The result of the election left many people in Washington surprised since most polls had been predicting a victory for Hillary Clinton. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) held a panel to discuss which demographic groups had preferred Trump and why.

Panelists: Michael Barone (AEI), John Fortier (Bipartisan Policy Center), Henry Olse (Ethics & Public Policy Center), Norman J. Ornstein (AEI), Moderator: Karlyn Bowman (AEI).


White Working Class

For years the white working class feels like they are no longer important and that their views, interests, and goals are not considered. This demographic group mostly voted for Trump because of his goals of reindustrialization and the job return to the US. Further, the white working class agrees with Trump’s ideas on immigration reform and the deportation of illegal immigrants from the state. Trump’s campaign tapped into their frustration by making them believe they are the most important group.

A major part why Hilary Clinton lost the white working class was because she focused her election of minority groups and women. She believed that the white men working class would vote for her in the hope that they have daughters, which is why a large part of the adds involved children.

For example, she focused on the Pennsylvania sports radio station for campaigning because she thought that would be the channel most white working men will listen to, although she did not invest in other areas.

Further Donald Trump had an enormous success over the Evangelical group because they believe that they are no longer important, and that they do not have the freedom to perform their religious views.

He further focused on the fact that “I may not like you but I like her less.” To boot, this demographic group wanted a someone who had not been part of the Washington scene before.



Henry Olse: Trump considers himself to be the second Brexit. The polls in comparison to those of the Brexit, regarding the geographical position, are quite similar. The polls show that in the larger cities and the capital, the British voted for the establishment, as it happened in the US (New York, DC, Boston). The peripheries and the suburb cities have voted against the establishment as they want to see a change.



The Rustbelt cities endorsed Donald Trump mainly because they were historically industrial cities, and they would like to see the return of fossil fuels, coal plants, etc. to the United States.

Although on the other hand there have been states who have diverted in a different direction than they have in the past.

Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan voted Republican although they have always been Democratic. Pennsylvania could be considered part of the industrial mid-west.

North Dakota and South Dakota have also increased their preference towards Republicans. Kentucky, Missouri, Minnesota always preferred Republicans, although in this election there was a significant increase towards the move to the GOP.

Although Trump has won Arizona, Oklahoma, and Alabama, these states have been moving towards a more Democratic choice in comparison to other years.

Texas has also had an increase in their Democratic voting preference.

California, although still mainly Democratic has moved towards a more republican preference.

The conclusion is that the states are chaining their stance because they want to see change, improvement.



It could be considered a problem in the future that the legitimacy of the United States electoral government is flawed. Per say in 2000 the discrepancy issue was present as well as half a million people had voted for Al Gore – although the results were accepted because those were the rules. In today’s day it may not be seen a problem although if in the future there continues to be a discrepancy between the popular vote and the electoral college, the system may be considered flawed and illegitimate, as aspects change over time.

There are regional dynamics that need to be taken into consideration because states are leaving their old positions to look at new posts. The states that used to be Democratic are moving towards Republican and the other way around. It is of utmost importance what will happen with the white working class and whether they will receive what they are expecting from the Trump administration.


Comey letter

The ideas regarding the Comey letter and the impact which it had on the US election have been put down. The speakers do not believe that the Comey letter has made a great impact on the vote. After the letter had been released, the ads played gave Trump legitimacy to go on the offensive regarding Hillary Clinton. The speakers believe that it began a “Comey effect” which will last for 30 years or more and that it will create a new set of policies and significant changes in the Supreme Court.

The advantages for the Democratic Party are that they can sustain they will do many things although they don’t need to live up to them, whereas Trump’s administration would need to. Because the Trump campaign has set such high expectation, it may be heard to reach them, and this might be the point in which he starts losing legitimacy. He believes that he is the “alpha male”, and thinks that everybody will listen to him and comply with his demands, although he is not aware that is difficult for Congress to agree and abide by the presidency. Further the Senate is still in possession of the Phil Buster which is considered to be a key player.


Ideas on What Trump will act upon once President:

  1. The main point that is believed Donald Trump will act upon once in the oval office is building a robust infrastructure project as he promised twice as big as Clinton’s. By accomplishing a big infrastructure project, he will gain his legitimacy with the white working class because they will have proof that something is being done to save them and decrease unemployment. The price of the infrastructure package is considered to come through the wall. Trump is believed to build a wall indeed, which will provide jobs. The money he will get from the wall is by repatriating.
  2. The second order of business would be to repeal Obamacare. The best possible scenario would be to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a revised plan, as not a single replacement program has been introduced in Congress to be compared to. There will be a repeal of employer mandate which will get bipartisan support to decrease the risk. One of the worse possible scenarios would be to repeal and not replace Obamacare which will be terrible as insurance companies had to pay a price to join Obamacare, for which they had an individual mandate so that they can lower the risk.
  3. One of the best possible scenarios would be for Trump to outsource foreign policy to Bob Parker. He will become the non-executive member. The worse care scenario would be for him to run foreign policy, in which case the U.S. would become involved in a crisis with other regions of the globe. Per say regarding trade negotiations. Trump’s worldview only sees trade as a one-way street, that the US gives and other countries receive, which may instill a trade war.
  4. Further another central dilemma is if Trump’s family is left to run Trump enterprises the Congress with its investigative authority will be reluctant.


More about the event:


By: Patricia Besciu – no personal opinions included