) at people who make only 12.00/hr or something.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      And feel very cranky if somebody wants to wave a magic federal law wand that then gives those people $15.00/hr, and them, nothin’.

      Multiple children, # of ice cream cones, yadda yadda.

  • bc327

    And Clinton did worse relative to Obama with Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and people who make less than $50K a year. She improved 1% with women and 2% with LGBT and Jewish voters. Obama won voters making less than $50k by 20 points twice. Hillary won them by four. Moreover, the percentage of people making less than $30K who voted declined by 6 points and for those making between $30k and $50k it declined by 9 points.

    The Democrats have a problem with the working class. They lost the white working class. They saw their share of the POC working class decline. And it’s probably not their economic policies that keep POC, but the amount of open hostility the other side shows them. White middle class and upper class voters voted Republican because that’s what they always do. The Democrats lost the White House, both houses of Congress, and almost a supermajority of state legislatures because they can’t build enough support in their own coalition, which until recently included white working class voters. If we want to spend the next four years trying to avoid facing that and dealing with it, we can lose in 2020, too.

    • twbb

      Exactly.

    • Amanda in the South Bay

      We can’t talk about Clinton doing worse with PoC if we don’t talk about efforts to block minority voters from voting.

      • bc327

        But she did just as badly in states that didn’t pass voter restrictions like Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

        • witlesschum

          Michigan has had voting restrictions since the early 00s. Voter ID, college students not allowed to register in their college town without changing their drivers’ license.

          • bc327

            But that can’t explain what happened in 2016 if they were in place for 2008 and 2012.

            • Snuff curry

              Was one of Romney’s campaign slogans It’s Rigged, Folks? Were his lawyers asking judges to provide them with lists of poll workers? Were his surrogates urging armed white militias to “monitor” the polls and intimidate / follow / “document” voters of color? Were the DMV playing silly buggers?

      • UncleEbeneezer

        Also, when Black people voted for her in the 80-90% range, I think it’s pretty safe to say the problem isn’t with Black people (or HRC’s failure to reach them.) We can’t expect them to do ALL the heavy lifting and turnout in Obama-like #’s for every election. There’s lots of places to place the blame for this election result, but it definitely not on Black voters, imo.

        • lawtalkingguy

          Morally you are right. Pragmatically you are wrong. Trump ran the most open racist campaign we’ve ever seen and the people who are the most likely victims of it, except the Jews, looked at it and yawned. We are already seeing brocialists talking about how white working class men are the only ones that matter, this line of reasoning appeals to them because they are still salty over Bernie losing in the primary large thanks to PoC so now is their chance for revenge. But more broadly, it points to an asymmetry in the parties. Republicans have a reliable voting block of about 60 million. Democrats turns out have a smaller block than expected (under Obama the expectation was a 63-65 million block but it turns out that was only for Obama)

    • Murc

      There is always going to be some swing among our core supporters. Clinton did worse than Obama among blacks and hispanics… but we have, basically, maxed our support among those voters (and for good cause!) and the swings there are going to probably be well outside our control.

      • aturner339

        Right. The US political dialogue is a cynicism generator. As a POC myself I cannot tell you the number of time I heard “well Obama was important symbolically but really both parties are the same and really it’s all rigged anyway” from other black people.

        That this defeatism finally showed up at the booth is not a sign that we lost the edge on working class populism.

        It’s a sign that people have given up that “the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity”

        • JohnT

          Can you explain that a bit more? As a foreigner it is a genuine mystery why non-whites didn’t turn out on mass to keep Trump out. To be honest, I guessed right on all the other parts of the vote (based on my own experience of Brexit) but that part floored me. How could they sit out the first election in decades contested by their avowed enemies (‘Hi Steve Bannon, welcome to your White House office’)?

          • Gregor Sansa

            I’m not a PoC but… my understanding is that there was some minority of PoCs who succumbed to the siren’s song of sexism or other hierarchical thinking (religious, class, etc.) They don’t have to be a huge group to be enough.

          • JustRuss

            Yes, the misogyny is an issue. I have a black friend who’s very pissed at some of his black friends who voted for Trump, and they flat-out told him they’d never vote for a woman. Add to that the constant drum beat coming from Trump, the media, and the FB-fucking-I about how corrupt Clinton was, and you get a lot of people tossing up their hands saying “They’re both terrible!”

      • FlipYrWhig

        The Washington Post had a story about the Latino vote by a Latino advocacy organization that said the exit polls people keep citing are wrong — in essence, if you find Latinos first and poll them, you see a surge in the Latino vote and a surge of votes going to Democrats, while if you find voters first and then extract the Latinos and then crunch the numbers, you’re getting a skewed sample and a false story.

        In record numbers, Latinos voted overwhelmingly against Trump. We did the research.

    • Nobdy

      What economic policies do these people actually want in your opinion?

      Trump’s “Believe me, you’re going to get tired of winning you’re going to do it so much” pitch may have resonated some, but it’s not policy, it’s fantasy.

      Clinton opposed the TPP (even though many accused her of not opposing it in her heart) so it’s not trade.

      Clinton supported a higher minimum wage and all kinds of protections for workers. She had a policy to make working class life better.

      There is no “Make the good jobs come back” policy. It isn’t how policy works, and there are a lot of reasons why those jobs left. What the working class needs are stronger unions (through a less hostile government) and various income and benefit supports to help make up some of the difference in wages through a transfer system. Those are real policy options that will increase their prosperity and the Democrats are offering them.

      Creating a society where someone can walk out of high school and make $25 an hour on a production line would require a radical restructuring of our economy and even then might not work. It was an accident of history.

      We’re never going to MAGA. We might forge a good optimistic future for workers, but it will look different from the past.

      • twbb

        “Clinton opposed the TPP (even though many accused her of not opposing it in her heart) so it’s not trade.”

        A lot of it is trade. People didn’t trust Clinton. She negotiated the TPP, her husband did NAFTA, and they’re convinced she’s a SECRET NEOLIBERAL BANKER. No, it’s not fair, but if there’s one thing we cannot afford to do right now, it’s rely on fairness.

        “There is no “Make the good jobs come back” policy. It isn’t how policy works, and there are a lot of reasons why those jobs left”

        Well here’s the problem: you can’t tell them that. They would rather vote for a fantasy, even if the guy selling the fantasy will give them real-world worse results. What you do is sell them a fantasy and try your best to make as much of it come true as possible.

        • FlipYrWhig

          I don’t think those (trade, bankers, etc.) are white working class arguments. Those are left populist arguments. The people who don’t trust Hillary Clinton didn’t make that decision on the basis of economic plans, promises, or previous actions. They don’t trust her because, with apologies and respect, they think she’s a stuck-up bitch.

          • twbb

            It’s a combination of both. There’s been plenty of WWC anger at NAFTA over the past two decades, and the bank bailouts I think put the bankers on the radar. The fact that Trump won the GOP primary I think shows the effectiveness of those arguments.

            The mistrust of Clinton is absolutely what you said, and I wasn’t saying otherwise; it just compounded her problem.

            • FlipYrWhig

              Eh, I think Trump had the ability to stay “Stuff Sucks” and leave it there because he never had to come up with a solution to anything, either at the time, or while running. In the moment — not that you don’t know this — the bank bailout was a grudging attempt to stave off worldwide economic collapse. Did it suck? Of course, it was bound to. If Trump wanted to say that bankers got a free ride, OK fine, but he could have, should have, been made to talk about what he’d do differently the next time it happened. He got away without ever having had to talk about how he would handle any real or hypothetical crisis. It’s a shameful state of affairs especially for the media but also for his own voters, who don’t seem to give a shit.

      • bc327

        I don’t know. For a couple of decades the Democratic party has supported every free trade deal (which I agree are good for the economy on the whole) without anything to offer the people who lose their livelihoods but a vague notion that some day maybe there could be some job training programs or something.

        A higher minimum wage would be a great place to start but Clinton was tepid and always hedged on it. And it’s telling to me that centrist Democrats hear “Fight for $15” and come back with “How about $12?” You can just tell the thought process is “Well 15 sounds too high, 14 is too close to 15, 13 is unlucky. So let’s call is 12.” A person making $15 an hour for forty hours a week with two weeks off unpaid makes $30K. At $12, it’s $24K. That’s a huge difference, but Democratic leadership never seems to perceive it.

        I also agree that workers need stronger unions and the Democrats would have been better on this because they’d appoint more pro-labor judges. But when it comes to fighting for labor, you can’t count on the Democrats. Tim Kaine supported right-to-work laws. They gave labor almost no time at the convention, but there was plenty of room for celebrities.

        But there’s also any number of policies they could support to show they’re serious about helping the working class. Guaranteeing notice and severance, making employers pay more of COBRA, fighting against no-compete clauses, tougher penalties for wage theft, making it harder to fire people without cause.

        Trump’s going to be a disaster for the working class and the poor, but at least he acknowledged the problem.

        • SIS1

          For a couple of decades the Democratic party has supported every free trade deal (which I agree are good for the economy on the whole) without anything to offer the people who lose their livelihoods but a vague notion that some day maybe there could be some job training programs or something.

          And the Republicans do the same and on top of that demand wages go down, and they are rewarded for it. Any theories?

          • twbb

            The Republicans are on average much better campaigners than Democrats.

            • SIS1

              The Republicans are on average much better campaigners than Democrats.

              So that is why they have lost the popular vote for President in every election since 2000 but one?

              So that is why they have never come close to the majority that the Dems. had in 2009-2010?

              Also, if we actually pretend to care about the concept of Democracy, being the worse liars and not being fantasists is a good thing, though hardly consolation when the public appears to only be motivated by mendacity.

              • twbb

                “So that is why they have lost the popular vote for President in every election since 2000 but one?”

                So that is why they have never come close to the majority that the Dems. had in 2009-2010?”

                They have terrible ideas that most people rightly reject. The fact that they’re doing as well as they are shows they are better campaigners.

                And the main advantage they have in that is they never stop campaigning.

                • Bufflars

                  Well, it’s a lot easier to lie than to tell difficult truths. So yes, they are “better” campaigners by virtue that they lie their asses off every single day, because there seemingly are no consequences for doing so.

                  Edit – or what so-in-so says below.

                • witlesschum

                  I think it mostly shows the playing field is tilted in their favor because of how the U.S. is constructed.

            • so-in-so

              Shorter – the Republicans lie with a straight face (and the press barely calls them on it, and they trained their base to NEVER care). Okay, so not shorter.

              • twbb

                Not shorter, but more accurate.

          • bc327

            Republicans don’t usually need the support of the working class to win, the Democrats do. By not fighting for labor, they’ve allowed an important constituency to shrink. By not delivering for that constituency, they’ve weakened their hold on it, but it’s mitigated by the fact that racism on the right gives POC a strong incentive to vote Democratic whatever their feelings about the economy. This year, a Republican candidate acknowledged the problems faced by a portion of that working class and offered some (REALLY BAD) solutions to it. That, combined with a lack of enthusiasm from other Democratic constituencies, allowed him to peel off enough working class voters to win.

            • SIS1

              That, combined with a lack of enthusiasm from other Democratic constituencies, allowed him to peel off enough working class voters to win.

              Well, I for one am out of sympathy for people who think that voting is all about how they “feel”, as opposed to what the consequences of their choice (or inaction) will bring.

              Given that its clear that posing actual policy solutions is irrelevant to winning, lets all decide what great whoppers we can sell the rubes.

    • cleek

      The Democrats lost the White House, both houses of Congress

      the Democrats gained seats in the House and Senate.

      • bc327

        Sorry, you’re right. I was unclear. I mean in recent history. I don’t think Clinton losing in 2016 is solely the result of her being a bad candidate. I think the Democrats have a deeper problem building a winning coalition that’s been manifesting itself over a longer period. Clinton losing is just the culmination, but even if she’d won, the deeper problems are still there.

  • Nobdy

    The white middle and upper classes elected Trump. These are the people who have always run the country and still run it today. These are the people who still have the lion’s share of the votes and the money and the power in America.

    They vote more than other people so they have disproportionate influence but at least in theory they do not have most of the votes. You yourself pointed out that this group has above median income, which defines them as less than half the country, and throw in “white” and you carve that back further. Plus Trump didn’t even win the popular vote.

    The thing that has been going through my mind pretty constantly since the horrible election, besides “this is all a surreal nightmare” is the essential importance of turnout. Republicans have a natural advantage because they cater to the rich and the rich vote, but Democrats have the numbers on the ground demographically, not just racially but if you include income too.

    More than ever we need to focus on fighting voter repression and encouraging turnout. We need to capture statehouses so we can make voting easier and more widespread (Terry McAuliffe set a good example by restoring voting rights to felons…that should be a major policy objective for democrats, since it doesn’t require national power and is both strategically and morally good.) We need to make early voting available everywhere and easy.

    And culturally we need to push voting as something that really truly matters. A huge portion of eligible voters just didn’t bother on election day this year. And even if you want to say that some people can’t vote because of their work schedules or whatever, lots of people had the opportunity (through mail-in ballots or other means) and just didn’t do it.

    Now the whole world is going to pay an enormous price.

    Rich white people are outnumbered and could be defeated if we just made our* voices heard.

    *I am self-identifying as a Jew for the purposes of “our.” And in fact I have felt less like a ‘normal’ white person and more like a minority this past week. Maybe it’s all the swastikas and the anti-semites being put in positions of extraordinary power and such.

    • witlesschum

      There’s no reason the Dems couldn’t finance ballot drives in Michigan to make it easier for everyone to vote. We have a pretty open initiative process and you could call it the Democracy And Puppies Are Good Act. Install a vote by mail system with automatic registration any time you contact the state, so you’d have to opt out through a very annoying process to not receive a ballot in the mail for each election day. Or pick one up from the clerk as you like.

  • Murc

    What could possibly explain the approximately 100 to 1 ratio of post-election stories written about that guy relative to those people?

    Because the latter groups support for Republicans is basically locked in, and the former group is highly swingy? And because this specific election swung on less than 100k votes in the rust belt that most likely came from white working class folks who voted for Obama and then voted for Trump?

    I mean… there are other reasons as well, much shittier reasons. But those are two big ones and they seem legit.

    • aturner339

      Is the WWC highly swingy? Honest question from a guy who grew up in the south.

      One did not swing there except in the “traditional” sense.

      • Argh, lost two comments this morning to wonky page.

        I suspect swingy means someone’s dad voted D but they vote R, or something along those lines. You run into people who say they’ll vote either way, but in practice they are pretty offensively anti-D, like the guys Amanda knows.

        eta One thing I say good riddance to, from pre-2008, is the pretense that “independents” are a huge part of the electorate who have to be catered to.

    • Mayur

      You don’t think it’s the 5 million voters who didn’t turn out for us? That contingent seems a lot more important than the (and how many is it?) white people in the 5 critical states who voted Obama in 2008 and 2012 and Trump in 2016.

      • Murc

        You don’t think it’s the 5 million voters who didn’t turn out for us?

        That’s a possibility, but that has its own problems. Namely, we have the choice between two sets of deep unreliables: the people who couldn’t be arsed to stop Donald fuckin’ Trump, or the people whose sense of politics is ill-formed enough to swing from Democrats to Republicans and back again.

        I’d also like to know where those five million were at. If they were in New York, Washington, Oregon, California, Illinois, Virginia, and New England it doesn’t help us a whole lot.

        • Murc

          Addendum: I’d also like numbers on how many of those five million sat home, and how many were suppressed.

          • JustRuss

            Yes, that would be worth looking into.

          • Mayur

            I thought I was implying that at least part of that 5 million was suppressed.

            I care a lot more about those people because it’s likely that the contingent that swung from Obama 2012 to trump 2016 has a higher potential share of racist, sexist, anti-LGBTQ, conspiracy theorist members than the ones who sat it out.

        • Bufflars

          To your point, someone posted turnout data yesterday. Pennsylvania saw a 4% increase over 2012 in total raw vote, Michigan more than 1%. Wisconsin was down 4%, which is probably in part due to their voter restriction laws. North Carolina was also up 4%, and Florida was up by 11% (!). So, in the swing states where Trump saw surprisingly high numbers, turnout was actually up quite a bit over last election. So I don’t think the missing 5M voters theory can explain the loss. Many of them appear to be in California, which was down 25% over 2012(!).

          • Murc

            Jesus, that’s disquieting.

  • CP

    Unfortunately, anyone who needs to hear it will simply dismiss it as “oh, yeah, polling. That failed completely in this election cycle, so who cares?”

    I’ve had a notion since election night that the notion of a White Working Class SURGE! for Trump was bullshit… mostly because it’s not actually new, but is a recycled version of the narrative we’ve been hearing since the mid-sixties, of offended hardworking whites abandoning the high-and-mighty liberal elite of the Democratic Party. And over all that time period it’s turned out to be bullshit; voting has gotten more, not less class-based since the sixties, and even when Republicans win the white working class, they tend not to do as well there as they did among their wealthier peers. I don’t take it for granted that Trump is just more of the same, but it would be the least surprising outcome of this election if he were.

    • FlipYrWhig

      This is where I am too. White working class people voting for Republicans instead of Democrats is a story with roots 50 years old and tangible results 36 years old at least. Chris Matthews and Thomas Frank, among others, have their own reasons to act like it’s the Story Of Now. It’s not. All they’re finding is that Republicans vote for the Republican. That’s not news.

      • Harkov311

        Indeed, it feels like Thomas Frank’s entire argument consists of ignoring the George Wallace 1968 campaign, the Nixon 1972 campaign after that, then acting shocked, shocked I tells ya, that the same groups that defected from the Democrats those years would vote for Reagan.

        And that’s not even getting into the fact that these voters were much more likely to defect in the south, for some reason. I wonder what that reason was…

        • CP

          I never read Thomas Frank’s book.

          I do remember a key passage (the “vote for X… receive Y” passage listing all the culture war goodies they voted on and what they actually received in return) in Paul Krugman’s “Conscience of a Liberal.” In which he doesn’t disagree, but points out that the passage leaves out the most obvious thing – race.

      • Jackov

        Depends.

        A majority of white voters in the bottom third of income (outside the South) have consistently voted for the Democrat. If they are voting like whites in the middle and upper income it is a new phenomenon. If the results were driven by middle class whites then the story is more about turnout.

        We will not know what really happened until the research starts coming out.

  • econoclast

    What Paul is saying is true, and an important point, but at least according to the exit polls there was a big shift. Generally, there was a strong class component in how white people voted, so the Democrats did better the lower in income you went, and people who made over $100,000 were very Republican. This time, that class component really flattened out, so that Trump did much worse with upper class white than Romney did, and conversely much better with lower class whites. Something really did happen this election.

    • JohnT

      That would make some sense.

      I’ve found the attachment of better off (top 20%) Americans to the Republican party in recent years to be a bit odd, given the GOP obsession with giving all the money to the top 1%. I mean, shit, I’m in the top 1%, and even I don’t believe all the bullshit that giving me yet more bloody money will suddenly turn me into miraculous job creator. I’ll chuck most of any extra money in to my savings, because I really don’t need it (but who knows, I might need it later). That would be great if the Western world was short of savings to invest but it really isn’t (what with interest rates at virtually 0% etc)

      Anyways…

      In this case Trump’s somewhat lower vote in the top 10% will have been pushed down by two factors:

      1) anyone who has ever had to run anything (a big component of that top 10%) will have a better idea of the damage a complete amateur can do than someone’s whose closest approach to management is watching The American President. Certainly that would be one of my big reasons for reflexively voting against Trump (and believe me, if he proves anything it’ll be this). And no, running a property company doesn’t count. Obama was maybe the exception to this rule, but he spent 2006-8 proving that he had at least thought deeply about these things.

      2) First rule when winning: Don’t smash the board. Everyone knows that a Trump presidency had/has vastly more uncertainty associated with it than a Clinton one. Anyone doing very well who actually thought about their vote would realise that (even from a selfish point of view) keeping the same politico-economic system with slightly higher taxes is a more rational than voting for a loony whose base want him to smash everything up and whose words seem to have no meaningful truth-content.

      Short version of all the above: I don’t understand and I can only condemn the well-off people who voted Trump despite the fact that they had the time and education to know that he was an immoral, irrational, lying dirtbag amateur. At least working class people could be said to have a reason to smash the system (and worth noting in this context that a meaningful percentage of blacks and especially Hispanics seemed to think the same way despite the obvious reasons for not supporting Trump)

  • Quaino

    This entire post is like chiding the French for thinking they lost World War 2 due to inferior/out-dated military tactics and instead that they didn’t make the Maginot Line big enough.

    Nobody is going to talk about rich white people voting for Trump because they were always going to vote for Trump, just like blacks were always going to vote for Clinton (because neither side is about to shift so massively as to lose that support). The actual interesting election tidbit is sitting in that table … Clinton lost because of those shifts you see in Income and Condition of Nation’s Economy. Whether Democrats are super open on race/immigration or on actual economic factors (ANXIETY!), that’s the question and, sadly for everyone who is super mads about the election, that ultimately centers around whiny, poor white folk.

    It’s important to disconnect your feelings (“WHY SHOULD WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THESE WHINY, RACIST, SEXIST DEADENDERS”) from actual policy discussion (“How do I reach these kids!”) If you want an angry echo chamber, fine, but don’t act like it’s relevant to anything but cathartic expression. The news should absolutely focus on the groups that actually decided the election and not stories about how “Richie Rich Keep On Richin'”

    • SIS1

      from actual policy discussion (“How do I reach these kids!”)

      This is not a POLICY question – you are asking a POLITICAL question. Those two things are distinct.

      As this discussion meanders on an on on this site, basically it comes down to how can we learn to lie as effectively as the other side…how depressing.

      • Uneekness

        Clinton’s team went with an approach that thought, based on Trumps’s extreme misogyny, there were traditional GOP female voters who were more probable “gets” in that upper middle class demographic than a WWC that had been told from the right AND the left that she was the devil incarnate. In the past (1964 and 1972) when a candidate had gamed the party nomination process by catering to a segment of the base, it cost them in the general. This time it didn’t – GOP voters at all levels stayed with their team.

      • TroubleMaker13

        This is not a POLICY question – you are asking a POLITICAL question. Those two things are distinct.

        Policy is a major component of politics.

  • SenyorDave

    STEVE BANNON BLACK FRIDAY BOYCOTT
    I can’t speak for everyone but this Bannon thing has me very angry. Not as angry as last Tuesday night, but enough so it kept me up last night. Numerous groups have gone on record as opposing the hire, but it’s pretty obvious that Donald Trump doesn’t care what they think.
    So where do we stand? We have a man who manages a white supremacist website as a senior adviser to the president-elect. This man will have a position and an office in the White House paid for by our tax dollars.
    There are two things we know Donald Trump cares about: money and power. Let’s leverage that in the battle to get Bannon out.
    Protests won’t do it, eventually they’ll die down, and the media sure as hell isn’t going to do anything. They normalized Trump’s behavior before the election; they will normalize having a white supremacist as a senior adviser to the president.
    I propose the following: A boycott of Black Friday. Estimate how much you were going to spend on Black Friday, and donate 25% (or whatever you can) to charity. This time of year is very tough for charities, and that extra amount would be wonderful. Your local food bank, homeless shelters, Meals on Wheels, literacy programs, Toys for Tots, etc. The Girl Scouts are selling cookies in some areas, but $50 worth and have them sent to the troops overseas (they will do that for you).
    If just 5% of the country agreed to do this, Trump would listen. Black Friday is crucial to retailers, helping to make or break their year. There is very little leverage available; our money is one of the few things out there.
    And if he were to get rid of Bannon? It would be nice to still do the charity thing, or at least some element of it.

  • VamosRafa

    Thank you Paul for continuing to be a voice of sanity. You’ve been a wellspring of hope to this 2009 law school grad. Thank you.

    • sapient

      Seconded. Your election analysis has been exactly right.

  • rachelmap

    Some demographic groups who were less likely to vote for Clinton than for Trump:

    White people.

    WHITE PEOPLE WITH COLLEGE DEGREES

    WHITE PEOPLE WITH COLLEGE DEGREES WHO MAKE A LOT OF MONEY

    I wonder if the polling problems are due to these people wanting their tax cuts, but being too ashamed to admit (even anonymously) they would vote for a boor to get them.

    • CP

      The acquaintance of mine that I totally knew was going to vote for Trump months in advance despite all her hand-wringing wouldn’t actually admit that she’d done it until after the election. It’s not a stretch to imagine that lots of other East Coast (in this case) upper class young professionals would lie to pollsters.

      That’s what “normalization” looks like, incidentally.

      • Origami Isopod

        “Normalization” has been going on for a long, long while. I mean, yes, the normalization of blatant white-supremacist rhetoric is very new. But think about “hipster racism.” It’s certainly not the sole root cause of acceptance of white supremacy among post-Baby Boom white voters. But it helped make a lot of nominally progressive people comfortable with racist “jokes.” The same is true for misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and all other oppressions.

    • los

      rachelmap says:

      f the polling problems are due to these people wanting their tax cuts, but being too ashamed to admit (even anonymously) they would vote for a boor to get them.

      The pointy haired boss said that he would vote for trump solely to reduce pointy haired boss’s taxes

      .
      I’m hoping more expert analysis comes out, but I’m leaning toward the polling having been correct (and the counts being wrong).
      Republicans have been tuning their election fraud for 4 years since 2012 (less obviously by results, in the 2 years since 2014)
      I think that election fraud is turning the idea of inaccurate polling into a normal expectation.

  • alex284

    Thanks, Campos. I’ve been screaming this at my computer. It’s so frustrating that people like Loomis will post an article about a plant closing, make no connection to either the white working class (photos with that article showed a lot of AA workers) or Trump-support (really, did those folks vote for Trump? That’s kinda central to the whole discussion), and be like “Obviously no one can argue with this logic, so it’s all about the white working class’s economic anxiety.”

    I think what we’re witnessing is the creation of the New Dunning School. The arguments are beyond awful (some people in states that went for Obama in 2012 voted for Trump! Clearly those people voted for Obama in 2012, because they share the same state!) and the alternative explanations are laughable (They wanted change! vaguely and generally! Don’t ask what kind of change! And, oh yeah, they also wanted to stick it to the liberal elites! Don’t ask why, though! Also too, they hate political correctness! Please don’t remind us what that’s code for!).

    But it doesn’t matter: the arguments and alternative explanations for the Civil War posited by the Dunning School were pretty awful as well (The South wanted to protect its rights… generally and vaguely), but white people – including many white progressives – really want to believe it.

    And then white people have to trot out the old “It’s worse to call out racism than it is to be racist!” line. Like progressive whites.

    Don’t ever forget that it’s a myth that Americans are hyper-individualistic. We’re not, and white people definitely are not. They’ll stand up to defend their race from even the most legitimate criticism, like “uh, most of you voted for a TV star who doesn’t know what he’s doing just because he hates the right people.”

    • Murc

      It’s so frustrating that people like Loomis will post an article about a plant closing, make no connection to either the white working class (photos with that article showed a lot of AA workers) or Trump-support (really, did those folks vote for Trump? That’s kinda central to the whole discussion), and be like “Obviously no one can argue with this logic, so it’s all about the white working class’s economic anxiety.”

      When has Loomis done this? You got a cite?

      • alex284

        Just yesterday.

        Of course, if he’s true to form, he’ll be saying that everyone misunderstood that post because he’s a brave truth-teller that his readers are too privileged to understand, in like, oh, a day or so.

        • twbb

          No, I understood that post perfectly, and it wasn’t what you’re saying it was.

        • Murc

          From you:

          “Obviously no one can argue with this logic, so it’s all about the white working class’s economic anxiety.”

          From the linked post:

          So yes, Trump voters were motivated in some extent by racism AND misogyny AND economic dislocation and community decline

          Don’t open with an outright lie if you want to be taken seriously.

          • It is open season for outright lying about the points I am making. These are fun times.

            • Murc

              It’s like people moved from outright lying about Scott (“According to Lemieux, the Presidency is a supine office with no power whatsoever to influence politics”) to you. The two of you should start a club.

    • alex284

      Adding: I mostly see the nihilistic leftist-type white person making this argument, because they were the folks who refused to admit that Clinton was better for the working class than Trump, even though it was so painfully obvious. The people who were all “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference” are now all “white working people voted for Trump because he talked about trade deals.” Because they need that argument, otherwise there’s no explanation besides racism, and since these folks are usually the ones who also say that inclusion and diversity aren’t that important (First woman president? Who cares, Margaret Thatcher was a woman!)….

      Trump is a lot more famous for saying racist shit and firing people than he is for his incoherent arguments against trade deals (yes, clearly Mexico’s sales tax is a trade issue that Trump will resolve). Even his immigration rhetoric – usually where the racists go to be all economical – was less “Mexicans are taking your jobs” and more “Mexicans are rapists.”

      But hey Greenwald is saying that calling people racist just because they voted for a white supremacist is, like, the worst thing ever, worse than actual racism. Loomis almost repeated Greenwald verbatim saying it’s “too easy” to call people racist just because they voted for a white supremacist, which is partly true, it’s easy to point out the truth, but very false, because white people are circling the wagons and rejecting any accusation that white grievance was not legitimate here.

      • I mostly see the nihilistic leftist-type white person making this argument,

        I really hope these people are not the future of the left.

        • los

          could be the present of the right…

      • Origami Isopod

        Adding: I mostly see the nihilistic leftist-type white person making this argument

        Yeah, this is my impression. Though there are some assholes here doing that, too.

        I want to say I honestly don’t think Loomis is one of them. I think he’s trying to thread the needle between class and race and … not really succeeding. But he’s nowhere near the category of someone like Greenwald or Kilpatrick.

        • I didn’t see that as directed at Erik. Maybe I didn’t read closely enough. Sorry if it was taken that way.

          • Origami Isopod

            No, I didn’t think you were accusing him of anything.

    • Drexciya

      I think what we’re witnessing is the creation of the New Dunning School.

      What strikes me about this, and I’m mad about Coates making this point before I made it publicly, is how Jim Crow, like slavery, like convict-leasing, like the job/stimulative benefit of building/staffing prisons, like policing itself as a “middle class job” could all be sold and described on class grounds, with pronounced and consistently understood labor/gender implications, if you wanted to. The fact that you can make that on class grounds and choose to emphasize class in what you politically highlight doesn’t mean that its impact or conception is centrally about class. In the same way saying “Jim Crow was about class” would be an…unhelpful and morally suspect description of the situation (to say the least), so too is this argument as it relates to Trump support.

      Also, my typed and backspaced post to that thread was exactly your point about the black workers holding up that sign. It was just the cherry on top of an incredible thread.

      • PJ

        like slavery

        I went on a history tour in Charleston, and I got a little bit of a spiel about what happened prior to the city voting to secede. One of the genuine fears of the poor farmers was that Lincoln was gong to take their land. It WAS economic anxiety! But the unanswerable question is exactly what Lincoln could have said to them to reassure them that he wasn’t taking their land. Promise that no more Free states would be admitted? They fully understood that Lincoln’s policy meant that the laws of the U.S. would be permanently geared against the southern economy, which was slavery, even though they didn’t actually share in the wealth. The turn doesn’t necessarily hinge on slaves, since only the wealthiest had slaves, but certainly it’s the willingness of these farmers to conflate Black equality with their own declining economic fate. Anyway, the fact that I happened to be in Charleston the week before the election was quite helpful, in retrospect.

    • Oh give me a fucking break. A new Dunning school. Have you considered going outside and taking a walk?

      • Drexciya

        They’re not the only one that’s made that point. Bouie has made that connection as well.

        • I don’t care who makes the point. Maybe people should point to an actual work of history guilty of this before talking about a new school of racist history.

          • It’s a good point that history is written by historians and not by what people kind of think is the new consensus now, but maybe we need a term for the consensus shared by journalists and pundits and such too.

            • Drexciya

              Right, I mean, you can certainly quibble (or nitpick) about them using such a deliberately and (IMO necessarily) loaded comparison, but it’s deliberately loaded because it’s describing a politically motivated denial elevated, by whiteness and white concentration in political commentary, to establishment consensus. That it’s not historians/works of history responsible isn’t even in the ballpark of the point and is not necessary for the point to be legitimate. If the political effect is to make people pause, then good.

            • It’s also worth noting that it’s a huge fallacy of logic to take a few posts and bad stories a week after an election and compare it to a school of history that lasted 50 years.

              • Drexciya

                It’s way, way, way, way, way more than a few posts, I’m sorry. This has been happening all year. What’s happening right now is the continuation of a political dynamic created and supported during the election.

                • If you want to accuse Connor Kilpatrick of being a racialist, I won’t argue with you. But let’s be clear here–there is no developing school of thought here. There are some assholes saying stupid things. The fact that some readers are lumping me in with these people is making me very stabby. Saying “class not race” is incorrect and horrible.” Saying “race not class” is perhaps less horrible because of the reality of American history, but it is also incorrect.

                • Drexciya

                  Kilpatrick is by no means the only one, and I’m not sure”class over race” correctly captures the kind of pieces I’m describing here. The goal isn’t just to use class to smudge any need to consider racism as a central cause, but to provide the political ground to undermine attentiveness to the non-white/feminist portions of the Obama coalition going forward and to obscure the centrality of racism to white people’s political decisions. Jeff Spross, John Judis, Alec MacGillis, Spencer Ackerman, etc all have pieces to that effect and I’m sure I’m missing a lot. I may be overstating it by seeing it as consensus, but it’s not at all an isolated trend, and as a pure political matter, pieces that don’t challenge that trend can easily and even unintentionally stand as political contributors to it.

                  It’s important to also note that the pieces in question use elements of the what Serwer calls Souls of White Folks “journalism” I’ve been criticizing all year. These filter Trump support exclusively through economic deprivation, and refuse to morally grapple with, much less honestly describe, the political goals and the basic, racially directed immorality of some of what’s being supported in practice. Calls for appealing to them have been married to largely erasing the centrality of ethnic violence that we’re seeing develop in real time. Being apologists for this dynamic is how Hochschild and Vance, who appeared in TNR, Vox, Slate the NYT, and Souls of White Folks pieces all over is how they made their money.

                  We can quibble about the scope of this trend and its political concentration, but it absolutely is a trend, and one that’s reflective of the blindspots of many of its participants. The erasure of voices of color and concerns of color, both within the pieces themselves and where conversation is expected to be directed, is one of its central and most enduring political effects. We are, after all, still talking about the Souls of White Folks while most of the rest of us are facing and about to face a torrent of grassroots and state directed ethnic violence, in support of the very ethnic cleansing these people affirmatively voted for.

                  And, for the record, my issue with the “it’s both” framing is that it presents an equivalence while not acknowledging how race determined its significance. If it’s both equally, then the phenomenon wouldn’t have been racially concentrated in the way it was. But because it wasn’t both equally, the black and latino working class made substantially different decisions than the white working class did. It also doesn’t grapple with the degree to which Trump support was a cross-class phenomenon, concentrated not just in the economically derived rust belt, but suburbs as well. You can say “it’s both” but its utility as an explanatory tool is quite limited. Also, what Tressie said.

                • MDrew

                  Kilpatrick is by no means the only one […] Jeff Spross, John Judis, Alec MacGillis, Spencer Ackerman, etc all have pieces to that effect

                  Keep them names a-comin’. What we need right now is lists!

                • Origami Isopod

                  Keep them names a-comin’. What we need right now is lists!

                  Your bad faith has been noted.

                • Drexciya

                  I will provide a correction and say I meant Seth Ackerman and not Spencer Ackerman.

              • It’s also worth noting that it’s a huge fallacy of logic to take a few posts and bad stories a week after an election and compare it to a school of history that lasted 50 years.

                Sure, it’s an overgeneralization, but try to stop people from doing that.

                Seriously, you are fighting the good fight. I don’t feel I’m in a position myself to impose pedantry on people thoughtlessly echoing the pundits.

                • Emmryss

                  “Class not race.” “Race not class.” Here’s the difference I’m seeing — “class” does not lead to hate speech, hate crimes, sexual assault. “Race” does. The targets of Race are just so much more visible and easily identifiable than any targets of Class. For the kind of viciousness that’s been surfacing. Maybe all I’m saying is that Class leads to more systemic victimization while Race leads to both systemic and more freelance (as in lynch mobs) viciousness.

      • Origami Isopod

        Dude.

        You do a lot of good and I don’t doubt you earnestly want racism as well as classism to end. But you really, really need to sit back and listen when black people (or women, or whoever) are challenging you on your perceptions and comments. You don’t have to agree with them, but the defensiveness is unbecoming, and it’s hypocritical in light of your posts challenging white liberals on issues like where they send their kids to school.

        Like everyone else, you are limited by the extent of your lived experience. It doesn’t mean you’re an unrepentant racist or otherwise a bad person. Your voice is valued and so are your efforts. But you need to learn when to step back.

        And Drexciya is one of the most patient and respectful commenters on this blog, honestly.

        • fishbulb

          Didn’t Loomis insist that a coal miner who referred to an African Americal child as a ‘colored boy’ was not racist? He focuses so heavily on labor policy that he ignores the racial components of it.

    • xq

      The arguments are beyond awful (some people in states that went for Obama in 2012 voted for Trump! Clearly those people voted for Obama in 2012, because they share the same state!)

      There were large swings in counties with high numbers of whites without college degrees compared to 2012. What is your explanation for this swing? What changed from 2012 to 2016?

  • pianomover

    Best friends family voted Trump across the board. One and only reason Abortion.

    • twbb

      That does seem the only internally cohesive reason to have voted for Trump.

      • Murc

        Not entirely. There seem to be a certain number of folks who genuinely do believe that Hillary Clinton shot Vince Foster at Mena Airport while high on cocaine, had the body buried in one of the foundations of her illegally-acquired real estate empire, and is conspiring with Huma Abedin (her sekrit lover) to place the US under Sharia law and appoint an all-Muslim Brotherhood cabinet.

        And if you really believe that, “I’m voting for the fascist because he’s the lesser evil” is internally cohesive. Grotesquely wrong, but cohesive.

        • twbb

          Ok, I will correct that: voting for Trump because of abortion is the only internally AND externally cohesive justification. If that’s important to you, you have correctly evaluated that Trump is far more likely to attack abortion than Clinton.

      • Bufflars

        Except wasn’t Trump at least nominally pro-choice in the past? And aren’t there rumors that he paid for at least one abortion in his time. And didn’t he, at several points during his campaign, go out of his way to say not-terrible things about Planned Parenthood? It’s not even entirely internally cohesive.

    • mds

      Yup. My own parents parroted “vote the platform” at me until I wanted to scream even more than I already was. What did that mean? “Yes, Donald Trump is a bigoted monster with an entirely un-Christian lifestyle who brags about sexually assaulting women and mocks the disabled. But Franklin Graham says all that’s okay, because he’ll appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe and whatever the gay marriage one is.” (Yeah, color me slightly skeptical about the second one, unless Trump gets impeached and removed from office.) Plus he’ll sign the Defense of Right-Wing Christians to Engage in Any Form of Public Discrimination and Intimidation They Want Act. So it was back to full-throttle Moral Majority years, except instead of winning Reaganesquely, it lost them the popular vote, and came down to about 100k total votes in three states. Which is some comfort, I suppose. It turns out SCOTUS did play a big role in the election, just not for any of the people it needed to. Well-played, Senate Republicans, you sociopathic bags of sewage.

  • Thom

    It is definitely mostly white people who elected Trump, but is also men, who like whites, mostly vote Republican.

  • libarbarian

    WTF are you on about?

    (# non-educated whites > # number of educated Whites) && (% of non-educated whites who voted Trump > % of educated white who voted Trump) != “Educated Whites put Trump in the WH”.

    PEOPLE WHO MAKE LESS THAN $50,000 PER YEAR

    Um .. they didn’t break income out by race. If they did, you would see that Whites who makes < $50,000 year VOTED TRUMP!.

  • Amanda in the South Bay

    For an election in which the losing candidate one the popular vote and was decided by about 100k votes overall and that has many, many what-ifs, the hyperobsession on WWC is disappointing.

    • twbb

      There are very few swing voter blocs; WWC is one of the major ones. Honestly, we’re not even talking WWC generally here, we’re talking WWC in a tiny number of swing states. The other thing that needs to be done next time is figure out a way to GOTV with minority communities in the rust belt and Florida, because that killed us too.

    • UncleEbeneezer

      It’s also rather tone-deaf considering which groups are going to bear the brunt of the suffering under a Trump regime.

      • Origami Isopod

        What else is new. Really.

      • Snuff curry

        The fate of the party (ETA and my conscience, which must remain pure) is at stake!!!1!

    • Amanda in the South Bay

      What about Comey and Wikileaks? To ignore both of those is really silly. But that doesn’t feed the circular firing squad.

      • los

        circular firing squad

        yes. annoying

        and I condemn you for reminding me.
        / ssss…

    • Jackov

      Would you prefer focusing on higher income suburban whites who might be wooed with the new versions of welfare reform and the crime bill? Perhaps Democrats could scold BLM activists and striking unions for disrupting commutes while promising tax cuts for professionals.

      Look at the Senate map for 2018. The Democratic candidates are going to formulate a plan to win more white voters. It can be an economic appeal hoping to regain some wwc votes or something much, much worse.

  • pianomover

    Kentucky is sick. Who will help?

    • twbb

      Clooney 2020!

      • Jackov

        Ten percent of Americans are what Pew calls Bystanders.
        Forty-percent under 30 and fifty percent non white.
        Completely disengaged from politics but celebrities are one
        thing that hold their interest. Probably does not help
        in KY but running celebrities in certain states/districts is not that bad of an idea.

    • mds

      I’m sure now that Governor Bevin doesn’t have to encourage armed violent insurrection against President Clinton after all, he and the now entirely-Republican legislature will get right on that health crisis. Right after closing up shop on the Kynect exchange and doubling down on the stinking homosexuals not having any rights. Maybe a “The King James Bible shall be the official book, bird, and flower of Kentucky” bill. The point is, once all the higher priorities are out of the way, the GOP state government will spring into action by calling for a statewide Day of Explicitly Sectarian Prayer to make the hepatitis go away. Besides, as all those coal-mining jobs come surging back, and only go to white people, quality of healthcare available in the free market is bound to rise.

  • Joe_JP

    If nothing else, it is depressing that Trump won white women and received (by CNN poll data) 45% of college educated white women. The hope was that he would be so offensive, even above some generic privileged asshole, that this wouldn’t happen.

    It can be explained and yes the other voters matter. It just is super depressing.

    • altofront

      Right. This suggests to me that we’ve more or less hit our ceiling with white women. Any woman who would vote for a serial sexual predator over a white woman who would be the first female president–who, moreover, witnessed the former bullying the latter in stereotypical ways in the debates–is never going to vote Democratic.

      As I think Scott pointed out, HRC spent huge amounts of money on ads targeting suburban women voters that underscored just how vile Trump is, and it’s not clear that they moved the needle much in the end.

  • RonC

    Aren’t you ignoring the people who simply didn’t vote? And by the way this has been going on for 6 years or more. After the “waive” election of 08, Democrats went right back to their losing ways everywhere but the presidency. So it was only a matter of time before this happened (this being an incredibly reactionary president with both houses). Clinton had to bad luck to be the (not very good) party leader when it did.

    So you really have to ask, why do the Democrats keep losing everywhere and all the time, if their ideas are currently so great?

    The other question is I suppose, are the majorities of those groups that vote Democratic increasing or decreasing?

    What I see here and other places is essentially the argument that we were right and the Democratic party was right. We just have to do more of whatever it is we were doing and soon it will all change and we will win again. No problem.

    • Paul Campos

      No this is kind of exactly the opposite of what I’m trying to say (or shout) here.

      The problem is that the power elite in this country is essentially right wing. Indeed a lot of its members don’t even realize they’re right wing, because they’re OK with gay marriage or recreational marijuana or what have you.

      Exhibit A is how the elite media are now rolling over and waving their legs in the air as Trump pats them on the tummy a bit.

      • Honoré De Ballsack

        The problem is that the power elite in this country is essentially right wing.

        Yes, I agree 100%. And now what?

        • Paul Campos

          I think you might be surprised by how controversial this observation has become after 50 years of GOP propaganda about the smarty pants professors and the Hollyweird elite and the coasts and the latte etc.

          So a part of now what is fighting this frame, in my view.

      • los

        Paul Campos says:

        elite media are now rolling over and waving their legs in the air as Trump pats them on the tummy a bit.

        fantastic phrasing

    • Honoré De Ballsack

      So you really have to ask, why do the Democrats keep losing everywhere and all the time, if their ideas are currently so great?

      That’s too hard! Easier to have another passionately-fought 100+ comment thread about whether or not Trump won because of racism.

    • Thom

      “So you really have to ask, why do the Democrats keep losing everywhere and all the time, if their ideas are currently so great?”

      Let’s see: won the popular vote, gained seats in Congress. Won the popular vote in several presidential elections in a row, bar one. This is losing everywhere all the time?

      • wca

        Let’s see: won the popular vote, gained seats in Congress. Won the popular vote in several presidential elections in a row, bar one. This is losing everywhere all the time?

        Republicans control the Presidency and both houses of Congress. Republicans have total control of, what, 32 state governments? “Losing everywhere all the time” is obviously a dramatic flourish, but the situation isn’t exactly looking good.

        It’s the state situation that irritates me. Yes, I live in a traditional red state, but if a Clinton wave had actually materialized it would have done nothing here because my ballot was full of Republicans running unopposed for state offices.

      • RonC

        Let’s look at who controls congress, most of the states, and the presidency. Oh, it appears to be the Republicans. How can that be when the Democrats are sooooooooo much more popular? Oh wait wca already said this.

        Why it is conundrum.

        • RonC

          Also I forgot that Trump didn’t campaign much if at all in California or New York. Given the popular vote totals are so close what might they have been if he thought those two states were worth his time?

  • Matt McIrvin

    I think how they get there is to compare 2016 with 2012 or 2008. Sure, the Trump coalition is richer than average, but it’s poorer than the Romney coalition, isn’t it? Since Romney lost and Trump won, the difference is instructive.

  • Scott Lemieux

    Wait, Paul, are you suggesting that the reason that Macomb and Oakland counties voted for Trump was not that Clinton chastened the ambitions of the American left?

  • Dennis Orphen

    Is anyone else here getting the idea that if the more ‘educated’ (and I’m using the term pretty fast and loose) people are the more likely they are to support and Oligarchic Gluttonous Idiocratic Kleptocray then something is SERIOUSLY wrong with our educational system?

    Education is one of the three pillars of Kleptocracy. Be prepared to pay a high price for things of little value, vo value, or outright harmfulness.

    • RonC

      I think that those with more formal education have usually voted Republican, at least since FDR.

      • Dennis Orphen

        Going back that far might show how the cart is put before the horse, as the upper classes always received more formal education than the lower classes, if the lower classes received any at all.

        • Jackov

          In the four presidential elections from 2000-12, a majority of white college graduates started voting for the Republican even before reaching the 50th income percentile. A majority of whites with graduate degrees favored the Democrat until you hit the top quintile where the votes were evenly split.

          The income plots for HS, some college and college are fairly similar with the biggest difference being low income college grads vote a bit more Democratic and HS grads with high incomes vote much more Republican.

          • los

            Jackov says:

            biggest difference being low income college grads vote a bit more Democratic and HS grads with high incomes vote much more Republican.

            I’ve read that, and it jibes with what I think I see ITRW.
            Conservatives with upper-middle incomes often run small business.
            Centrists and lefties with upper-middle incomes tend to be STEM workers, thus needing more formal education.

      • Srsly Dad Y

        RonC is correct, the idea that eggheads vote Democratic is in large part an artifact of the elite media’s experience of college towns and the NYC and (to a lesser extent) L.A. suburbs.

    • LFC

      @Dennis Orphen
      If you look at the exit poll data that Paul Campos links in this very post, you’ll see that, at least w/r/t this particular election, your claim is more than a bit misleading.

  • MDrew

    Focusing on who absolutely won various groups rather than on whether the margins were different from what they usually are for typical D-R races (or were for Obama given that was the coalition she was trying to revive) is how blinkered liberals who are interest in one and only one cause of this result avoid assessing what actually happened in the election.

    Yes, she *won* <$50,000; she won it by less than Ds need to. Yes, she *won* black voters; she won them by less than Obama did (and they turned out at lower rates at that. Yes, he lost Latino voters; he lost them by less than Romney did. And so on.

    • Rob in CT

      Campos’ point is simple and not news to any of us. This isn’t a “diagnose how we lost” post – I don’t think Paul disputes the points you make. This is about the use/misuse of “elite” in our political discourse.

      • Origami Isopod

        Does anyone else see an echo, in the painting of PoC as “elites,” of Jews being called “rootless cosmopolitans” who aren’t real Americans/Poles/Germans/etc.?

        • MDrew

          Paul’s claim re: elites (which was not the only point he had, and not the one I was addressing, but clearly I was mistaken not to be) is that the elites vote Republican.

          So let me just make sure I know what verity I am to come away from this discussion with.

          Among the elites in our country, 1) none of them vote Democrat, and 2) none of the non-existent Democrat-voting elites are also in the government, running it; governing us. That is not a thing.

          Correct?

          • Rob in CT

            What the hell?

            Among the elites in our country, 1) none of them vote Democrat

            Of course some of them vote Democrat. There’s an R preference, and it gets stronger as you go up the income/wealth scale.

            and 2) none of the non-existent Democrat-voting elites are also in the government, running it; governing us. That is not a thing.

            Again with the absolutes. Huh?

            • MDrew

              Tell that to Paul. The elites vote Republican – and Democrat.

              Moreover, those who govern us are by definition the elite (even the elite of the elite, along with the mega-mega-rich).

              And the figurehead of the government is the president. And not just the figurehead, but the most powerful singular figure, as we are all now focusing so intently on again. Massive, massive, power in the Executive Branch, in case you hadn’t checked in in eight years.

              It’s been run by Democrats for the last eight years and sixteen of the last twenty-four.

              The point is, what the hell back at you.

              Elites in this country – the most powerful, visible ones, in fact – who are Democrats, that exist, making it possible for people to feel that elites, who are Democrats, are out of touch wth them.

              This directly addresses Paul’s simplistic add-on point about the use of “elites.” (Fifty thousand dollars my ass.)

              So maybe now we can return to the bulk of his post, which I started out addressing.

              • Rob in CT

                The country was “run by the Democrats” at the federal level pretty completely for 2 years (well, no, 5 1/2 months), then split for the next 6. The GOP took the House after 2 and the Senate after 4. SCOTUS was Conservative 5-4 (with, admittedly, one of the 5 being squishy – Kennedy). Yes, POTUS is powerful. But this blog has been pretty clear about the limits of that power when Congress is dead set against the President’s agenda.

                Elites in this country – the most powerful, visible ones, in fact – who are Democrats, that exist, making it possible for people to feel that elites, who are Democrats, are out of touch wth them.

                And even more of them are Republicans. Also, elites are not just governmental figures. Corporate leaders – lean Dem you think? ETA: “most visible” is key here, yes.

                This directly addresses Paul’s simplistic add-on point about the use of “elites.” (Fifty thousand dollars my ass.)

                I do think Paul overreached with the >$50k stat. I’d certainly resist calling someone in the $50k-$100k range elite, and there’s more to being elite than simply income. Influence matters too.

                • MDrew

                  Who are the elites is certainly an interesting question we could discuss for a long time.

                  Clearly it depends partly on your political orientation. But people having particular political orientations is legitimate. You can be more inclined to deny that Democrats are elites than Republicans – that is your right. But the opposite is true as well. And to me, Paul’s outburst seemed to be nearly saying that there isn’t even the raw material out in the American political universe for a reasonable, albeit somewhat partisan-affiliated (as we all are) person to reasonably see Democrats as (among!) the elites in this country (who may be out of touch and to be reacted against, depending on your view of them – but among the elites in any case).

                  And that’s just delusional. When there have been three straight two-term presidencies and a party has held two of them, when during that time major generational social legislation was enacted and is now being administered by an administration of that party, when the administration of that party is seen not to have been committed enough to rolling back the warmaking excesses of the administration of the other party, or to have done it unsuccessfully – the material is there for even a mild anti-partisan of that party to see it as elite, in control, and out of touch.

                  Depending upon that person’s view of said social legislation, those wars, etc. etc. But the material is there to see Democrats as elites, even if you;re inclined not to. Yes reasonable people can reasonably see that, under these set of facts, differently, based on partisan inclination.

                  To have a problem with that notion is bizarre and blinkered.

                • MDrew

                  Aren’t we just laboring under a category error here anyway?

                  When people say they voted a certain way because the elites are out of touch with me, we don’t think they mean that white men who are corporate middle-managers earning $200,000 a year and do nothing in politics except maybe vote every four years are out of touch with them, do we?

                  We don’t think they mean voters. We think they mean people who govern us, run the political parties, make the singular decisions in the halls of power (including corporate power) that determine the course of our Republic. Don’t we?

                  Those are the elites. And lately, a lot of them have been Democrats (and a lot of them have been Republicans). But frankly, more of them have been Democratic decisions of late, because the GOP Congress has been just not doing shit, whereas Obama has taken – and has advertised – an activist approach to wielding executive power in response to them. (Perhaps corporate decisions offset this somewhat, but corporate decisionmaking does not uniformly correlate with Republican values, and again, the visibility thing matters a great deal here. People react to what is made most visible, and the presidency trumps everything else in that – certainly most corporate decisions. Do you want the presidency? Seems like you do. Well, people noticing that you have it and thinking you’re in charge (thus an elite) is part of the deal. Complaining about that is pathetic.)

        • Snuff curry

          Comparable to who and what was being maligned this year, by both sides, as “Establishment,” yes.

      • MDrew

        As I look at it, the post really wasn’t about the use/misuse of “elite” much at all until after the ellipsis, which looks very much to me like an amended afterthought, albeit a strongly felt and relevant one.

        It’s pretty funny to me, though, this notion that if you are white, have a degree, and make more than fifty grand, you might be an elite (especially if you vote Republican?), but that ELITES VOTE REPUBLICAN so probably there are no Democrats among the elites – certainly not governing us at all – for anyone to react against as (out of touch) elites. At least, certainly not legitimately. That’s simply a misconception.

        • Rob in CT

          This was the other main point Paul had:

          Focusing on the white working class is how privileged white people avoid confronting who actually put Trump in the White House.

          Which is to say, themselves.

          He’s calling out a particular subset of white folks for not fully (in his view) confronting the reality that overall it was their set who put Trump in the White House. If these fairly successful people (and yes, there’s a big difference between a white dude making $55k/yr and a white dude making $200k/yr) were half as smart and decent as they’re supposed to be, they’d have refused to vote for Trump. Some did. But the vast majority of them fell in line. That, plus the other factors we’ve been discussing since the election, was enough.

          ETA: I really don’t think Paul is talking at/to you with this post.

          • MDrew

            That’s fair, and I agree that they should so call themselves out. Of course, that breaks down because the ones who would want to call anyone out for making this happen – voted for Clinton. So I guess the point is that there should be some kind of class-based responsibility for why this happened?

            I don’t think that. I think there are two resonances of a lot of this and they get conflated. When I talk about how this class or that class voted, it;s not because I am trying to lay responsibility for it to various classes. People vote as individuals. The responsibility I am trying to lay is at the feet of politicians, who, despite people voting as individuals, still have to appeal to them as groups. If you seek to win by turning out a coalition of people of color, urban professionals, and young people, and each of those groups don’t turn out the way you thought they would, and in some cases you don’t get the margin you thought you would in them, imo that’s on you as a politician (or party, or strategist, etc.).

            So to me, the whole frame of this is turned around. It’s not on this group as a class or that group as a class that Trump was elected. It’s on politicians for failing to attract the individuals in those classes. To me, the group divisions are just a shorthand for ways for politicians to potentially appeal to individuals based on like worldviews, interests, etc. And I’m not married to the idea that Democrats have to bend themselves out of shape trying to appeal exclusively to the white working class. (I’d prefer they try to appeal to the working class as a whole, trying to bridge across racial groups in it.) But the wwc is one group in which there was erosion from Obama to Clinton. It’s one potential avenue, and probably does need to be addressed.

            • Rob in CT

              Of course, that breaks down because the ones who would want to call anyone out for making this happen – voted for Clinton.

              Overwhelmingly, yeah. A few of them voted Libertarian.

              If you seek to win by turning out a coalition of people of color, urban professionals, and young people, and each of those groups don’t turn out the way you thought they would, and in some cases you don’t get the margin you thought you would in them, imo that’s on you as a politician (or party, or strategist, etc.).

              Yeah, or at least that’s how politicians/strategists need to look at it, because blaming voters for sucking isn’t likely to win them any more votes. Individuals, like me, can lay some blame with the voters too.

              And I’m not married to the idea that Democrats have to bend themselves out of shape trying to appeal exclusively to the white working class. (I’d prefer they try to appeal to the working class as a whole, trying to bridge across racial groups in it.) But the wwc is one group in which there was erosion from Obama to Clinton. It’s one potential avenue, and probably does need to be addressed.

              He can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Paul agrees with this.

              • Paul Campos

                Yes I agree with this of course.

                What drives me to distraction is that the Party of the Banksters keeps getting away with advertising itself as representing anti-elitist populism of all things, which is nuts on its face, and only works at all because “populism” doesn’t include any non-white people, apparently.

                • MDrew

                  Are Democrats credibly not a party of banksters?

                  They’re not. Not enough to overcome even just a normal degree of partisanship or anti-partisanship.

                  Democrats have been in power more than enough to credibly look like out-of-touch elites, especially when they have not provided enough clear contrast to the image you offer of Republicans. When both party elite classes make themselves vulnerable to charges of being out-of-touch bankster-enablers, people will simply revert to choosing whichever one their partisan priors make them more inclined to see that way, and act against them.

                  There is more than enough reality to that perception of both parties to make it a non-crazy response to the last twenty years of our politics – whichever direction it goes in.

                  Maybe it’s not the fairest conclusion to draw that it’s the Democrats who need to be reacted against on this score as compared to the Republicans, but it’s well within the bounds of reasonableness for that to be the reaction, especially allowing for a normal amount of partisanship among the public, which is the case for 80%+ of the public. And, btw, a normal degree of partisanship is something whose legitimacy this blog has spent two years arguing for explicitly.

                  They get away with it because there is more than enough there for a reasonably (not crazily) anti-D anti-partisan to hang a charge of out-of-touch elitism on Dems with, just as there is for Dem partisans to hang the exact same charge on Republicans in the federal government with.

  • Fortunado

    Yep, racists sexist people voted Republican. They always do.

    But why did the rust belt specifically, which normally goes Democrat, flip to Republican this year?

    • Davis X. Machina

      Why did very specific parts of the rust belt, which normally goes Democrat, flip by tissue thin margins to Republican this year?

      • Fortunado

        Because they hate globalization. These are states democrats usually win by 4-7 points.

        • Harkov311

          Maybe slightly better question: why did they believe voting for Trump would stop globalization?

  • JM

    Paul, would it make you happy if people just said White Middle Class instead of White Working Class? The focus has been on the White Middle Class because they determined this election. They were the swing voters who reside in the contested states.

    People who live on a household income of $50,000 – $80,000, and whose jobs are threatened by automation and outsourcing, are not the elite in my book. And I know you will say they are above median, but that doesn’t make them elite and it doesn’t mean they don’t experience significant hardship. They are middle America. Democrats have better policies for this group, and Hillary Clinton’s failure to communicate that is the foremost reason why she is a terrible candidate.

    • msmarjoribanks

      Looking at 2012 suggests that the Dem problem with this group is broader than Hillary Clinton. Looking at $50-100K:

      2008: 49% D, 49% R
      2012: 46% D, 52% R
      2016: 46% D, 50% R

      2004 ($50-$75K): 43% D, 56% R; ($75-$100K): 45% D, 55% R

      What does that mean? I’m not sure, but it seems that people keep trying to portray this election as something new and it doesn’t seem to be in this respect.

      • JM

        Well, those numbers don’t break down by race, so it is an imperfect analysis.

        Everyone is analyzing these results in these terms because the entire election was lost in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. That does create a distorted lense, as it misses how the other 95% of America voted. But this group, this time, was where the battle needed to be won, and Hillary did not do a good job of it and is taking appropriate heat.

        • msmarjoribanks

          For the comparison them not breaking down by race doesn’t matter, although I wish they were broken down that way.

          My point is that people are coming up with all these huge theories that often seem to be based on preexisting views (if the Dems were just more populist or talked about issue X they would have done better), that don’t seem to be supported by the evidence, at least not yet.

          Hillary did basically like Dems normally do among people making $50-$100K. Hillary did do somewhat worse among white men overall than Obama did in 2012, and worse among non college grads. Is this because of issues? Is it because it was a worse year for Dems? Is it because she’s a woman? I don’t think we really have a good answer yet, but the idea that there’s something unlike the prior pattern of voting going on seems not to be the case.

  • anonymouse

    Preach! It pisses me off so much that so few analysis of the election mention this. Also, not only is race (white) and wealth an indicator of Trump support, but so is racial animosity. And rich whites tend to have higher levels of racial animosity than poor whites. The richer you are, if you’re white, the more racist you tend to be. Also, the poorer a white person is, higher levels of racial animosity are needed to push them to the Trump camp.

  • LFC

    To Paul Campos:

    Look again at the exit poll data you linked. Go down to the categories “education”, “education by race,” and “residence”. Look at the urban/rural breakdown. Look at the breakdown in the category “white males without a college degree”.

    I think after doing that you might have a better notion of why there have been so many articles about ‘the guy in the pickup truck’ (to take your phrase from the OP). That plus, of course, the list of states that flipped from Dem in 2012 to Rep in 2016.

  • ForkyMcSpoon

    My impression is that college educated were less likely to vote Trump, but that income was positively correlated.

    That is: those who aren’t college educated BUT ALSO make more money than average were the strongest Trump supporters.

    But I’d have to look at the numbers again.

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