On the back roads and side streets of places like Erie, Pa., and Kenosha, Wis., emerge blue-collar optimists, evangelical pragmatists and suburban vacillators who turned the dials just enough to shock the body politic, leading to an emerging populist-conservative alliance that wrecked the old partisan framework.
Far from a fluke, the 2016 election was a product of the tectonic plate-grinding of our society — a backlash against globalism, secularism and coastal elitism. An August 2017 survey of 2,000 self-reporting Trump voters in the Rust Belt, commissioned by me and my co-author, revealed their motivations, priorities and decision making, and reinforced what we had found in our interviews.
In “The Great Revolt,” out Tuesday, we pinpoint and describe several archetypes of the new Trump voter, many of whom broke ranks to back him. Those hoping to predict what comes next in American life should study them — because the ballot box likely won’t be their last venue for change.