Some Trump supporters are racist. Some Trump supporters are misogynist. But the key to Donald Trump’s election victory was “Change We Can Believe In.”
Some of you may recall the quote being from Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. “Hope” and “Change We can Believe In” were the two slogans most associated with President Obama’s victory that year.
Humorously enough, change was one of the dominant factors for Trump’s victory in the election. Regardless of race, gender, or education, Trump won the “change” portion of the vote.
According to the Washington Post, “Provided with four candidate qualities and asked which mattered most to their vote, almost 4 in 10 (39 percent) said a candidate who ‘can bring needed change.’ (A candidate who ‘has the right experience’ was the second most important character trait.) Among those change voters, Trump took 83 percent of the vote to just 14 percent for Clinton.”
Donald Trump won because of dissatisfaction with the status quo and with the direction changes are going. Dissatisfaction with the federal government added to Trump’s appeal.
When voters were asked how they felt about the federal government, the CNN exit poll indicates that those who answered enthusiastic or satisfied comprised 29 percent of those polled, and Clinton took those voters 76 percent to Trump’s 19 percent. Voters who answered dissatisfied or angry took 69 percent of the poll, with Trump leading Clinton 57 percent to 36 percent.
Donald Trump also took a significant portion of the “Don’t Like Either Candidate” camps who voted for the two primary parties. Without that vote, Clinton would have had the election.
A study conducted by Edison Research points out how significant the “Neither” category was for the election. In Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, and Florida, Trump won large portions of the “Neither” voters. In Wisconsin, one of the key states, Trump acquired 60 percent of the “Neither” vote compared to Clinton’s 23 percent. In the closest of the listed states, Trump won 11 percent more of those votes than Clinton. The study noted “One of the most intriguing aspects of the ‘Neithers’ is that a significant portion of those who were unfavorable to both Clinton and Trump were favorable to President Obama.”
The Washington Postalso pointed out “Just 1 in 3 voters said they thought the country was ‘generally going in the right direction.’ Clinton won 90 percent of that group. But, among the two-thirds of people who said things were ‘seriously off on the wrong track,’ Trump took 69 percent.”
The shouts claiming racism and bigotry being significant players lacks credibility. The New York Times indicates Trump took 8% of the black vote, more than either Mitt Romney or John McCain. Donald Trump also got more of the Hispanic and Asian vote than did Romney.
In this election, change was the dominating force. People wanted something different. They wanted someone who would challenge the status quo. Donald Trump fit that bill. In fact, Trump has arguably made more significant and effective use of mass media than any other president since FDR’s “fireside chats” on the radio.
Trump also made significant inroads into potential Democratic votes due to the October announcement of increased healthcare costs under Obamacare. The Clinton email scandal played a role too, with over 60 percent of voters who had concerns over Clinton’s email use going to Trump.
Racial bias and bigotry appear among the least concerns of voters, despite the noisy outcry. Honestly, racism, sexism, and bigotry in all its forms make for great stories (ones that get lots of attention). These are things the majority of people are concerned about, and rightly so. As such, stories on these topics will generally get more attention than ones featuring “change” or “economy” as key topics.
So what do you think was/were the primary cause(s) for Donald Trump’s victory? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Mark Makela/Getty Images]