The Great Revolt – Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics – by Salena Zito and Brad Todd looks deeply into the Trump vote in the Midwestern counties that swung the vote to Trump. Salena Zito was noted for her astute observation that Trump’s supporters took him seriously but not literally and his opposition (from both parties) took him literally but not seriously.
Two issues that polled high in the swing from Obama to Trump was gun rights and the pending Supreme Court nominations. These issues were tightly related.
The NRA heavily supported Trump and realized what few Democrats did. Women are the fastest growing group of gun buyers and acquirers of concealed carry permits. Some women commented on the empowerment they feel in being able to protect themselves.
Some of these women who switched from Obama to Hillary objected to the suggestion that Hillary’s sex was considered a qualification. While some of the women expressed distaste with some of Trump’s misogynistic comments, gun rights weighed heavier.
Obama had avoided the anti-gun position; Hillary embraced it. This made her power to pick Supreme Court justices even more of a critical issue. The Second Amendment was subject to a fragile balance on the Court. Scalia’s death made it more so.
The white working class in the Midwest that had been strongly union and Democratic were also strongly pro-gun. This was a critical issue that pried them away from the Democratic coalition.
The NRA ran extremely effective ads showing women who had successfully defended themselves with guns, and their vulnerability if this right was threatened.
One woman Trump supporter questioned how protesters wearing vagina suits were supposed to be conveying empowerment.
Guns were considered more important to female empowerment than vagina suits.