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Hillary Clinton and the Democrats were playing with fire when they effectively wrote off white workers in the small towns and cities of the Rust Belt.

Donald Trump’s stunning win Tuesday, defying all the prognosticators, suggested there were many more people like Hammel out there — people who were so disconnected from the political system that they were literally unaccounted for in the pollsters’ modeling, which relies on past voting behavior.

But Hammel was far from the only person I met in my reporting this year who made me think that Trump had spurred something very unusual. Some of them had never voted before; some had voted for Barack Obama. None were traditional Republican voters. Some were in dire economic straits; others were just a notch up from that and looking down with resentment at the growing dependency around them. What they shared were three things. They lived in places that were in decline, and had been for some time. They lacked strong attachment to either party at a time when, even within a single metro area like Dayton, the parties had sorted themselves into ideological, geographically disparate camps that left many voters unmoored. And they had profound contempt for a dysfunctional, hyper-prosperous Washington that they saw as utterly removed from their lives.

These newly energized voters helped Trump flip not only battlegrounds like Ohio and Iowa but long-blue Northern industrial states — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin — without which he would have lost to Hillary Clinton. Nationwide, his margin with the white working class soared to 40 points, up 15 points from Romney’s in 2012.

Continue reading:  Revenge of the Forgotten Class

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5 thoughts on “Revenge of the Forgotten Class

  1. Again I have to go with uninformed and ill informed voters. Yes the economy is coming back, numbers getting better every day. But if you listened to just fox news you would think it had never been worse. Our family got a rather large wage bump this year the first for many years. Things were getting better. I listened to speech after speech filled with lies shouted out with authority that repeated the lies about unemployment raising, economy crashing. I listened to fox news distorting and out right lie reporting things not true. You know manufacturing jobs were not lost by trade deals or immigration so much as advancement in technology. Robotics and newer factories cost people jobs. Those are not coming back. We need new things for people to do, that requires massive reeducation programs. Oh and I do agree with Sha’Tara that one thing that swung the election was the protest vote. However you and I have talked that subject to death already. Be well. Hugs

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