❝ In the modern era of presidential politics, no candidate has ever won the popular vote by more than Hillary Clinton did this year, yet still managed to lose the electoral college. In that sense, 2016 was a historic split: Donald Trump won the presidency by as much as 74 electoral votes (depending on how Michigan ends up) while losing the nationwide vote to Clinton by 2 million votes and counting.
❝ But there’s another divide exposed by the election, which researchers at the Brookings Institution recently discovered as they sifted the election returns. It has no bearing on the election outcome, but it tells us something important about the state of the country and its politics moving forward.
The divide is economic, and it is massive. According to the Brookings analysis, the less-than-500 counties that Clinton won nationwide combined to generate 64 percent of America’s economic activity in 2015. The more-than-2,600 counties that Trump won combined to generate 36 percent of the country’s economic activity last year.
Clinton, in other words, carried nearly two-thirds of the American economy…
❝ This appears to be unprecedented, in the era of modern economic statistics, for a losing presidential candidate. The last candidate to win the popular vote but lose the electoral college, Democrat Al Gore in 2000, won counties that generated about 54 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, the Brookings researchers calculated. That’s true even though Gore won more than 100 more counties in 2000 than Clinton did in 2016.
In between those elections, U.S. economic activity has grown increasingly concentrated in large, “superstar” metro areas, such as Silicon Valley and New York.
But it’s not the case that the counties Clinton won have grown richer at the expense of the rest of the country — they represent about the same share of the economy today as they did in 2000. Instead, it appears that, compared to Gore, Clinton was much more successful in winning over the most successful counties in a geographically unbalanced economy…
❝ “This is a picture of a very polarized and increasingly concentrated economy,” said Mark Muro, the policy director at the Brookings metro program, “with the Democratic base aligning more to that more concentrated modern economy, but a lot of votes and anger to be had in the rest of the country.”
RTFA for details, methods of research. My first response in terms of political economy is that Trump voters have been represented for decades by conservatives – Republicans or Democrats – who don’t care a rat’s ass about the human condition in their districts. They’re fixated on the same old rusty dusty economics that conservatives have blathered about forever in the GOUSA. Balanced budgets are more important than schools, doing things the way grandpa did is more important than leading the way to a new economy.
Humbug for losers – who behave just as they believe they should. Obedient, accept lies and deceit as gospel truth. Ignore hard data.