Why the GOP needs to pay attention

Last month, National Review released its “Trump issue,” or rather its anti-Trump issue.  RedState has been running nonstop anti-Trump coverage, to the satisfaction of its readership.  Undoubtedly, Trump inspires great animosity; statistically, he is one of the most disliked politicians.  However, Trump also inspires great affection among a subset of voters, and it isn't the voters that you might think.

Noticeably absent from Trump's New Hampshire victory speech were culture war staples like abortion and gay marriage.  Nor were tax cuts or other fiscal conservative red meat being served up.  Instead, Trump harped on trade, border security, and jobs.  As S.E. Cupp pointed out, the typical Trump supporter is not a GOP hardliner, but what could more accurately be called a “Reagan Democrat.”

As Emily Elkins described it, “[p]olling data reveal that Trump supporters are more likely to be male, white, older, with less education  but they are not more likely to be right-wing.”

These are older, blue-collar white voters, who have become disaffected from the present-day Democratic party; in fact, many of them are still registered Democrats (a group Trump does particularly well among).

This is also not a group that the Republican party can safely ignore.  They have voted Democratic in the past and could easily return to that party in the future.  Blue-collar white voters are also prominent in the key swing states that the Republicans need in order to win the White House (Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania).  The Republican Party should make a serious effort to figure out what issues are important to these voters and how it can appeal to them.

Immigration is a sensitive and complex issue, and it is one that the Republican party needs to take seriously.  Trump's message is resonating for a reason.  There are solid economic, cultural, and political reasons to support a reduction in immigration, both legal and illegal.  Further, when voters look at what is happening in Europe, they say, No, thank you.

Trump is not a one-issue candidate; voters are being drawn to his populist message on trade and jobs.  It isn't a coincidence that Trump does best in economically depressed rust-belt states and more poorly in areas with higher rates of economic growth.  At the moment, Trump is luring these voters with the promise that he will bring our jobs back from "China, and Japan, and Vietnam."

Trump's success is partially the result of walking through an open door.  Blue-collar white Democrats are understandably frustrated that the Democratic Party has become so minority-focused, and they are shopping for a candidate who is talking about issues of concern to them.

RedState took a break from bashing Trump in order to bash John Kasich for expanding Medicaid.  Kasich is a moderate Republican who is comfortable with the existence of a social safety net.  Apparently, for the libertarian purists at RedState, this makes him an evil RINO traitor.  Meanwhile, Trump is telling disaffected voters how he is going to improve their lives.  Is it any wonder that Trump's brand is selling among less ideological voters?

Last month, National Review released its “Trump issue,” or rather its anti-Trump issue.  RedState has been running nonstop anti-Trump coverage, to the satisfaction of its readership.  Undoubtedly, Trump inspires great animosity; statistically, he is one of the most disliked politicians.  However, Trump also inspires great affection among a subset of voters, and it isn't the voters that you might think.

Noticeably absent from Trump's New Hampshire victory speech were culture war staples like abortion and gay marriage.  Nor were tax cuts or other fiscal conservative red meat being served up.  Instead, Trump harped on trade, border security, and jobs.  As S.E. Cupp pointed out, the typical Trump supporter is not a GOP hardliner, but what could more accurately be called a “Reagan Democrat.”

As Emily Elkins described it, “[p]olling data reveal that Trump supporters are more likely to be male, white, older, with less education  but they are not more likely to be right-wing.”

These are older, blue-collar white voters, who have become disaffected from the present-day Democratic party; in fact, many of them are still registered Democrats (a group Trump does particularly well among).

This is also not a group that the Republican party can safely ignore.  They have voted Democratic in the past and could easily return to that party in the future.  Blue-collar white voters are also prominent in the key swing states that the Republicans need in order to win the White House (Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania).  The Republican Party should make a serious effort to figure out what issues are important to these voters and how it can appeal to them.

Immigration is a sensitive and complex issue, and it is one that the Republican party needs to take seriously.  Trump's message is resonating for a reason.  There are solid economic, cultural, and political reasons to support a reduction in immigration, both legal and illegal.  Further, when voters look at what is happening in Europe, they say, No, thank you.

Trump is not a one-issue candidate; voters are being drawn to his populist message on trade and jobs.  It isn't a coincidence that Trump does best in economically depressed rust-belt states and more poorly in areas with higher rates of economic growth.  At the moment, Trump is luring these voters with the promise that he will bring our jobs back from "China, and Japan, and Vietnam."

Trump's success is partially the result of walking through an open door.  Blue-collar white Democrats are understandably frustrated that the Democratic Party has become so minority-focused, and they are shopping for a candidate who is talking about issues of concern to them.

RedState took a break from bashing Trump in order to bash John Kasich for expanding Medicaid.  Kasich is a moderate Republican who is comfortable with the existence of a social safety net.  Apparently, for the libertarian purists at RedState, this makes him an evil RINO traitor.  Meanwhile, Trump is telling disaffected voters how he is going to improve their lives.  Is it any wonder that Trump's brand is selling among less ideological voters?