The Washington Free Beacon‘s Elizabeth Harrington appeared on Fox News Monday to discuss Donald Trump’s appeal to white working-class voters and the pathway he’s hoping they will provide him to the Republican nomination and the White House.
Fox News host Jon Scott asked Harrington whether Trump’s contention that he’s attracting new members to the GOP has the potential to help him win a general election.
“I think it does. There’s a lot of people out there who feel abandoned by both parties,” Harrington said. “Thus far, he’s shown that he’s attractive to white working-class voters where there’s a lot of potential there because in 2012 there were 2 million fewer whites that voted than in 2008, and I think he’s going to do well in Michigan tomorrow because he has this blue-collar appeal.”
Harrington added that, should Trump win the Republican nomination, he could put states back on the map that had not been in play for the GOP for decades like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
“Trump talks like blue-collar voters,” Harrington said. “They like his message on trade and other issues, and there’s a lot of potential for him there.”
The segment led with a discussion of a Wall Street Journal article posted Sunday night discussing Trump’s strong support from a group that could help him succeed in the upper Midwest:
For now, Mr. Trump leads the GOP race in convention delegates and states won, largely built on a cadre of supporters—mostly white and without college degrees—who are angry about economic stagnation and are drawn to his aggressive immigration proposals, among other stances.
Some demographers and political analysts say Mr. Trump, if he wins the nomination, may boost voting rates among white, working-class residents in states where their turnout was low in 2008 and 2012. These include Pennsylvania and upper Midwest states such as Michigan, although a Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll released Sunday showed Mr. Trump trailing Democrat Hillary Clinton in that state by 17 percentage points in a potential general-election matchup. The upper Midwest is diversifying more slowly than the nation as a whole.
Harrington envisioned a scenario with union leaders backing Hillary Clinton but the union members potentially breaking for Trump, which would mark a significant cut into one of the Democratic Party’s most reliable voting blocs.