Local GOP candidates: why Donald Trump?

image via wikipedia

image via wikipedia

The last thing I want this blog to be is an analysis of the presidential race, or of Donald Trump in particular. I focus on helping first-time candidates, and help them organize the basics of their campaign. 

But Clare Malone had an interesting article at 538 this week called "Why Donald Trump?" Candidates running in areas where Trump performs well should check it out. It attempts to explain why voters are drawn to him. If your election depends on getting those same voters, it is worth understanding why they support Trump. 

Where does Trump perform well?

Below is a map only of the states that have voted already. The boundaries are counties, with Trump in purple. 

image via  brilliant maps

image via brilliant maps

Below is a map from January of polling data, and the areas Trump does best (boundaries are congressional districts).

image via  American Thinker

Various theories

Sean Trende, RealClearPolitics: A three part series we'll call the "missing whites" (who feel silenced) theory (one - two - three)
Scott Winship, National Review: It's the culture, stupid
Samantha Bee, Rolling Stone: A look at why young, college educated people support Trump
Neil Irwin, New York Times: Trump performs well where people ethnically identify as American
Matthew MacWilliams, Politico: People who have a bent towards authoritarianism like Trump

Conclusions & advice

In the end, many of the theories above sound reasonable to me. And most of these folks follow national politics much closer than I do. I don't have an independent theory. I do recommend spending more time reading right-leaning writers theorize about Trump than left-leaning writers. 

My advice to you as a candidate? Ask the voters in your district why they support Trump. Also ask them to differentiate between federal and local politics, because their support for Trump may or may not be solely focused on Washington, D.C. 

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