This sympathetic frustrating book is part of the Great Correction, the post-2016 attempt to understand the Trump voters whom the journalists, strategists and others the authors lump together as 'the professional left' failed to appreciate before Election Day.
To be sure, Zito and Todd pull some punches. Most glaringly, they discount the role of race in the race, with not a word about Pepe the Frog, Charlottesville and Trump’s reluctance to distance himself from David Duke. Similarly, they ignore the fact that Trump’s margin among white voters was actually 1% greater than Ronald Reagan’s in his 1984 landslide over Walter Mondale ... but they paint a portrait of Trump’s base that is not standard GOP-issue, and a Democratic party overly reliant upon its upstairs-downstairs bicoastal coalition ... a book which provides food for thought.
People struggling to understand what is happening in American politics would do well to read this fascinating book co-written by one of the first journalists to see what was happening to a key slice of the electorate — the white working class in the upper Midwest. And Salena Zito, who was based in Pittsburgh, had a clear view of what was happening well before the stunning election of 2016. ... The former blue-collar Democrats have gone through some of the most radical change in recent years due to technology, global wage competition and cultural changes.
Journalist Salena Zito and...Brad Todd have co-authored a new book that provides a taxonomy of 2016 Trump supporters, one that claims to upend the stereotypical narratives of the mainstream press. 'We spent time in diners, watering holes, bed-and-breakfasts, and coffee shops, finding Trump voters where they live and work,' they write. Where others saw an irate, dispossessed, racist, uneducated mass eager to burn it all down, Zito and Todd travel through Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, deploying 'smart empirical research with on-the-scene, shoe-leather reporting' in search of the true Trumpistas, those 'hidden in plain sight.'
The authors interview Trump voters—mostly white, middle-aged (and older), straight, and Christian, whom they describe as 'largely forgotten people' ... The representation of Trump supporters as misunderstood victims steeped in Americana will likely play well with that audience.