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Analyzing the US Election Returns for 2016
What motivates Trump voters?

Initially after the 2016 elections, there were a lot of articles looking at the make-up of Trump voters. Were they driven by economic concerns? By a desire for change? Or by classic white supremacy/patriarchal goals? The latter is emerging as a clear favorite based on the facts. We include articles on the effects of the elections as these help us understand the Trump base.

"Progressives have a blind spot when it comes to race. They do. Conservatives and Republicans don’t have a blind spot when it comes to race. They understand the power of race and they use it. It is mind-boggling to me how tough it is for progressives to have a conversation about race without them wanting to make it a conversation about class and economics." -- Obama Pollster Dishes on the Failures that Led to President Trump  2/20/2017 Alternet


Can we finally ditch the “white working class” myth? Obama-then-Trump voters weren’t the problem  2/23/2017 Salon: "The narrative that the 2016 presidential election was determined by “economic anxiety” among the white working class has again been shown to be largely untrue."

Move Left, Democrats  2/21/2017 NYT: "The far more important — and largely untold — story of the election is that more Obama voters defected to third- and fourth-party candidates than the number who supported Mr. Trump. That is the white flight that should most concern the next D.N.C. chairman, because those voters make up a more promising way to reclaim the White House. The way to win them back is by being more progressive, not less."

Obama Pollster Dishes on the Failures that Led to President Trump  2/20/2017 Alternet: "Progressives have a blind spot when it comes to race. They do. Conservatives and Republicans don’t have a blind spot when it comes to race. They understand the power of race and they use it. It is mind-boggling to me how tough it is for progressives to have a conversation about race without them wanting to make it a conversation about class and economics."

Even in 2016, Democrats Carried Rust Belt Town Centers. Why?  2/17/2017 Slate: "This, then, is an optimistic message about left-wing politics in non-metropolitan America: Those deep-red swaths of countryside in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana are more politically diverse than they look. It just depends on your frame of reference."

The Trump Effect: Spreading Hate at School, at Church, and Across the Country  2/16/2017 Alternet: "When the SPLC first released these findings, right-wing media outlets claimed that there was no evidence that they were related to Trump or the election. But that is false. For one thing, the largest number of incidents occurred on the day after the election, and they declined fairly steadily for the nine days after that. Later, when the SPLC updated its findings to cover the first 34 days after the election, it counted a total of 1,094 bias incidents around the nation. Importantly, it also calculated that 37% of them directly referenced either President-elect Trump, his campaign slogans, or his infamous remarks about sexual assault. Just 26 were anti-Trump, with six of those explicitly anti-white."

Not One or the Other: Class and Identity Politics  2/16/2017 The Islamic Monthly: "After taking a trip to Cuba, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates had this to say about pervasive racism there: “I saw segregation everywhere around me. … I saw a wide gap between rich and poor, and so many poor seemed to have brown faces.” Gates’ reflection shows that even a class-based revolution as thorough as the one that took place there over 50 years ago alone was unable to do away with racism. With this in mind, it is clear that any class-based politics alone cannot do away with racism and other forms of discrimination in the United States either."

‘Red’ America is an illusion. Postindustrial towns go for Democrats.  2/14/2017 WaPo: "Before the presidential election, I wrote an article pointing out that the homogeneity of “red” America is an illusion: Small and medium-size postindustrial U.S. towns routinely vote for Democrats — sometimes by very large margins. Few had noticed, because the largely rural counties in which these towns are located were often colored red on election-night maps. In fact, these counties are typically internally polarized, with a solidly Democratic downtown core around Main Street that is surrounded by Republican suburbs and rural areas. The Republican periphery has more voters who go to the polls at higher rates, and so the county is “red” overall."

Trump Has Surrounded Himself With a Phalanx of White Nationalists  2/14/2017 Alternet: "Miller, who made headlines over the weekend defending Trump’s false claims of “voter fraud,” is a fierce advocate of “ethno-nationalism,” meaning the racist belief that Europe and America must protect their culture and civilization (which are white by default) from outsiders who do not share their “Judeo-Christian values.” Miller echoed those talking points on Sunday talk shows, claiming that “millions” of “illegal aliens” voted against Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election."

Trump’s Supporters Believe a False Narrative of White Victimhood—and the Data Proves It  2/12/2017 Alternet: "The rhetoric of victimization has costs — white supremacists are committing unspeakable violenceto combat the perceived threat of immigrants, Muslims and people of color. For the next four years, we are likely to have a government driven by perceptions of white Christian victimhood."

Nothing Will Really Change Until America Reckons with Race  2/9/2017 Alternet: "According to the Public Religion Research Institute, 81 percent of white evangelicals, 60 percent of white Catholics and 61 percent of Mormon voters supported Trump, “despite their evident concerns about his political policies and character.” Those voters basically copped to their desire to maintain white power, with three out of four white evangelicals—more than any other racial or religious group—saying “American culture has changed for the worse since the 1950s.”"

It Was the Racism, Stupid: Explaining Trump's Win Using White Working-Class 'Economic Anxiety' Is Just Wrong  1/5/2017 Alternet: "It was not only the much-discussed and much-pitied white working class as a group who gave Trump the election (in combination with successful efforts by the Republican Party to suppress the votes of African-Americans, Latinos and other groups). Nor was it only the possible impact of Russian meddling. It was white voters with college educations as well."

It was the racism, stupid: White working-class “economic anxiety” is a zombie idea that needs to die  1/5/2017 Salon: "Perhaps most importantly, the display shows that the main dividing line between Clinton and Trump voters was on the question of black deservingness. Most voters, regardless of who they supported in the presidential election, thought that average Americans are getting less than they should. Yet, Clinton’s voters were a great deal more likely than Trump’s to say that blacks have also gotten less than they deserve (57 percent to 12 percent respectively)."

Study: racism and sexism predict support for Trump much more than economic dissatisfaction  1/4/2017 Vox: “Specifically, we find no statistically significant relationship between either the racism or sexism scales and favorability ratings of either [Republican candidate] John McCain or Mitt Romney,” they write. “However, the pattern is quite strong for favorability ratings of Donald Trump.”

“Identity Politics” Takes a Hit  1/2/2017 In These Times: "Bernie Sanders smacked it from the left during a controversial post-election speech in Boston, when he said in response to a Latina’s question, “One of the struggles that you’re going to be seeing in the Democratic Party is whether we go beyond identity politics.”

How Do Republicans Get Away With Voter Suppression?  1/1/2017 Truth Out: "Where are the Democrats? They're learning how to purge voters from the Republicans. The mass rejection of nearly one million "provisional" ballots in the California primary gave that state to Hillary. Remember, Democrats invented Jim Crow."

The Racists in Trump's Base Want Him to Harm Minorities and Immigrants: This Is What We Have to Fight  12/29/2016 Alternet: "Note that for all of the explanations of economic anxiety and economic populism as the reason Trump won, Trump voters aren’t exactly in an uproar over Trump’s plan to install the richest cabinet in U.S. history."

How Trump's victory turns into another 'Lost Cause'  12/28/2016 CNN: "The return of "racial amnesia." That's what some historians are saying as they watch a familiar storyline emerge. Trump's triumph is now being roundly described as a revolt by white working-class voters; racism, sexism and religious bigotry had little, if anything, to do with it. People making this argument are following a script first honed by another group of Americans who made history disappear. After the Civil War, "Lost Cause" propagandists from the Confederacy argued the war wasn't fought over slavery -- it was a constitutional clash over state's rights, they said; hatred toward blacks had nothing to do with it."

Trump and the Pain of Blue-Collar Whites  12/16/2016 Consortium News: "The shocking new report that U.S. life expectancy declined last year is not only a disturbing indicator of Americans’ troubled physical health — our expected lifespan now ranks only 31st in the world — but of our troubled political health as well. Social scientists and a few number-crunching journalists have uncovered surprising geographic correlations between white voters’ propensity to support Donald Trump and rates of drug overdoses, suicide and morbid conditions like obesity, which are major contributors to the national decline in life expectancy."

Greg Palast: By Rejecting Recount, Is Michigan Covering Up 75,000 Ballots Never Counted?  12/13/2016 Democracy Now: "Officially, Donald Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes. But a record 75,335 votes were never counted. Most of these votes that went missing were in Detroit and Flint, Michigan, majority-black cities. How could this happen? Did the Russians do it? Nyet. You don’t need Russians to help the Michigan GOP. How exactly do you disappear 75,000 votes? They call them spoiled votes. How do you spoil votes? Not by leaving them out of the fridge. Most are lost because of the bubbles. Thousands of bubbles couldn’t be read by the optical scanning machines."

Not a Revolution – Yet  11/15/2016 Verso: "Although the findings are controversial and perhaps misinterpreted by David Atkins in the American Prospect, the Edison/New York Times exit polls indicate that Trump relative to Romney achieved only the slightest improvement amongst Whites, perhaps just one percent, but “bested him by 7 points among Blacks, 8 points among Latinos and 11 points among Asian Americans.”"

Unlike other Latinos, about half of Cuban voters in Florida backed Trump  11/15/2016 Pew Research: "In Florida, Cubans were about twice as likely as non-Cuban Latinos to vote for Donald Trump. More than half (54%) supported the Republican president-elect, compared with about a quarter (26%) of non-Cuban Latinos, according to National Election Pool exit poll data."

When Michael Moore Says Clinton’s Loss Isn’t About Racism, You Know It’s Not. And It Really Wasn’t Sexism Either  11/14/2016 Town Hall: "All you have to do is look at the counties Trump won to see that this is a genuine working class uprising that delivered the Rust Belt to Trump—and it was extensive and overwhelming (via WaPo)."

«C’est l’abstention, imbécile!» Les leçons de l'élection de Donald Trump  11/12/2016 Mediapart: "Le racisme et la xénophobie sont les symptômes, non pas d’une souffrance économique qui affecte réellement les classes populaires, mais d’un ressentiment qui traverse toutes les classes – dans l’électorat de Donald Trump comme dans celui de Marine Le Pen. Une politique de gauche ne saurait donc se donner pour objet premier de sauver les brebis égarées qui pourraient bien être des loups."

Trump May Be Sexist and Racist, But That’s Not the Only Reason He Won  11/11/2016 American Prospects 

The Election was Stolen – Here’s How  11/11/2016 Greg Palast: "Crosscheck in action: Trump victory margin in Michigan: 13,107 Michigan Crosscheck purge list: 449,922"

How Trump won the presidency with razor-thin margins in swing states  11/11/2016 WaPo: "Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania account for 46 electoral votes. If Clinton had won these states, she could have sealed the presidency with 274 total electoral votes. This election was effectively decided by 107,000 people in these three states. Trump won the popular vote there by that combined amount. That amounts to 0.09 percent of all votes cast in this election."

The Election Came Down to 107,330 Votes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan  11/10/2016 Weekly Standard: "Donald Trump owes his victory in the Electoral College to three states he won by the smallest number of votes: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. So it's fair to say that the 2016 presidential election was decided by about 100,000 votes out of than 120 million ballots cast. According to the latest tallies, Trump won Pennsylvania by 1.1 percentage points (68,236 votes), Wisconsin by 0.9 points (27,257 votes), Michigan by 0.2 points (11,837 votes). If Clinton had won all three states, she would have won the Electoral College 278 to 260. She fell short in all three, of course, and that's why we are now getting accustomed to the reality of President-elect Donald J. Trump."

The Twisted Pretzel Logic of the “It’s Not Economic Anxiety” Crowd  11/7/2016 Washington Monthly: "This Friday I wrote an article at The American Prospect reasserting and proving the importance of economic anxiety to explain the rise of Donald Trump. Similar pieces have also been written, but it hasn’t stopped a new conventional wisdom from developing that the Trump phenomenon is all about prejudice and race. That this Known Fact is usually coming from the very same people who failed to predict Trump’s rise in the first place is not surprising, and it’s based on a misinterpretation of insufficient data."

Racism Alone Doesn’t Explain Trump’s Support, Which Also Reflects Economic Anxiety  11/4/2016 NYT: " It is no accident that Nazism sprung from the economic horrors of the 1930s, or that neo-fascist groups like Golden Dawn in Greece rose from the terrible economic conditions facing Europe in the age of austerity. The Brexit vote in Great Britain was, indeed, fueled by cultural and racial resentments—but the flames of those resentments were fanned by economic hardship. Conversely, it is also no accident that the greatest civil rights expansions for large minority groups have tended to come during periods of relative economic prosperity, as was the case during the postwar boom of the 1960s."

Trump voters earn a lot more than you might think  5/5/2016 USA Today: "As compared with most Americans, Trump’s voters are better off. The median household income of a Trump voter so far in the primaries is about $72,000, based on estimates derived from exit polls and Census Bureau data."

The Mythology Of Trump’s ‘Working Class’ Support  5/3/2016 Fivethirtyeight: "As compared with most Americans, Trump’s voters are better off. The median household income of a Trump voter so far in the primaries is about $72,000, based on estimates derived from exit polls and Census Bureau data. That’s lower than the $91,000 median for Kasich voters. But it’s well above the national median household income of about $56,000. It’s also higher than the median income for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters, which is around $61,000 for both."

Links/Enlaces top

Election 2016: Exit Polls, NYT

Bernie Sanders and the Black Vote, 2016 Primaries

Bernie Sanders and the way forward in 2017


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