America’s political experts got it wrong in 2016 — not because they took too few polls, but because they made the false assumption that American elections are immune to societal change.
They are, in large part, still getting things wrong, not only by failing to understand a new group of voters who put President Donald Trump in the White House but also by ignoring why they voted the way they did.
When explaining the Trump voter, the media usually offers portraits of isolated, uneducated, working-class rubes who are driven by anger, race and nationalism. To the experts and those who didn’t support Trump, it’s hard for them to see it any other way.
And while the media obsesses over the future demise of the president, they aren’t pausing to consider the strength and durability of the coalition that swept him into office. They aren’t asking why people in the Rust Belt counties who voted for former President Barack Obama twice suddenly switched to Trump.
But they should.
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