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Friday, November 25, 2016

 

Why Trump won Florida


Robert Stacy McCain explains:

Somewhere in Florida:

Donald Trump got 61% of the vote in this county, winning it by a margin of 40,000 votes. Considering that Trump’s statewide margin in Florida was only 120,000 votes, that means he got a third of his win right here.

We can explain this in four words: Rich, old, white people.

This county is nearly 90% white, about 30% of the population is 65 or older, and the median value of homes is over a quarter-million dollars. About a third of the residents have a bachelor’s degree or more.

For all the talk about the economic woes of the white working class, which supposedly explains how Trump won the “Rust Belt” states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, the fact is that middle- and upper-class voters, and especially older white folks with money, were the core of Trump’s 62 million voters. This was clearly evident in the Florida exit polls, where Trump got 57% of voters 65 and older, and 56% of those with incomes of $100,000 or more.

While progressives are trying to frighten people with the “Alt-Right” bogeyman, there are no neo-Nazis marching down the palm-tree-lined streets here. Trump won Florida by getting the votes of the same kind of people who always Republican — not angry skinheads, just regular middle-class people and, of course, old white folks with money.

There are a lot of old white folks with money in Florida, and thousands more of them move here every year. This county’s population is growing at about a 2% annual rate, and if you think about it, who retires to a Florida resort community? People with money, that’s who. OK, so go back about 20 years, to when today’s newly retired Floridians were in their 40s, what was happening? Republicans in 1994 took control of Congress for the first time in 40 years, and Newt Gingrich was leading the conservative opposition to Bill Clinton’s policy agenda.

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