We can see the Trump-Reagan symmetry in the degree to which each attracted support from blue-collar non-Republicans. Both men received high support from these voters for their times — bringing longtime Democratic voters into the Republican camp. They both carried the blue-collar-dominated Midwestern states of Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — the only Republicans to do so in the past 40 years.
Indeed, these states are so important that no candidate who has carried all six has ever lost the presidency. Trump’s victories there allowed him to win despite losing the popular vote by more than 2 percentage points, something no candidate had done since 1876.
The Republican congressional leadership proclaims fidelity to Reagan’s ideas, but its deeds don’t match its words. The leadership has been AWOL on the populist issues of our day, allowing illegal immigration to continue and permitting foreign competition to hollow out communities without resistance. They have ignored the rising tide of restrictions on free speech and protests on our nation’s campuses and streets. It’s not for nothing that Ryan’s and McConnell’s favorability ratings are far lower than Trump’s.