THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2021
The New York Times dares to ask: Yesterday morning, the New York Times did it again.
The famous Gotham-based daily newspaper broke every rule in the book. It published a news report about the reason why Trump voters voted for Trump.
Correction or clarification! The newspaper published a news report about the reasons (plural) why some Trump voters may have voted for Trump. Hard-copy headline included, the news report started like this:
Report Paints A Dire Picture For Democrats In the Midwest
The share of the Democratic presidential vote in the Midwest declined most precipitously between 2012 and 2020 in counties that experienced the steepest losses in manufacturing and union jobs and saw declines in health care, according to a new report to be released this month.
The party’s worsening performance in the region’s midsize communities—often overlooked places like Chippewa Falls, Wis., and Bay City, Mich.—poses a dire threat to Democrats, the report warns.
Nationally and in the Midwest, Democratic gains in large metropolitan areas have offset their losses in rural areas. And while the party’s struggles in the industrial Midwest have been well-chronicled, the 82-page report explicitly links Democratic decline in the region that elected Donald J. Trump in 2016 to the sort of deindustrialization that has weakened liberal parties around the world.
“We cannot elect Democrats up and down the ballot, let alone protect our governing majorities, if we don’t address those losses,” wrote Richard J. Martin, an Iowa-based market researcher and Democratic campaign veteran, in the report titled “Factory Towns.”
All liberals know that major newspapers aren't supposed to do this. We know why Trump voters voted for Trump. The reason is known to be this:
Amerika is crawling with racists.
All liberals know that that's the reason why Trump voters voted for Trump. Presumably, it also explains why Republican candidates for the House received 47.7% of the nationwide vote in last November's 435 House elections, even after four years of Trump.
Even after four years of Trump, why did so many people vote the way they did? This strikes us as an important question—but in the streets of our self-impressed / self-assured Blue Towns, we tend to get extremely upset when major newspapers ask it.
Please don't speak to The Others, we cry. Also, Please don't look for varied reasons behind all those Republican votes.
Please don't speak to The Others, we cry. This is a play on the old zoo bromide, Please don't feed the animals.
We don't like it when these journalists act like there may be more than one reason for all those Republican votes. We very strongly like to stick with The One Big Story We Like.
Our profit-seeking corporate cable channels encourage this part of our psyche. This is Classic Tribal Thinking, major anthropologists tell us. Our brains are wired to produce such thinking. It's as human as apple pie!
For ourselves, we're inclined to see things a little bit differently. We'll turn again to the data from two recent sets of elections:
House elections, November 2008
Democratic candidates: 53.2% of the nationwide vote
Republican candidates: 42.6% of the nationwide vote
Resulting membership: 257 D, 176 R
(117.5 million votes cast)
House elections, November 2020
Democratic candidates: 50.8% of the nationwide vote
Republican candidates: 47.7% of the nationwide vote
Resulting membership: 222 D, 213 R
(150.3 million votes cast)
There are no perfect comparisons between election years. No two such years are just alike—not even 2008, when Obama was elected to his first term, and 2020, when Biden was elected to his.
Those two election years weren't exactly alike. That said, even after four years of Trump, a lot of people voted for Republican House candidates (and for Trump himself).
Even after four years of Trump, Democratic candidates attracted a smaller chunk of the nationwide vote than they had in 2008, when no one had heard of Trump. How could such a thing have happened? Tis a question devoutly to be asked!
Why did so many people vote for Trump last fall, and for Republican candidates? Even more importantly, in what ways might Democrats peel a chunk of those voters back in line with our own blue voting preferences?
We'd be curious to see such questions explored. After all, if voters had voted in 2020 they way they did in 2008, Democrats would have a larger majority in the House, and they might even have a real majority in the Senate, rather than the ersatz "majority of 48" which Democrats currently claim.
Where did those various voters go? Correctly or otherwise, the news report in yesterday's Times examined that very question.
How might Democrats peel some of those lost voters back? That question was also explored in the study on which the Times reported. Stating the obvious, the ability to peel some of those back could be extremely helpful moving forward.
Why do people vote the way they do? In truth, it's hard to say.
Even after four year of Trump, Republican candidates for the House received roughly 72 million votes last November. Those votes were cast by roughly 72 million different voters.
Presumably, those 72 million people aren't all exactly the same. Except in the Mandated Narratives of Our Town, one of which goes like this:
Amerika is crawling with racists.
Here in Our Town, we love that story, It makes us feel morally good.
We humans are like that, top experts all say. Our brains tend to be wired for that.
Tomorrow, we'll start to ask an important political question:
How do We in our Blue Towns appear to all The Others?
What do We look like to Them? More specifically, what dumb things do we do every day which may cost our team votes?
Even in our flawless Blue Towns, our infirmities and delusions are many. We human beings are wired that way, those leading top scholars all tell us.
Tomorrow: Attention, K-mart shoppers! But also Iowa voters!