The great revolt Inside the populist coalition reshaping American politics

Salena Zito

Book - 2018

"Was Donald Trump's election a fluke, or did it represent a fundamental shift in the electorate that will have repercussions--for Republicans and Democrats--for years to come? The political experts wrongly called the 2016 election and they keep blowing it--constantly predicting the coming demise of President Trump without pausing to consider the durability of the winds that swept him into office. In The Great Revolt, Salena Zito and Brad Todd challenge readers to view the winning 2016 ...coalition through the lens of not only partisan realignment but also of broader cultural change--and beyond the prism of a single candidacy. The Great Revolt delves deep into the minds and hearts of the voters that make up the new populist-conservative coalition that brought Trump and Republican majorities into office. As the authors travel over 27,000 miles of back roads to interview more than three hundred Trump voters in ten Great Lake swing counties, they identify seven clusters of voters integral to the winning coalition. The mass media ascribes Trump's election to angry, ugly impulses, but Zito and Todd reveal a coalition that defies those stereotypes. When encountered in the places and routines of their daily lives, these voters explain the deliberate, sometimes conflicted choices they made to support Trump that transcend one election. Spanning a wide range of careers, economic classes, and prior electoral habits, these voters include ex-labor union leaders, newly pragmatic evangelicals, lifetime political cynics, and college-educated professionals who resisted the pull of a Clinton campaign message crafted just for them. Reacting to a culture increasingly driven by distant elites, these voters seek a movement larger than themselves, a cause that puts pragmatism above ideology, puts localism before globalism, and demands respect from Washington. Pairing Zito's signature reporting skills and Todd's big-picture political and cultural analysis, The Great Revolt marries on-the-ground investigation with the hard data analysis of electoral trends. The book reveals that the pivotal voters who unexpectedly turned the 2016 election had been hiding in plain sight--ignored by both parties, the media, and the political experts all at once. Deeply rooted themselves in the work-based, faith-driven traditional culture of the nation's interior states, Zito and Todd reframe the discussion of the "Trump voter" to answer the question, What's next?"--Dust jacket.

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Subjects
Published
New York : Crown Forum [2018]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
x, 309 pages ; 25 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9781524763688
1524763683
Main Author
Salena Zito (author)
Other Authors
Brad Todd (author)
Review by PW Annex Reviews

Zito, a New York Post journalist, and Todd, a Republican strategist, argue that the 2016 election of Donald Trump indicates that "this new fusion of populism with conservatism is a remaking of the American political axis" in an enthusiastic but repetitive book that draws broad conclusions from an examination of a narrow slice of voters. The authors interview Trump voters—mostly white, middle-aged (and older), straight, and Christian, whom they describe as "largely forgotten people"—from five states that flipped Republican in 2016. Multiple interviewees reference feeling like "part of something bigger than just me" and say that their values had been ignored by previous candidates. The authors pair these interviews with data from surveys conducted for this book to identify seven archetypes of Trump voter (such as "Red-Blooded and Blue-Collared," "Rotary Reliables," and "Silent Suburban Moms"). Glib prose (at one point, "Republican mega-donors" are described as "suffering with post-traumatic stress syndrome from Romney's loss") does the argument no favors. Partisan language and framing—"For nearly a century, American politics has put the New Deal coalition of government takers on one side, opposed by the fusion of affluence and evangelicalism of the modern Republican Party"—signal that the book's intended readership is fellow conservatives. The representation of Trump supporters as misunderstood victims steeped in Americana will likely play well with that audience. (May) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A syndicated columnist and an experienced Republican strategist delve into what makes Trump supporters tick through interviews with over 300 of them in 10 swing counties and discover that they have diverse jobs, income brackets, education levels and party allegiances.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"Standout syndicated columnist and CNN contributor Salena Zito, with veteran Republican strategist Brad Todd, reports across five swing states and over 27,000 miles to answer the pressing question: Was Donald Trump's election a fluke, or did it representa fundamental shift in the electorate that will have repercussions--for Republicans and Democrats--for years to come? The history of the American electorate is not a litany of flukes; instead it is a pattern of tectonic plate-grinding, punctuated by a landscape-altering earthquake every generation or so. Donald Trump's electoral coalition is smashing both American political parties and its previously impenetrable political news media.The political experts wrongly called the 2016 election and they keep blowing it--constantly predicting the coming demise of President Trump without pausing to consider the durability of the winds that swept him into office. The Great Revolt delves deep into the minds and hearts of the voters that make up this coalition. What emerges is a group of citizens who cannot be described by terms like "angry," "male," "rural," or the often-used "racist." They span job descriptions, income brackets, education levels, and party allegiances. What unites them is their desire to be part of a movement larger than themselves that puts pragmatism before ideology, localism before globalism, and demands the respect it deserve from Washington. Zito and Todd have traveled on over 27,000 miles of country roads to interview more than 300 Trump voters in 10 swing counties. What they have discovered is that these voters were hiding in plain sight--ignored by both parties, the media, and the political experts all at once, ready to unite into the movement that spawned the greatest upset in recentelectoral history. Deeply rooted in the culture of these Midwestern swing states, Zito and Todd reframe the discussion of the "Trump voter" to answer the question: What's next?"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Interviews three hundred Trump voters in ten swing counties, and argues that the 2016 election was a result of a broad cultural change.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A CNN political analyst and a Republican strategist reframe the discussion of the “Trump voter” to answer the question, What’s next? NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY FOREIGN AFFAIRS • “Unlike most retellings of the 2016 election, The Great Revolt provides a cohesive, non-wild-eyed argument about where the Republican Party could be headed.”—The Atlantic Political experts were wrong about the 2016 election and they continue to blow it, predicting the coming demise of the president without pausing to consider the durability of the winds that swept him into office.Salena Zito and Brad Todd have traveled over 27,000 miles of country roads to interview more than three hundred Trump voters in ten swing counties. What emerges is a portrait of a group of citizens who span job descriptions, income brackets, education levels, and party allegiances, united by their desire to be part of a movement larger than themselves. They want to put pragmatism before ideology and localism before globalism, and demand the respect they deserve from Washington.The 2016 election signaled a realignment in American politics that will outlast any one president. Zito and Todd reframe the discussion of the “Trump voter” to answer the question, What’s next?