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Shemp Howard

(889 posts)
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 11:01 AM Dec 2016

Obama voters switching to Trump

I live in a dark blue region of a rust-belt state. In 2008 and 2012 many of my friends and acquaintances supported Obama. But I was surprised, and shocked, to hear how many of them went for Trump this time around. These people were the children and grandchildren of factory workers. Democratic party policies from FDR forward gave their families a comfortable middle-class lifestyle.

Bernie was the FDR in this election, IMHO. But Trump was the Robber Baron. So the choice between Hillary and Trump should have been easy, a Democrat vs. a Robber Baron.

So why did so many go for Trump? Trump appealed to the baser instincts of some of them, I'm sure. But here's what many said to me during our polite arguments: There are no good jobs around here anymore. Trump will bring them back. (Trump ran ads in my state to that effect. Hillary did not.)

All of this is just what I, one person, observed. And it certainly doesn't tell the whole story. But Michael Moore was right. Worried people will follow a Pied Piper. To negate this, the Democratic Party must bring back a focus on jobs, and emphasize that fact. Just putting position papers on some internet site will not be enough.

The Democratic Party used to be known for championing both social justice AND good middle class jobs. We need to be known for that again.

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boston bean

(36,167 posts)
1. The working class, chose Hillary. Those making undr 50K went for Hillary by a lot.
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 11:13 AM
Dec 2016

Those making over 70K voted for Trump.

My goodness, the re-writing of all of this is fascinating!

 

Flavius Aetius

(33 posts)
3. I said this in another thread
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 11:23 AM
Dec 2016

I live in Michigan and myself and my entire family are all Democrats and i was the only one that voted for Hillary. Everybody else including most of my friends voted for Trump, all working class union members. Their are a lot of lessons from this election and i do not think most Democrats are going to learn them.

 

Flavius Aetius

(33 posts)
8. I think they will also
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 11:38 AM
Dec 2016

That is why i voted for Hillary. But if they think he is doing right by them and is trying then the Democratic party is going to learn a hard lesson.

Shemp Howard

(889 posts)
4. But most of my friends are working class!
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 11:23 AM
Dec 2016

And too many of them went for Trump. But you sure are correct about that 70K comment. The few big-money acquaintances I have all went for Trump. That didn't surprise me.

What did surprise me, disappointed is a better word, is how many of my working class friends went for Trump.

I suppose my observation here could be an outlier of sorts. But if I'm on to something, the Democratic Party needs to adjust its message a bit. Social justice AND good jobs!

Ace Rothstein

(3,083 posts)
13. But 40% plus of the working class went for Trump.
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 11:58 AM
Dec 2016

All of these different groups aren't concentrated equally across all states and areas within said states. The people the OP is referring to might mostly be in rural areas while the working class that voted for Clinton may be concentrated in cities.

 

geek tragedy

(68,868 posts)
7. A lot of it is just showing up.
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 11:31 AM
Dec 2016

Trump made it clear that these voters were the people he was targeting, the ones he was speaking to.

As the name "Rust Belt" connotes, there's been a long process of decline and neglect in that area. When an entire area gets neglected and ignored, they'll go with the guy who notices them over the person who doesn't send the same signal.

Clinton had better policies, but her campaign themes were about inclusiveness and the merits of pluralism. Which is absolutely noble and correct, but it doesn't resonate with everyone.

TonyPDX

(962 posts)
14. I'm a PCP (precinct committee person) for my county Democratic party, which
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 11:59 AM
Dec 2016

in late 2015 brought me into contact with many, many older white voters who came to volunteer. An easy majority of them said that Bernie Sanders had inspired them to become involved, and some had never even registered before. After the primaries, the number of them who continued to show up for canvassing or phone-banking dwindled. The folks I met were not bigots or racists-- they felt their needs had been forgotten until Bernie came along. When he was no longer in the picture, they were back where they'd started.

Garrett78

(10,721 posts)
9. Dems, including Clinton, already talk about jobs and other economic matters...a lot!
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 11:47 AM
Dec 2016

Media coverage sucks, so that doesn't help. But anyone who denies that Clinton had a strong economic/jobs message was simply not willing to hear it or was not paying attention.

No politician with an ounce of dignity is going to flat out lie about bringing jobs back (without also mentioning that the US will drop labor standards, do away with the minimum wage, drastically cut corporate taxes and get rid of any sort of public assistance that would enable people to avoid taking a job that pays 5 cents a day).

Sure, Dems could lie. And they could dumb down their message. But the fact is Clinton was victimized by decades of extreme hate (much of it totally irrational and rooted in sexism and misogyny), "Facts Backfire," tens of million of Americans (who, to their credit, always vote) subscribe to patently false beliefs (some of the most absurd things imaginable), the Shelby County v. Holder decision allowed for massive voter suppression, the FBI went rogue, and throughout US history there has been a white backlash when racial progress has been made (plus, white folks know they'll be in the minority before too long).

And it bears repeating that the median income of Clinton supporters is substantially lower than the median income of Trump supporters. Those most impacted by the recession went for Clinton. One of the big problems with the "working class whites" narrative is that it implies working class POC must not care about economics/jobs, which is absurd.

Garrett78

(10,721 posts)
12. The answer is to do a better job of GOTV, including more outreach to rural Dems and...
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 11:53 AM
Dec 2016

...to not run a candidate who is so despised. Joe Biden could have won with the exact same message and strategy. In spite of the piss-poor media coverage, in spite of voter suppression, and so on. It was less the message and more the messenger. Sadly.

Dems have to find a way to engage some of the 40% who don't vote in presidential elections and some of the 60% who don't vote in mid-term elections. Get just a fraction of those folks to vote and it would make a huge difference.

Shemp Howard

(889 posts)
15. Yes!
Thu Dec 1, 2016, 12:06 PM
Dec 2016

The Democratic Party used to be the champion of both social justice and good jobs. And it still is!

But this is no longer obvious to many in the working class. Why? The Party has gotten off-message. Not enough emphasis was placed on the jobs issue. Position papers and brief mentions in speeches are not enough.

To reach as many people as possible, HRC needed to run TV and radio ads that pounded on a twin theme: social justice and good jobs. But that didn't happen.

The Robber Baron took advantage of that. If we don't learn from this, we'll lose the Electoral College again in 2020.

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