Middle-Class America loves President Trump and it’s scaring the hell out of the far-left and status quo D.C. swamp as they continue to try to convince voters to turn away from the president despite one of the most remarkably successful economies in the nation’s history. The world is safer and America is stronger.
President Trump appears poised to be re-elected in 2020 for one very simple reason – he deserves to be.
“My eyesight was failing. I just couldn’t do it anymore, or at least until the doctors could figure out what was going on,” said Smith, who hopes that eye surgery will allow her to bake professionally in her home kitchen sometime next month.
While Smith’s personal life has suffered a setback since Donald Trump was elected in 2016, her support for the first Republican president she ever voted for hasn’t budged an inch. If anything, she says, her loyalty to Trump has increased since the Election Day result that seemed to take everyone by surprise — except people like her.
Smith says she was born into the Democratic Party and voted for Barack Obama twice. For the 2016 Ohio primary, she said, she even voted for Bernie Sanders to be the party’s nominee. But when it came time to pick a president, she voted with her neighbors in Ashtabula County, helping it swing from a 12-point victory for Obama in 2012 to a 19-point win for Trump.
Smith is among the scores of people I interviewed in 2016 for my book, “The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics,” along with my co-writer Brad Todd. In it, we examined the unique coalition of voters who helped sweep Trump into office.
Broken down into seven archetypes across 10 pivotal counties, the book pinpointed both lifelong traditional Republicans, who should have broken ranks with their party because of Trump’s brash style but ultimately did not, and Democrats who felt disconnected from their party or its nominee, Hillary Clinton, and instead sided with the billionaire from New York.
Conservative ideology alone did not unite this coalition. What did was conservatism fused with a populist distrust of big institutions including the media, DC politicians, Hollywood and corporations, all based in ZIP codes far removed from the people they supposedly serve.
Three years later, all 24 of the people we interviewed for “The Great Revolt” (except two we’ve been unable to reach) told us they have not wavered in their political allegiances.
Polls echo this dynamic. Earlier this month, Cook Political Report election analyst Amy Walter crunched numbers from a recent New York Times/Siena poll to show that Trump’s edge in the Electoral College remains the same or has even grown a bit since 2016 in places like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and even Minnesota, which he lost by a hair.
“It is 2016 all over again,” wrote Walter, and she’s not wrong. In many ways, our political climate is like the movie “Groundhog Day” — every day. If you woke up after Trump’s election feeling optimistic about the future, you likely still do. And if you didn’t, your hair is probably still on fire and nothing will extinguish it until the president is removed from the White House.
“If you live and work in Washington, New York or the West Coast, you don’t know anyone like me,” said Smith, who was one of many voters my co-writer and I referred to as “Hidden in Plain Sight.”
“You certainly don’t know anyone who voted for him.”
Watching the impeachment hearings, Trump haters believe his presidency is over, Smith added. But as she watches the hearings to stay informed, she said, she sees it all “in a very different light.”
“To me, since the day of his inauguration, his opponents have been trying to angle for impeachment,” Smith said. “They were sore they lost and have never gotten over it.”
…Cindy Hutchins, 58, a lifelong Democrat who lives in Michigan, flipped her party allegiance from Democratic to Republican in 2016. She fell into our “Rough Rebounder” archetype — someone who has struggled in life personally and professionally but found a way to persevere despite the circumstances.
This archetype defied traditional categorization because its members did not come to Trump via a shared political affinity, but rather a shared perspective: Like him, they had not only beaten the odds, they had shaken up the system along the way. Trump needed this kind of enthusiasm from unconventional, non-ideological independents to help him break the “blue wall” in the Great Lakes states. And he will need them again if he is to carry the Rust Belt in 2020.
Hutchins’ family problems began when her husband was injured in a work-related accident, leaving them to live off of her then-sole paycheck as a health care aide. Hutchins, who said she always considered herself “entrepreneur-y,” started peddling purses for extra cash at the break room in the hospital where she worked, which led to her selling them at a corner in Baldwin, Mich., on the weekends and holidays. Today, the Army veteran is poised to earn a BS in nursing, and now owns a variety store just steps from where she once stood outdoors selling just a table full of purses. She is more than happy with the presidency of Donald Trump. In fact, she is thrilled.
“I’d vote for him again in a heartbeat,” she says from her home in bucolic Lake County, Michigan, which was once one of the most reliably blue counties in northern Michigan until 2016. It’s one of the few places in America so Democratic, it supported landslide loser George McGovern in 1972. And yet Trump took that county by 59 percent.
Hutchins says she likes that Trump is a businessman, and even the turmoil that surrounds his administration reinforces her affection for him. She is pleased that he is not beholden to either political party and that he breaks things in the china shop that probably needed breaking anyway.