Democrats look­ing to re­claim Mid­west US Democrats try­ing to re­build po­lit­i­cal ‘blue wall’

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

With the dust now set­tled from the elec­tion, Democrats are look­ing to re­build the po­lit­i­cal “blue wall” of tra­di­tion­ally Demo­cratic up­per Mid­west and Great Lakes states that Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump cap­tured with an ap­peal to white, work­ing-class vot­ers. Hil­lary Clin­ton’s fail­ure to hold key blocs of these vot­ers helped seal Trump’s stunning elec­toral vic­tory and leaves Democrats with a gap­ing, per­haps long-term, hole in the party’s na­tional bat­tle front.

Trump boasted of his ac­com­plish­ment at a post-elec­tion rally in Ohio. The pres­i­dent-elect crowed: “We didn’t break it, we shat­tered that sucker. We shat­tered it, man. That poor wall is busted up.” Trump car­ried Michi­gan and Penn­syl­va­nia, where Demo­cratic nom­i­nees had won the pre­vi­ous six pres­i­den­tial elec­tions. Trump also won Wis­con­sin, car­ried by Democrats in seven straight tries, and Iowa, car­ried just once by a Repub­li­can over the same pe­riod. In each, Trump vastly out­per­formed 2012 GOP nom­i­nee Mitt Rom­ney in ru­ral ar­eas, while also seiz­ing more typ­i­cally Demo­cratic-vot­ing small cities and work­ing-class sub­urbs. Should Demo­cratic vot­ing con­tinue to lag be­hind Repub­li­cans in midterm elec­tions, as it did in 2014, the re­sults could be dev­as­tat­ing in two years when the party will de­fend Se­nate seats in Michi­gan, Wis­con­sin and Penn­syl­va­nia, and try to re­take gov­er­nor­ships in Iowa, Michi­gan and Wis­con­sin.

“Democrats suf­fered the con­se­quences of ap­a­thy and se­lec­tive am­ne­sia over the past midterms and ar­ro­gance over the pres­i­den­tial elec­torate,” said Ha­ley Mor­ris, a se­nior ad­viser to Demo­crat Gary Peters’ Michi­gan Se­nate cam­paign, among the Democrats’ few 2014 vic­to­ries in the region. “We got wal­loped across the Mid­west in 2010 and 2014. Democrats had a glimpse of what the re­sults could look like with­out Barack Obama on the ticket and ig­nored it.”

Mark Jefferson, the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee’s Mid­west re­gional po­lit­i­cal di­rec­tor, said the GOP con­sis­tently fo­cused on “blue-col­lar Rea­gan Democrats, who were heav­ily trend­ing to­ward Trump.” County-spe­cific, un­of­fi­cial na­tional vot­ing data tab­u­lated by The As­so­ci­ated Press shows Clin­ton re­ceived fewer votes than Trump in places Democrats had banked on for con­sec­u­tive elec­tions, and even decades, such as Dubuque County, Iowa. — AFP

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