Or did a reshaped GOP create Trump? Harry Enten had a post back in 2014 that now seems prophetic:
Something Funny Happened In Iowa, And It May Hurt Democrats In 2016
Republican Sen.-elect Joni Ernst easily won her race in Iowa last Tuesday, beating Democrat Bruce Braley by 8.5 percentage points. Her victory wasn’t shocking, but its size was (to everyone except pollster Ann Selzer, that is). The final FiveThirtyEight projection had Ernst winning by just 1.5 percentage points.
What the heck happened?
Here’s one explanation: White voters in Iowa without a college degree have shifted away from the Democratic Party. And if that shift persists, it could have a big effect on the presidential race in 2016, altering the White House math by eliminating the Democratic edge in the electoral college.
This is kind of complicated, so pay attention. Back in 2012, the Electoral College favored the Dems:
In 2012, the states combining for 272 electoral votes were more Democratic than the nation. Using a uniform swing, Republicans would have needed to win the national popular vote that year by about 1.5 points to have won Colorado (the tipping-point state) and the electoral college.
This is why a 3% or 4% lead for Obama in 2012 was far more solid than the same lead for Clinton. Romney would have had to win the popular vote by about 1.5% in order to win the electoral college, whereas Trump might lose by 1% and still win the Electoral College:
When we take Iowa and its six electoral votes out of the Democratic column, the math changes: The Democratic edge in the electoral college virtually disappears. . . .
That, of course, does not mean that Republicans are going to win Iowa in 2016, let alone the presidency. We don’t know whom the nominees for either party will be. And the shift in Iowa could reverse itself.
People often get confused by this issue, as they look at states that are close in the polls right now, whereas they should be looking at states that would be close if the popular vote were tied. While the Electoral College clearly favors Trump right now, he’ll probably lose the election, as he’ll lose the popular vote by more than 1%. But if the popular vote is roughly a tie, Trump will likely win.
It turns out that not just in Iowa, but in many other states the GOP has been gaining ground among less educated white voters, for some period of time. I think it’s a mistake to suggest that Trump is drawing disaffected whites into the GOP, rather disaffected whites have been moving that way for years (Romney won West Virginia by 27%) and instead candidates are now popping up to reflect the new reality of the GOP—a white nationalist populist party. It’s not just Hillary who thinks that half the GOP are deplorable, I’m pretty sure Jeb and Mitt feel the same way.
This Will Jordan tweet is kind of interesting:
Whatever was driving working class whites toward the GOP in 2014-15 was also driving working class Hispanics towards the GOP. But then something happened in 2016. Maybe that something was that the GOP made it very clear that while they were the party of the working class, only white working class voters were welcome.
If the GOP had nominated someone that appealed to Hispanics, say someone with moderate views on immigration, who speaks Spanish and has a Mexican wife, just imagine how that candidate would be doing in Nevada and Florida, given Hillary’s extreme unpopularity.
PS. Wouldn’t it be ironic if America’s first black president were followed by America’s first white president?
PPS. I really hate the “shy Trump voter” label. Trump does not appeal to shy people, he appeals to bullies. The correct term is the “ashamed Trump voter.” Ray Lopez explains why:
Another factor not much commented about: who will admit to a pollster that they are for Trump? It’s like admitting you’re a racist.
Here’s my question–why should anyone care what the intellectual elite thinks? I favor near laissez-faire capitalism, which makes me a meanie in the eyes of most campus intellectuals. Do you think I cared what they thought of me? Why should I, as long as I stand up for what I think is right? Trump supporters shouldn’t be so ashamed. If they really believe in him then say it loud and proud, and don’t worry what others think.
PPPS. Here’s one issue where Trump is right, and Slate.com won’t even give him credit:
So this is kind of cute. While most of us were tearing our hair out over the FBI and Hillary Clinton’s emails last weekend, Donald Trump’s campaign quietly released a plan to privatize new infrastructure development in the United States. I know, that’s not very sexy on the surface. But given that the man might be president come Tuesday, it seems worth remarking upon. Because it could mean we’ll all be paying to drive on more roads built for profit.
Apparently Slate doesn’t know that toll roads are now regarded as a good idea among smart progressives. But then their smartest progressive moved to Vox.com.
PPPPS: Trump finishes his campaign as classy as he staged it, with an alt-right ad targeting three people in an international conspiracy of financial-types, who all “just happen” to be Jewish:
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken on Sunday called a new advertisement for Donald Trump’s campaign “something of a German shepherd whistle” designed to appeal to his supporters in the so-called alt-right.
The TV spot warns of the influence of “those who control the levers of power in Washington” and “global special interests,” and it raised eyebrows among observers who said it contains anti-Semitic overtones. As CNN’s Jake Tapper noted to Franken on Sunday morning on “State of the Union,” commentators have pointed out that it targets three public figures who are Jewish — billionaire George Soros, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.
Maybe St. Bernard whistle would be more accurate. Or Great Dane. Or whistle best heard by people with tinfoil hat receptors.