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Trump's Working Class, Conservative, Populist Realignment

Trump's Working Class, Conservative, Populist Realignment

Bonnie Smith is a 63-year-old bakery entrepreneur in Jefferson, Ohio, in Ashtabula County. She begins her day in the bakery at 2:30 a.m., making doughnuts, then moving on to breads and pies “or whatever I have going out.” Married with three grown children, she started her business two years ago after more than three decades at the county sheriff’s office, where she rose from cook to dispatcher and then to deputy. Like nearly all her neighbors throughout Ashtabula County, she is a lifelong Democrat. Her parents were Democrats. She married a Democrat. She worked exclusively for Democratic county sheriffs.
But in 2016 she voted for Donald Trump. “I’ve seen the job losses here,” she says, “the rise in crime, the meth and heroin problem, society essentially losing hope; something just gave in with me.”
She was not alone. Ashtabula County had voted for every Democratic presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan, including Michael Dukakis in 1988, Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004, and Barack Obama twice with vote totals of 55 percent. But Ashtabula County gave Trump 57 percent of its vote, to just 38 percent for Hillary Clinton. That tally represented a 31-percentage-point swing in the county’s presidential balloting from 2012 to 2016. That’s a remarkable statistic for any locale in any election cycle.
But it was typical of Midwestern counties. Fully 35 Ohio counties swung from Obama to Trump by 25 percentage points or more. Further, 23 Wisconsin counties switched from Obama to Trump, while 32 Iowa counties did so, along with 12 Michigan counties.
What’s going on here? 
Read the article on theamericanconservative.com >



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