Sunday, November 13, 2016

Democrats Were Crushed in Appalachia

Salena Zito's reporting this year was perhaps the most important in all of journalism.

More here, at the Washington Examiner, "How the Democrats lost the white working class":

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On Thursday morning the "Today" show had a segment on with a psychologist who was there to guide parents on how to explain Hillary Clinton's loss to their children.

"Well that is interesting, they sure didn't have a child psychologist on to explain to my children the loss of Mitt Romney, or John McCain. You just simply did not have that," said a suburban mother sitting in the waiting room of a doctor's office with the morning show streaming on the television.

The young mother, an IT professional who lives in Pittsburgh, the "Paris of Appalachia," said she was stunned once again how the media still don't get people outside of the big cities.

"Two days later and they still don't get it," said Brad Todd, a Washington based Republican consultant who also caught the show.

Nor did Republicans go to the streets and start burning stuff either, he said, "And, by the way, if Trump had lost and this had happened, think how different this coverage would be. It would, in fact, be meltdown crazy."

Brad Todd has gotten this cultural disconnect for a very long time, reaching back to the 2006 midterm elections that threw his party out of power. Todd, the founding partner of On Message, a GOP media strategy firm based in Washington, has never lost his connection to the five generations of Tennesseans that came before him.

And one of the regions he has really understood was Appalachia, which stretches from the industrial North, through the Rust Belt, down into the Deep South that distinctively follows the migration and settlement patterns of early Scots-Irish Jacksonian Democrats.

These voters are Democrats by birth, a tradition carried on from New Deal-Democrat paternity who fundamentally started breaking with their party when they began cutting them loose after flirting with their support during the 2006 midterm elections. It's been a decade since they offered voters moderate Democratic candidates.

Since then white, traditional-values, working-class, predominantly male voters have been severed from their party so they could build an urban- and cosmopolitan-centered coalition of minorities, elites and women...
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