Why is the Republican candidate leading in the electoral college vote? Because he won four states in the Great Lakes region: Pennsylvania; Ohio; Michigan; and Wisconsin, all of which voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. How did DJT win those states? By better framing his messages. In a previous post – https://charlog.blog/2016/11/27/education-not-income-predicted-who-would-vote-for-trump/ – it was shown that voters without college degrees – regardless of income levels – supported Trump more than they had supported Romney – and that voters with college degrees – regardless of income levels – supported HRC more than they had supported Obama. Why?
Trump’s messaging was clear, concise, and well framed (if disingenuous) : you have lost your good paying jobs to undocumented immigrants, people of color, women, and foreigners ( appealing to lower income voters); and your security is threatened by people of color and immigrants (appealing to those with higher incomes). ” I will take charge and fix these issues”, he said. While education level and knowledge don’t always correspond, they did here, in the majority: his appeal was effectively anti-elite. That his frames were racist, misogynist, and xenophobic makes them despicable, but not ineffective.
I am not clear what Clinton’s message was, except that she was Not DJT, and while she appealed to elites, she did not even get a majority of white women’s votes. She failed in those states because she failed to frame her messages to appeal to voters who feel they have lost ground.
An earlier post is this blog tracks the decline of the middle class to the decline of labor unions – https://charlog.blog/2016/11/27/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-american-working-class-exactly-parallels-the-rise-and-fall-of-labor-unions/ – and we must frame our messages moving forward that to rebuild the middle class, we must organize and rebuild on the strength of organized labor, and attract the voters HRC lost…
Messaging is a key to winning over voters, and framing is a key to effective messaging – see, for example, “Don’t Think of an Elephant”, by George Lakoff.
N.B.: one of the few positive results of this election has been the exposure of the weakness of the term “midwest”. More than 30 years ago, I said to a young colleague that we lived in the Great Lakes region, not the ‘midwest’. He thought and replied: “The midwest consists of the Great Lakes and the Great Plains.” “And why would you group those two together?”, I replied.
Some pundits are now calling the Great Lakes the industrial midwest…