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