“It’s time to bust the myth: Most Trump voters were not working class.”
Two professors writing for the Washington Post, Nicholas Carnes and Noam Lupu, penned a story published this morning that was intended to disrupt what American voters believe about Donald Trump’s unlikely 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton.
“It’s time to bust the myth: Most Trump voters were not working class,” the Post’s headline blared. The myth busters who wrote this story are professors at Duke and Vanderbilt universities, respectively.
The only problem with these myth-busting sleuths’ blockbuster story? No one ever said “most” of Trump voters were “working class.”
To set the stage for this piece, the professors cite various stories and headlines from around the time of Trump’s victory. Despite these stories being set up as the straw man for this piece, none of these stories indicate “most” of Trump’s support came from working class voters:
Media coverage of the 2016 election often emphasized Donald Trump’s appeal to the working class. The Atlantic said that “the billionaire developer is building a blue-collar foundation.” The Associated Press wondered what “Trump’s success in attracting white, working-class voters” would mean for his general election strategy. On Nov. 9, the New York Times front-page article about Trump’s victory characterized it as “a decisive demonstration of power by a largely overlooked coalition of mostly blue-collar white and working-class voters.”
What all three stories referenced above say is that Trump won a share of these voters that previous Republican nominees failed to win in recent years. That portion of the electorate, particularly in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, does get an outsized amount of media attention, but the Washington Post blaming “media coverage” for lying about the nature of Trump’s victory is itself a lie.
The truth is, if Carnes and Lupu were forced to create a false narrative just to write a “take-down” story, their story is a tremendous waste of time for all Washington Post readers.
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