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Wednesday Edition: Obama-Trump-??? voters

The Preface
Wednesday Edition: Obama-Trump-??? voters
By Samuel Wonacott • Issue #44 • View online

The Takeaway: Trump loses ground with working class supporters who backed Obama in 2012
Carlos Barria/Reuters
Carlos Barria/Reuters
The 2016 election was an odd one, as far as elections go, and not only because Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton to become the President of the United States of America—an outcome few people expected, including, if known fabulist Michael Cohen is to be believed, Donald Trump himself.
The election was odd, in part, because of the millions of white, working-class voters who backed Barack Obama in 2012 and, in a confounding volte-face, Trump in 2016. These enigmatic souls, denizens, mostly, of the Midwest, became an obsession for political scientists, data journalists, and pundits the moment it became clear that they played a pivotal role in delivering the election to Trump.
A big question, now that the 2020 election is barreling into view, is whether those voters will stick with Trump.
A new study by the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group suggests the President will need to tread softly with those voters if he wants to keep them on his side.
According to the study, most Americans regard Trump no differently than they did when he was first elected. If you disliked Trump in 2016, you probably dislike him today. If you thought he was destined to make America Great Again, you probably think he’s well on his way to doing so.
For Obama-Trump voters, however, President Trump has become notably less admired. In 2016, 85% of Obama-Trump supporters viewed the President favorably, but that percentage had fallen to 66% in 2019—a bigger drop than for any other segment of the electorate.
The 2016 election came down to a handful of Rustbelt states that had long voted for Democrats in presidential elections—particularly Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Trump eked out narrow victories in those states, in part, by convincing white, working-class voters without a college degree, some of whom had voted for Obama in 2012, to back him.
According to the Cook Political Report, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are among five states considered anyone’s game in 2020.
Scoops and Tidings
An Abraham Lincoln Museum Pays $6 Million for a Hat - The Atlantic
Democrats' Huge Field Reflects the High Perceived Value of the Nomination - The Cook Political Report
Happy Birthday, Simpsons, But I Wish You Were Dead - The American Conservative
Quote of the Week
“There is danger in the exuberant feeling of ever growing power which the advance of the physical sciences has engendered and which tempts man to try, “dizzy with success”, to use a characteristic phrase of early communism, to subject not only our natural but also our human environment to the control of a human will. The recognition of the insuperable limits to his knowledge ought indeed to teach the student of society a lesson of humility which should guard him against becoming an accomplice in men’s fatal striving to control society – a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization which no brain has designed but which has grown from the free efforts of millions of individuals.” — F.A. Hayek, who was born on this day in 1899.
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Samuel Wonacott

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