By Kit Epstein
After over a year of heavy campaigning, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the race to the White House on November 9.
Yet, Trump didn’t just win the presidency. He flipped Democratic voting trends that have been cemented for decades.
According to The Washington Post, of the 700 counties that elected Obama into presidency, one third of those, especially those in the midwest, flipped to vote for Trump in this past election.
“The Hillary campaign very much neglected the white working class that makes up much of the areas that voted for Trump,” Jackson Dembski ’18 said. “I think it really shows how the people want a change in America that only Trump can bring.”
22 counties in Wisconsin that Obama won in the past eight years flipped to vote for Trump, according to NPR. In Michigan, there were 12.
Social studies teacher David Willick grew up in Macomb County, Michigan, one of the several counties that had a stark change in voting results and ultimately swayed the results of the election.
“This trend is not necessarily something totally new,” he said. “This happened back in the eighties when they [Macomb County] voted for Reagan. They voted for Obama because they thought, as a Democrat, he would bring back jobs, but he hasn’t done that. They became disillusioned with him, as they did with Carter in the seventies.”
According to USA Today, of the counties that flipped to support Trump, 78 percent of the population is white.
“Racism is a part of it, but the fact that they voted for Obama shows you that that’s not enough to sway the election,” Willick said.
Some members of the Staples community believe that Trump used certain campaign tactics in order to appeal to the white working class.
“Trump used rhetoric that diminished Obama’s achievements and policies in a way where he could relate to the working class and what they hated about America, specifically Obamacare,” Taylor Githens ’17 said. “I think the increase in taxes and funding towards welfare programs has tipped them over the edge the past eight years so much that they would elect somebody such as Trump.”
Donald Trump’s campaigning focused greatly on the Rust Belt states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. These states are made up of factory and industrial jobs that support our domestic economy and job preservation.
Due to NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), about 800,000 jobs, many of which are from companies like Ford and General Motors which are based out of the Rust Belt, have been outsourced to Mexico since 1997, said CNN.
“Many residents have struggled under NAFTA and the growth of international free trade,” Social studies teacher Drew Coyne said. “These same voters also were likely supporters of Senator Sanders, who also ran with anti-NAFTA positions. When Senator Sanders lost the primary to Secretary Clinton, many voters migrated to the Trump campaign’s frank, ‘America-first’ messaging.”
Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated into the position of the president of the United States on January 20th.