Sunday, March 12, 2017

Next steps for the Trump resistance - E.J. Dionne //The Washington Post

Next steps for the Trump resistance - The Washington Post
by E.J. Dionne

" the opposition must look ahead and grapple with two related questions: Who among Trump’s 2016 voters already have second thoughts about him, and how many of those still sticking with him are open to changing their minds?

Liberals who rightly condemn demeaning stereotypes of African Americans and Latinos must also oppose stereotyping Trump’s white working-class supporters. The Trump camp was not monolithic. Many of Trump’s ballots, after all, came not from blue-collar strongholds but from precincts dominated by well-off conservatives who routinely back Republicans.

And the decisive votes for Trump were not cast by the passionately committed. The media exit poll found that only 38 percent of those who participated in the 2016 election had a favorable view of Trump. That’s the base. The contest was settled by those who viewed both Trump and Hillary Clinton negatively. These pox-on-both-houses voters made up 18 percent of the electorate, and went 47 percent to 30 percent for Trump over Clinton, with most of the rest opting for third-party choices. These are the Trump agnostics. They are central to our political future.

Moreover, an important minority of white working-class Trump voters in the election’s three key states (Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan) favored Obama four years earlier. They are not right-wingers. For example, in 2012 in Erie County, Pa., Obama prevailed over Mitt Romney, 68,036 to 49,025. But in 2016, Trump carried the county, 60,069 to 58,112 for Clinton.

Switchers can switch again. This means focusing in the short term on how Trump’s policies will do severe harm to many who thought he would help them. An analysis by Nate Cohn of the New York Times found that those who stand to lose the most under the Republican health-care plan’s tax credits tended to support Trump over Clinton. Citizens who are hit in their pocketbooks usually notice."

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