Many people are still wondering how the Midwest, an area that the Democratic Party could generally take with ease in previous election cycles, is now becoming solidly Republican. Well, John Binder of Breitbart News perhaps has some meaningful insights that help explain this ongoing development.
Binder alluded to the “decades-long” globalization process hollowing out small and medium sized cities in the Midwest to explain this trend.
Democrat strategists published an analysis titled “Factory Towns” which detailed the significant departure of working- and middle-class communities in Middle America from the Democrats’ hold.
“The share of the Democratic presidential vote in the Midwest declined most precipitously between 2012 and 2020 in counties that experienced the steepest losses in manufacturing and union jobs and saw declines in health care,” the New York Times highlighted in its report.
The analysis focused its attention on the Great Lakes region, Missouri, and Iowa, specifically so-called “factory towns” that depend on American manufacturing to supply jobs and healthcare to residents.
In total, the ten states studied have lost roughly two million manufacturing jobs because of globalization and managed trade since 2000. Over 70% of factory towns located in those states lost manufacturing jobs throughout that time period.
The job losses coincided with Democrats losing approximately 557,000 voters in rural counties while picking up 1.6 million votes in the Great Lakes region’s major cities and suburbs from 2012 and 2020.
Binder highlighted where Democrats’ losses were most prominent:
The losses are most profound in the factory towns of the region where Democrats lost 2.63 million votes between former President Barack Obama’s reelection in 2012 and President Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 against former President Donald Trump.
“If things continue to get worse for us in small and midsize, working-class counties, we can give up any hope of winning the battleground states of the industrial heartland,” one of the analysis’s authors wrote, per The New York Times report.
In the meantime, Republicans saw their support grow significantly in factory towns. According to the analysis’ findings, nearly half of Republican gains in the ten states studied came from factory towns that suffered downturns in employment and declining healthcare as a result.
Meanwhile, Republicans saw their support in factory towns grow significantly. The analysis found that almost half of Republican gains in the ten states reviewed had come from factory towns that have suffered joblessness and a lack of health care as a result.
Binder outlined where Republicans performed strongest in:
Those Republican gains were even more pronounced among white working-class communities and regions that have seen dramatic union membership decline as globalization has outsourced and offshored American industries to foreign countries.
The New York Times report provided more context:
Republicans also prospered in communities hit hard by the decline in manufacturing that were predominantly white. With fewer well-paying industry jobs, the power of local unions declined as well, silencing what was always the beating heart of Democratic political organizing in these areas. In 154 such counties, Democrats suffered a net loss of over 613,000 votes between the elections in 2016 and 2020.
Nine of the 10 states included in the survey have accounted for 93 percent of the loss of union members nationwide in the last two decades. And just in the last 10 years, these states have lost 10 percent of their union membership — an average that is three times greater than nationally.
I would also add that many midwestern Democrats don’t care much for woke politics, especially the type that demonizes white people and pushes deviant sexual lifestyle habits. We should remember that at one point Democrats were quite sensible on issues pertaining to basic assumptions of sex roles, immigration, and trade that favored the national interest.
The path moving forward for liberty conservatives is to focus on gutting the regulatory state, restricting immigration, pursuing bilateral free trade agreements that promote the national interest (preferably with countries in the Western Hemisphere), and rebuilding infrastructure in the Midwest. By pursuing such policies, Middle American jurisdictions could witness a resurgence in economic activity, something that has eluded them in the previous era of managerial globalization.
It would also help for Republicans to defend American historical figures and keep degeneracy in check, something that sits well with everyday voters. Public policy is just more than tinkering with tax cuts and platitudes about marginal economic reforms.