News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Biggest common denominator among Obama voters who flipped to Trump, 6.7 to 9.2 million people: political system and government are corrupt and don't work for people like them. Others say Democrat Party is now party of status quo, looks out for the wealthy-NY Times, Thomas B. Edsall, 6/8/17

New York Times reporter says it's "tempting" to blame "racism" for Trump's win, but can't do so because many white Obama voters became Trump voters in 2016 (instead of becoming Hillary voters). Why would it ever be "tempting" to use racism as a reason for anything?











Above NY Times twitter image via Nov. 11, 2016, "2016: The Revenge Of The White Working Class Voter, And Where Millions Of Obama Supporters Flipped For Trump," Matt Vespa, Townhall
 
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6/8/17, "The Democratic Party Is in Worse Shape Than You Thought," NY Times,  Thomas B. Edsall, commentary 

"Sifting through the wreckage of the 2016 election, Democratic pollsters, strategists and sympathetic academics have reached some unnerving conclusions.

What the autopsy reveals is that Democratic losses among working class voters were not limited to whites; that crucial constituencies within the party see its leaders as alien; and that unity over economic populism may not be able to turn back the conservative tide. 

Equally disturbing, winning back former party loyalists who switched to Trump will be tough: these white voters’ views on immigration and race are in direct conflict with fundamental Democratic tenets."...

[Ed. note: Yes, it's "tempting" to blame "racism" for Trump win except that millions of white Obama voters became Trump voters, per NY Times reporter above, 11/10/16 tweet]

(continuing): "Some of these post-mortem conclusions are based on polling and focus groups conducted by the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA; others are drawn from a collection of 13 essays published by The American Prospect.

A consistent theme is that the focus on white defections from the Democratic Party masks an even more threatening trend: declining turnout among key elements of the so-called Rising American Electorate — minority, young and single voters. Turnout among African-Americans, for example, fell by 7 points, from 66.6 percent in 2012 to 59.6 percent in 2016. 

Priorities USA, in surveys and focus groups, studied “drop off voters,” those who lean Democratic but failed to vote in either 2014 or 2016. By and large, these voters were members of the coalition that elected and re-elected Barack Obama:

"people of color (41% African-American, Hispanic, or Asian), young (22% under the age of 29), female (60%), and unmarried (46% single, separated, widowed, or divorced)."
 
Priorities found that drop off voters were distinctly lukewarm toward Hillary Clinton: 

"Just 30% describe themselves as very favorable to Clinton, far lower than the 72% who describe themselves as very favorable to Barack Obama."

Priorities also studied Obama-to-Trump voters. Estimates of the number of such voters range from 6.7 to 9.2 million, far more than enough to provide Trump his Electoral College victory. The counties that switched from Obama to Trump were heavily concentrated in the Midwest and other Rust Belt states.

To say that this constituency does not look favorably on the Democratic Party fails to capture the scope of their disenchantment....

A solid majority, 77 percent, of Obama-to-Trump voters think Trump’s economic policies will either favor “all groups equally” (44) or the middle class (33). 21 percent said Trump would favor the wealthy. 

In contrast, a plurality of these voters, 42 percent, said that Congressional Democrats would favor the wealthy, slightly ahead of Congressional Republicans at 40 percent.

Geoff Garin is a partner in the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group which, together with the Global Strategy Group, conducted the surveys and focus groups for Priorities USA. Garin wrote in an email:

"The biggest common denominator among Obama-Trump voters is a view that the political system is corrupt and doesn’t work for people like them."

Garin added that

"Obama-Trump voters were more likely to think more Democrats look out for the wealthy than look out for poor people."...

If the Priorities analysis is bleak, the 13 American Prospect essays are even more so.

Stan Greenberg, the Democratic pollster, writes in his Prospect essay:

"The Democrats don’t have a “white working-class problem.” They have a “working-class problem,” which progressives have been reluctant to address honestly or boldly. The fact is that Democrats have lost support with all working-class voters across the electorate, including the Rising American Electorate of minorities, unmarried women, and millennials. This decline contributed mightily to the Democrats’ losses in the states and Congress and to the election of Donald Trump."

Greenberg voiced an exceptionally sharp critique of his own party and its candidates. First, he takes on Barack Obama:

"Working-class Americans pulled back from Democrats in this last period of Democratic governance because of President Obama’s insistence on heralding economic progress and the bailout of the irresponsible elites, while ordinary people’s incomes crashed and they continued to struggle financially.""...

[Ed. note: Campaigning in 2008 Obama promised Rust Belt voters he'd renegotiate NAFTA. Only a month after his 2009 inauguration, he announced NAFTA would remain as is, that US should avoid "beggar thy neighbor" policies.  2/19/2009, "NAFTA Renegotiation Must Wait, Obama Says," Washington Post, Michael D. Shear..."The president's message served as a reminder of last year's private assessment by Canadian officials that then-candidate Obama's frequent criticism of NAFTA was nothing more than campaign speeches aimed at chasing support among Rust Belt union workers." And: 12/10/2009, "Obama's Big Sellout: The President has Packed His Economic Team with Wall Street Insiders," Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi]

(continuing): "Hillary Clinton does not escape Greenberg’s wrath:

"In what may border on campaign malpractice, the Clinton campaign chose in the closing battle to ignore the economic stress not just of the working-class women who were still in play, but also of those within the Democrats’ own base, particularly among the minorities, millennials, and unmarried women."

Greenberg does not stop there, shifting his focus from individual Democratic politicians to the Democratic Party itself: Past supporters 

"pulled back because of the Democrats’ seeming embrace of multinational trade agreements that have cost American jobs. The Democrats have moved from seeking to manage and champion the nation’s growing immigrant diversity to seeming to champion immigrant rights over American citizens’. Instinctively and not surprisingly, the Democrats embraced the liberal values of America’s dynamic and best-educated metropolitan areas, seeming not to respect the values or economic stress of older voters in small-town and rural America. Finally, the Democrats also missed the economic stress and social problems in the cities themselves and in working-class suburbs.""...

[Ed. note: The Democrat Party has no intention of changing: 4/5/17, "Democrats are still ignoring the people who could have helped them defeat Trump, Ohio party leaders say," Washington Post, William Wan, Youngstown, Ohio. (We know what it's like. The Republican Party has no interest in Republican voters either.)]

(continuing): "Along parallel lines, three analysts at the pro-Democratic Center for American Progress, Robert Griffin, John Halpin and Ruy Teixeira, argue that:

"Rather than debating whether Democrats should appeal to white working-class voters or voters of color — both necessary components of a successful electoral coalition, particularly at the state and local level — a more important question emerges: Why are Democrats losing support and seeing declining turnout from working-class voters of all races in many places?"

Griffin, Halpin and Teixeira argue that:

"Democrats allowed themselves to become the party of the status quo--a status quo perceived to be elitist, exclusionary, and disconnected from the entire range of working-class concerns, but particularly from those voters in white working-class areas.

In the 2016 campaign, they continue,

"rightly or wrongly, Hillary Clinton’s campaign exemplified a professional-class status quo that failed to rally enough working-class voters of color and failed to blunt the drift of white working-class voters to Republicans."

For Democrats who argue that the adoption of economic populism is the best way to counter Trump, Guy Molyneux, a partner in Garin’s polling firm, warns in his American Prospect essay, “A Tale of Two Populisms,” that voters drawn to Trump are anti-government, deeply wary of a pro-government Democratic Party.

“Many analysts and leading Democrats,” Molyneux writes “have attributed Donald Trump’s impressive 2016 vote margin among white working-class voters to his embrace of economic populism.”...

While “Democrats can take obvious comfort in a story about Trump winning in large measure because he stole our ideas,” Molyneux writes, “this assessment misses the mark in important ways.”

Why? Because

"Trump’s brand of populism — and more importantly, that of working-class whites — differs in important ways from the populism of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren."

While the populism espoused by Sanders and Warren is economic, challenging C.E.O.s, major corporations and “the billionaire class,” Trump is the messenger of what Molyneux calls “political populism,” which “is, fundamentally, a story about the failure of government.”

Molyneux writes:

"White working-class voters’ negative view of government spending undermines their potential support for many progressive economic policies. While they want something done about jobs, wages, education, and health care, they are also fiscally conservative and deeply skeptical of government’s ability to make positive change. So political populism not only differs from economic populism, but also serves as a powerful barrier to it."

Or, as I have written elsewhere, Democrats cannot simply argue in favor of redistributive government on economic matters because defecting whites are deeply hostile to a government they see as coercive on matters of race."...

[Ed. note: What about coercion of unisex bathrooms, forcing 6 year old girls to become intimate with adult males? If Democrats stick to Mr. Edsall's narrow field of vision they'll keep losing.]

(continuing): "In May, the Public Religion Research Institute released a report, Beyond Economics: Fears of Cultural Displacement Pushed the White Working Class to Trump.” It found that

"more than half (52%) of white working-class Americans believe discrimination against whites is as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities"

and that “four in ten white working-class Americans agree” with the statement that “efforts to increase diversity almost always come at the expense of whites.” 

In a separate argument, Nicholas Carnes and Noam Lupu, professors of political science at Duke and Vanderbilt, challenge a basic premise on the left that the populism of Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren could have stemmed the loss of non-college whites to Trump.

Carnes and Lupu contend instead that the oft-cited theory that Trump won because of support from the low-income white working class is itself wrong.

The two scholars provide data showing that

"among white people without college degrees who voted for Trump, nearly 60 percent were in the top half of the income distribution"

and that

"white non-Hispanic voters without college degrees making below the median household income made up only 25 percent of Trump voters."

Democratic pessimism today stands in contrast to the optimism that followed the elections of 2006, 2008 and 2012.

At that time, the consensus was that Democrats had found the key to sustained victory. The party saw its future in ascendant constituencies: empowered minorities, singles, social liberals and the well-educated.

Democratic activists saw the Republican Party as doomed to defeat without a radical change of course because it was tied to overlapping constituencies that they viewed as of waning significance — for example, older, non-college, evangelical white Christians.... 

Before 2016, no one, Democrat or Republican, thought that the man who would bring about radical change would be Donald Trump, except, perhaps, Trump himself.

For all the harm he has done [No link to substantiate "all" such  alleged harm], continues to do and proposes to do, Trump has successfully forced Democrats to begin to examine the party’s neglected liabilities, the widespread resentment of its elites and the frail loyalty of its supporters."

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(Comment: Putin is really amazing. His military software must've psychoanalyzed and hypnotized the entire US population outside California)

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More on 2016 autopsy including NY Times analysis, via:

Nov. 11, 2016, "2016: The Revenge Of The White Working Class Voter, And Where Millions Of Obama Supporters Flipped For Trump," Matt Vespa, Townhall

"She was a horrible candidate, but wasn’t Trump? Yes, he’s unpopular, he’s flawed, but he resonated with these folks in a way that was probably years in the making. 

In 2014, after the Democratic shellacking in the midterms, Obama pollster and Clinton strategist Joel Benenson said that winning the white vote, the male vote, and the white male vote wasn’t important. What Benenson and his cadre of Democratic operatives now seem to have missed is that white voters do count, and that the white working class vote was actually the linchpin of the entire Obama coalition....Significant shares of 2012 Obama supporters decided to jump ship and support Trump. Nicholas Confessore and Nate Cohn [NY Times] wrote about this middle class, white, and rural uprising that decimated liberal America:

"Mr. Trump’s coalition comprised not just staunchly conservative Republicans in the South and West. They were joined by millions of voters in the onetime heartlands of 20th-century liberal populism — the Upper and Lower Midwest — where white Americans without a college degree voted decisively to reject the more diverse, educated and cosmopolitan Democratic Party of the 21st century, making Republicans the country’s dominant political party at every level of government.

[…] Mr. Trump also won over millions of voters who had once flocked to President Obama’s promise of hope and change, and who on Tuesday saw in Mr. Trump their best chance to dampen the most painful blows of globalization and trade, to fight special interests, and to be heard and protected. Twelve percent of Mr. Trump’s supporters approved of Mr. Obama, according to the exit polls.

[…] Mr. Trump won low-income white voters to the Republican ticket, reversing a partisan divide along class lines that is as old as the Democratic and Republican Parties — a replay of the “Brexit” vote in June, when the old bastions of England’s Labor-left voted decisively to leave the European Union. His breakthrough among white working-class voters in the North not only erased the Democratic advantage but reversed it, giving him a victory in the Electoral College while he lost the national popular vote.

Most strikingly, Mr. Trump won his biggest margins among middle-income white voters, according to exit polls, a revolt not only of the white working class but of the country’s vast white middle class. He did better than past Republicans in the sprawling suburbs along Florida’s central coasts, overwhelming Mrs. Clinton’s gains among Hispanic voters. He held down Mrs. Clinton’s margins in the Philadelphia suburbs, defying expectations that Mrs. Clinton would outperform Mr. Obama by a wide margin.

[…] Starting Wednesday, you could walk from the Vermont border through Appalachian coal country to the outskirts of St. Louis without crossing a county Mr. Trump did not win decisively. You could head south through rural and suburban Georgia all the way to South Florida, or northwest through the Upper Midwest, or make a beeline for the West Coast, skirting only the rising Democratic communities of Colorado and the booming multicultural sprawl of Las Vegas before finally reaching Mrs. Clinton’s part of the country." 
  
(Via Townhall): 11/9/2016, NY Times reporter tweet: "It's not a simple racism story:"

 
 (NY Times twitter images via Townhall Vespa article)











Continuing, NY Times analysis via Nov. 11, 2016, "2016: The Revenge Of The White Working Class Voter, And Where Millions Of Obama Supporters Flipped For Trump," Matt Vespa, Townhall:

"Confessore and Cohn added that the surge of black, Hispanic, and nonwhite voters turned off by Trump’s rhetoric never materialized, as the billionaire fared no worse than Romney in 2012, but he did run up the margins big league in these rural counties. There was the fear - that while Trump was dominating white working class voters at historic levels, his path to victory could be blocked by Clinton’s winning margins with college-educated women.

Cohn actually sounded the alarm bells with Trump’s advantage with this group on November 6, noting that his level of white working class support was enough to erase the Democratic advantages with Hispanics and college-educated whites:
"In recent national surveys, Mr. Trump leads Hillary Clinton by 59 percent to 30 percent among that group. It’s larger than the 57-35 lead that Mitt Romney had with those voters in the final polls in 2012. On their own, Mr. Trump’s gains among this group have been enough to cancel out four years of favorable demographic shifts for Democrats among Hispanic and well-educated white voters.
[…]
Mr. Trump’s strength among the white working class gives him a real chance at victory, a possibility that many discounted as recently as the summer. He could win enough Electoral College votes without winning the popular vote, through narrow victories in Midwestern and Northeastern battlegrounds like Wisconsin and New Hampshire, where Democrats depend on support among white working-class voters. Mr. Trump’s strength with that group could even be enough for him to win Florida, where Mrs. Clinton’s abundant support among Hispanic voters would otherwise all but doom a Republican."
Okay—so who the hell are these people? Well, they’re folks that Democrats have come to hate. 

They’re rural. They’re less educated. They don’t speak with learned diction. And they don’t live in places that matter, like the sprawling urban areas, the cities. They’re the people that Trump refers to as the forgotten Americans, who have been left to fend from themselves due to perceived threats from free trade, immigration, and rampant drug usage. The people that Washington, liberals, or progressives don’t care about—and they don’t. ProPublica’s Alec MacGillis ventured into these areas, criss-crossing the Rust Belt and observed a few things: a) A lot of first time voters were breaking for Trump—and when I say first time, I mean after over two decades of voter eligibility; b). They didn’t care about Trump’s taxes, it was legal, and it was a loophole designed by the system. They would exploit it too if they had the means; c) Trump’s remarks about women mostly seem to be a problem with urban-based liberals and not these folks, who often make jokes about it themselves; d) the Republican attacks on Clinton regarding emails and Benghazi were resonating with voters here; and d) MacGillis thought it was a bit shocking that he had trouble finding Clinton supporters in his travels.
"Tracie St. Martin stepped out onto the porch, a 54-year-old woman with a sturdy, thick-muscled build and sun-weathered face, both of them products of her 26 years as a heavy-construction worker. St. Martin greeted the women [apparently Trump volunteers walking neighborhoods] warmly, and when they told her what they were there for she said, sure, she was considering Trump — even though she usually voted Democratic. And when they got talking, in the disjointed way of canvassers making a quick pitch, about how Trump was going to bring back the good jobs, St. Martin was visibly affected. She interrupted them, wanting to tell them about how she had, not long ago, worked a job that consisted of demolishing a big local GM plant. Her eyes welled up as she told the story and she had trouble continuing. […]
…St. Martin was leaning toward Trump.
Her explanation for this was halting but vehement, spoken with pauses and in bursts. She was disappointed in Obama after having voted for him. “I don’t like the Obama persona, his public appearance and demeanor,” she said. “I wanted people like me to be cared about. People don’t realize there’s nothing without a blue-collar worker.” She regretted that she did not have a deeper grasp of public affairs. “No one that’s voting knows all the facts,” she said. “It’s a shame. They keep us so fucking busy and poor that we don’t have the time.”
[…]
Just last week, I [MacGillis] was back in Ohio, in the southeastern Appalachian corner. I was at a graduation ceremony for opiate addicts who had gone through a recovery program, and sitting with four women, all around 30, who were still in the program. Someone mentioned the election, and all four of them piped up that they were voting for the first time ever. For whom? I asked. They looked at me as if I had asked the dumbest question in the world. All four were for Trump.
The most of the loquacious of the group, Tiffany Chesser, said she was voting for him because her boyfriend worked at a General Electric light-bulb plant nearby that was seeing more of its production lines being moved to Mexico. She saw voting for Trump as a straightforward transaction to save his job. “If he loses that job we’re screwed — I’ll lose my house,” she said. “There used to be a full parking lot there — now you go by, there are just three trucks in the lot.”
But Chesser also was viscerally opposed to Clinton who, the week prior, had endured a surprise announcement from FBI Director James Comey that a newly discovered cache of emails of hers was under scrutiny. “If she’s being investigated by the FBI, there’s a reason for it,” she said. I asked the women if they weren’t equally bothered by the many women’s accusations against Trump. They shrugged. “It’s locker-room talk,” Chesser said. “I know girls talk like that, and I know guys do.”
[…]
A week later, on Election Day, I drove to a polling station in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania, a small town south of York, just across the Maryland line. The polling station was inside an evangelical church housed inside a vast, mostly abandoned shopping plaza. It’s Republican country, where Romney outpolled Obama 2–1, but I was still startled by how long it was taking me to find a single Hillary Clinton voter.
But there was yet another woman voting for the first time in her life, at age 55, for Trump. “I didn’t have much interest in politics. But the older you get you realize more and more how important it is,” said Kelly Waldemire, who works in a local plastic-molding plant. “When it got to the point where the country is going in the wrong direction, I thought it was time.”
[…]
As I was preparing to leave, I glimpsed a young woman who I guessed might’ve voted for Clinton, and approached her to help balance my reporting. I was wrong. Stephanie Armetta, an 18-year-old working as a grocery store cashier before heading to community college, had cast her first-ever ballot, for Donald Trump. Her family had many members in the military, she said, and she thought Trump would “have more respect” for them. She thought it was wrong that if her brother got deployed, he got only two meals per day, while people in prison get three. And then of course there was Benghazi, “that she left [the four Americans] there, that they weren’t her priority.” She was bothered by Trump’s comments on the tape, for sure. But, she said, “I’m glad how he didn’t lie about it. They caught him and he said, yeah, I said an asshole thing.” Not to mention, she said, “Bill Clinton isn’t good either on that subject.” Her vote, she concluded, was “more against Hillary than for Trump.”"
MacGillis added that there was also Contessa Hammel, 43, who said she was going to vote for the first time ever—and it was for Donald Trump. "He makes it simple for people like me. He puts it clearly, she said."...

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6/8/17 NY Times Edsall article via June 8, 2017, "Thomas B. Edsall Sounds the Alarm for Democrats," Rush Limbaugh



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