It’s worth remembering, particularly when the Hillary Clinton recrimination news cycle is in full swing, that Donald Trump is president today because of a margin of fewer than 80,000 votes spread across three states.
“The most important states, though, were Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin,” Philip Bump in the Washington Post wrote in December. “Trump won those states by 0.2, 0.7 and 0.8 percentage points, respectively — and by 10,704, 46,765 and 22,177 votes.”
Those three states, however, were won comfortably by Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012. Much of the shift, however tiny, was due to white working-class voters becoming slightly more Republican than they used to be. This, in turn, has prompted an ugly and ongoing fight between two progressive factions: Those who believe those voters were primarily motivated by a sense of economic insecurity, and those who think the shift occurred because racist appeals are moving more white people to vote for Republicans.
Sean McElwee, a policy analyst for Demos and a frequent contributor to Salon, published a statistical analysis last week, based on data collected by the American National Election Studies, that demonstrates clearly that racism, rather than economic insecurity, was the primary factor that helped push Trump over the top. This is just the latest in a growing body of research demonstrating that Trump’s racist appeals were what moved his voters. “Economic anxiety” may exist to some degree, but it was not what drove so many white people to vote for Trump last November.
“It is definitely true that…
click here to read more