Report from focus groups with Independent & Democratic Trump voters in Macomb County
The path for Democrats to take back Trump voters and win down-ballot runs through the nation’s working class communities, starting in the formerly industrial states and Upper Midwest. That is why Democracy Corps decided to conduct our first focus groups of 2017 in Macomb County, Michigan, joined by the Roosevelt Institute.
As Greenberg recently wrote for The American Prospect, Democrats don't have a white working class problem, as so many have suggested. They have a working class problem that includes working people in their own base. We can learn an immense amount from listening and talking to the white working class independent and Democratic Trump voters, particularly those who previously supported Obama or failed to turnout in past presidential contests.
What better place to listen to them than Macomb County – a county that Obama carried twice and easily could have delivered Trump his margin in Michigan in 2016? After all, this is the county where Stan Greenberg first studied Reagan Democrats in 1985 as documented in Middle Class Dreams and where Democracy Corps conducted a wave of research in 2008 before Macomb voted to elect the first African American president.
These voters have not regretted their vote for Trump. There was no “buyer’s remorse.” None of the 35 participants in the course of the focus group discussion or in their private post-group post-cards to President Trump pulled back from their vote, which is an impressive indication of the strength of Trump's support. They are clear about why they voted for him and pray he keeps his promises and succeeds.