Saturday, August 19, 2017

Trump-Feingold voters? Sure seems like it

I saw this map get tweeted out yesterday, and found it very telling.

That map is comparing the vote totals, so the bluer something is, the better Trump did compared to Johnson, and vice versa for the red part of the map. As the tweet implies, Trump generally did better than Johnson in the 608 and 715 area codes, and Johnson did better than Trump in the 414, 262 (especially) and the 920.

So what can we learn from this? I think that Dems have a chance for a strong bounce-back in the Western part of the state in 2018, since a common thread in a voter's mind with Trump and Feingold could be related to an anti-establishment, anti-big money mentality. Yes, I know it's silly to think of Trump as anti-big money these days, but vs Hillary Clinton, that was the image being presented to casual and low-info voters in November 2016. We have seen more than a few articles since the election that indicated part of the reason these places flipped to Trump was out of fear and frustration with a political, economic and social system that they felt was leaving them behind.

With Trump now being exposed as a racist, ineffective moron as president, with little changing in the economy (especially in rural Wisconsin), you would think that a strong message of real economic populism against big money and Big Ag would resonate well with those Trump-Feingold voters. And I would bet more than a few of those low-info Trump voters have been shamed by Trump's open welcoming of white supremacists into the White House, and a unifying message of "THIS IS NOT WHAT THIS STATE AND THIS COUNTRY IS ABOUT" should be a central message of Dems in Wisconsin in all corners of 2018.

A quick sidelight- this map also shows the fallacy that "Clinton did better than Feingold in November." She didn't. It was more a reflection of people being more likely to vote 3rd party in the presidential race. Take a look at these final figures from the 2016 election.

Total votes
Clinton 1,382,536 46.5%
Feingold 1,380,335 46.8%

This is the base that Dems should start from, and try to work up from. Interesting how it's not much different than the 46-47% they've consistently gotten against Scott Walker, is it?

Back to the map. Let's go over to the red eastern half of the state is a strong indicator of the influence of "never Trump" voters that get their orders from AM talk radio. These are individuals who got upset that Trump's vicious tone and ignorance was in their face, and they turned away from it (they prefer the more subtle dog-whistles of Ron Johnson, Paul Ryan or Scott Walker).

These people were never with Trump to begin with, and followed along with Walker and his AM radio spokespeople in April 2016, when they voted for Ted f'ing Cruz over Trump. But also note where Trump won, and how it matches up with the blue parts that he overperformed in for the first map.

This is where Dem candidates for Congress can win big with a message of "I am the only candidate that will stop Trump's madness." It also could be a good place for Dems to win downticket, as the general idiocy and two-facedness of Walker has become apparent, as Scotty has kissed up to Trump for the past year, and is now refusing to call out Drumpf for his racism and false equivalencies after the events in Charlottesville. This would also have a good byproduct of driving up anger and resentment with Dem voting constituencies that will be needed next year.

Also, a strong message against corporate handouts like the Fox-con could also be a winning argument in the eastern half, as the resources being funneled down to the SE corner of the state will result in some funds being taken away from road projects and other services in the Milwaukee and Fox Cities areas.

Lastly, Trump's lagging results in eastern Wisconsin also shows an opportunity to attack RW talk radio itself, as a dishonest broker that isn't telling people the full story. The dummies who still listen to KLAN radio 1130 and Bader and other cynical AM slime might not listen, but a lot of casual bystanders and low-info voters might, and once you can start breaking the Bubble of Bullshit that exists in the 262 and 920 as a result of corrosive talk radio and other obnoxious GOP partisans, then the GOP's ability to run up the margins they need in those areas goes down greatly.

Those are my musings, and I'm sure I'm missing a lot of angles. But the fact that there were a sizable amount of Trump-Feingold and Clinton/3rd Party-Johnson voters is something that Dem leaders in Wisconsin should think about, learn from, and utilize to win in 2018.


  1. Sorry, but KLAN would broadcast west of the Mississippi. It would be WASP radio around those parts. ;)

    1. While funny and true, let's not leave out the Catholic part of E. Wisconsin voting habits (single-issue abortion voters).

      But this also presents an opportunity among non-dead enders, with "social justice/decency" arguments for Dems.

  2. my thoughts exactly. the 6 trump-feingold counties always intrigued me