Democrats will likely lose the rust belt again in 2020

NY Times:
Midterm victories in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin gave Democrats hope of retaking the Rust Belt battleground states that handed the presidency to Donald J. Trump in 2016.

Yet success in the midterms might not mean as much for Democratic presidential candidates as the party might think. Nearly two-thirds of voters in six battleground states who voted for President Trump in 2016 — but for Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 — say they intend to back the president against each of his top rivals, according to recent polling by The New York Times Upshot/Siena College.

The results suggest that the party’s winning formula in last year’s midterms may not be so easy to replicate in a presidential election. The Democrats’ relatively moderate House candidates succeeded in large part by flipping a crucial segment of voters who backed the president in 2016. If these voters remain open-minded again in 2020, Democrats will have a ready-made blueprint for winning back the crucial Rust Belt battlegrounds.

This group is only a sliver of the electorate — 2 percent of registered voters — and is not representative of all voters. They are overwhelmingly white, 60 percent are male, and two-thirds have no college degree. But the president’s strength among them helps explain why he is highly competitive in states that Democrats carried just one year ago.

Many of the voters who said they voted Democratic but now intended to vote for Mr. Trump offered explanations that reflect longstanding theories about why the party out of power tends to excel in midterms.

Michelle Bassaro, 61, is a Trump supporter, but in the midterm election, she voted for the Democrat in her district to balance the administration’s power. She said she had voted for Republicans when Democrats were in the White House for the same reason, consistent with research that shows that some people intentionally vote for divided government.

Another reason was local: The Democrat promised to bring more jobs to her area, Nanty Glo, Pa. (The name comes from a Welsh phrase that means “streams of coal,” but its coal jobs have disappeared.)

Voters often think differently about state and national issues. Some said they had voted for their local Democrat in the midterms because the person had served well for a long time, or because the candidate’s policies would directly help their community. But presidential politics were another story, they said. Many of the white working-class voters in the Rust Belt who supported the president in 2016 were traditionally Democratic voters who backed President Obama in 2012 and even continued to vote Democratic down-ballot in 2016. Democrats generally held on to these voters in 2018, but the reasons many of them voted for Mr. Trump, like his promises on immigration or the economy, could still be relevant.

Michael Townsend, 38, a high school-educated construction worker in Dunmore, Pa., was a lifelong Democrat — until he voted for Mr. Trump.

“In the last couple years, the Democrats had kind of been losing the work, and I thought Trump might get us that work,” he said. “And to be honest, I’ve been in construction 21 years and the last two years were the best years I’ve ever had.”
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There is more.

I find it interesting that the reporters view people who vote for Democrats as open-minded.  That is a bit of a hoot.  The "Resistance" votes are the least open-minded people in the country. But the bottom line is the Schiff show did not work and the impeachment effort is turning borderline voters against the Democrats.

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