The president’s courting of voters in the Heartland is a shrewd political calculation by Team Trump. More than half of the 206 so-called “pivot” counties—areas that twice voted for Obama then switched to Trump in 2016—are located in the Midwest, as are four “pivot” states: Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Hillary Clinton won Minnesota by fewer than 50,000 votes; Barack Obama won it by 225,000 votes in 2012.
Over the past decade, Midwestern states have been bleeding blue votes and politicians. With the exception of Minnesota, every single Midwestern state has a Republican governor (even my home state, the basket case Illinois) and Republicans control state houses throughout the Midwest except for Illinois. This once-reliably Democratic region is turning red faster than Elon Musk’s investors and Trump is only part of the reason why.
Democrats have been counting on the Great Lakes to deliver a Big Blue Wave this November to help win back control of Congress, but the current outlook portends a possible riptide that threatens to carry Democrats even further out to political sea. With no compelling message aside from impeachment, no policy agenda for the economy or national security, and no tactical strategy to lure swing voters back, Democrats might reverse the historical trend of the out-of-power party gaining more power in the midterm election. Republicans have a legitimate chance to expand their majority in the U.S. Senate and curtail losses in the House to less than a dozen seats.
Is the Midwest the next South for the Democratic Party?
Julie Kelly has the distressing numbers — distressing for midwestern Democrats.