There is no “Trump revolution” in the outcome of this election: the results say the country is divided in half, as everyone knew even before the election.
More precisely, if you look at the popular vote, Clinton’s half is a bit larger than Trump’s. Although the final data is not available yet in a third of the states, Clinton is ahead by about 300,000 votes. Probably, at the end, she will get more votes and she will be ahead by more than one percentage point.
But Clinton has lost, as Gore had lost in 2000, despite half a million more popular votes than Bush Jr. This is frustrating, regardless of the sympathy or antipathy for the candidate and the opinions on the merits of her candidacy.
During the campaign, Trump often repeated that the “system is rigged.” It’s true. It is in many ways. Number of voters in the Electoral college decide to “divert” their vote toward Clinton. If only Clinton had gotten 190,000 more votes, she would have gotten the 49 electoral votes of Florida and Pennsylvania and today, the comments would all be about her expected success, the happy legacy of Obama and so on.
Saying all this is not comforting; rather, it should help to understand how come such an underqualified candidate, as was Bush, will arrive at the White House thanks to an electoral mechanism specifically designed to distort the popular vote. Of course, in theory, there is the possibility that a number of electoral votes will decide to “divert” their vote to Clinton, giving her a victory consistent with the popular will. But it is obvious that it will not happen and next January, Trump will try to implement his reactionary “revolution.”
We will see then if the basic mobilizations that had supported Obama, Sanders and part of Clinton ‘s nominations, that is the movements against economic inequalities and the raising of the minimum hourly wage and the movements of blacks and Hispanics, will find the strength to counter a Republican majority in Congress and President Trump, which together – there is nothing like Power to smooth personal mistrust, political differences and divisions within the parties – will try to dismantle the welfare state still standing and that Obama had tried to reinforce.
Many of those who write these days say they are concerned for democracy, pretending not to know, or that they never worried before, that the plutocrats have already taken away so much democracy from the U.S. in recent decades.
They say even Obama was defeated. It is only partly true.
There is no doubt that his political vision was not revived and that Clinton’s more moderate ‘line’ lost, but the fact that cannot be underestimated is that he was not in the ballot, or that the difference in policies and personalities between him and Hillary Clinton were big and noticeable, nor that behind the candidate there is always the party – at least among Democrats, for better or for worse.
We are now trapped in a personalistic politics. And the demographics are meaningful: if we compare Clinton’s results to the results Obama got four years ago: fewer African Americans voted for her (88 per cent instead of 96 per cent), fewer Hispanics (65 instead of 71) and fewer young people (55 instead of 60). This must mean something.
And yet, the overall the number of voters decreased (about three million), but it may also be due in large part to the disgust created by this campaign, in addition to the fact that Hillary was less thrilling and convincing than Barack.
The Democrats have lost 6 million popular votes compared to 2012; and Trump won, despite having taken over a million votes less than Mitt Romney.
The South, strongly Republican for fifty years, the agricultural Prairies and agricultural province everywhere voted for Trump. The cities were predominantly Democratic, but it was not enough.
The picture deserves a detailed analysis. I stress one point.
In Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin – those rust belt states that were supposed to give a majority to Clinton, but didn’t – the industrial, or former industrial centers have actually voted for her.
There is no doubt that the continuation of the democratic vote is also the fruit of support policies for business and employment and extension of subsidies to the unemployed put in place by Obama in those areas during the crisis years. But in those cities, many industries have closed or are gone and have left behind physical, demographic and electoral rubble.
For example, in disaster struck Detroit’s Wayne County, Clinton has lost 79,000 votes compared to 2012, and then “lost” Michigan by 12,000 votes. In Milwaukee county, she has had 43,500 fewer votes and lost Wisconsin by 27,000 votes. Pennsylvania was lost by 68,000 votes, despite strong Democratic majorities in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other cities.
In other words, that “blue collar” vote that is not only white, which Obama had held to in 2012, and now many have hastily assimilated to “white” and “angry” vote for Trump, was most likely lost more due to Clinton’s limitations (and despite Obama’s merits), due to the flight from once industrious cities.
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