This isn’t exactly breaking news, but the confirmation is strikingly clear. First, let me be clear, not all Trump voters are racists and that’s not the implication here. What is clear from this study (A study by the Voter Study Group) is that fear of blacks, Muslims, and immigrants was what motivated many previous Obama voters to vote for Trump. Seems a bit counter-intuitive and that is not addressed directly in the article, but does provide some insight into how Trump targeted those he knew he could “convert”.
The main takeaways: While most voters stuck with their party in last year’s election, white voters who switched from Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016 were motivated by their views on immigration, blacks and Muslims — and, to a lesser extent, by their views of the economy and their own financial circumstances.
“What stands out most, however, is the attitudes that became more strongly related to the vote in 2016: attitudes about immigration, feelings toward black people and feelings toward Muslims,” Sides writes in his essay. “This pattern fits the prevailing discourse of the two campaigns and the increased attention to issues involving ethnic, racial and religious minorities in 2016.”
My personal belief is that too many stupid (ignorant, uninformed, parochial, whatever) people voted and not enough smart people did. It’s that simple. But these people will no doubt be voting again in the next election and we have to either counter that with a larger Dem turnout, reach out to these people and try to address their fears somehow, or both. Not an easy task. Hope some smart folks are working on this at the DNC and local Dem parties.