A CNN political analyst and a Republican strategist reframe the discussion of the “Trump voter” to answer the question, What’s next?
“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
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 with Todd’s big- picture political and cultural analysis, The Great Revolt marries on-the-ground investigation with the hard data of electoral trends. Deeply rooted in the work-based, faith-driven traditional culture of the nation’s interior states, 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.
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Real Election 2016 Analysis
This book is a political game changer. Much like the 2016 election, failure to digest the outcome is to the peril of all analysts, pundits, and their preferred candidates. The book is full of statistics and facts that show exactly why Hillary Clinton lost the election to Donal Trump. This is a must read for those who want to be intellectually honest when speaking about the results of the 2016 election.
Hindsight 2016 Election
Detailed, first person accounts of those that voted for Obama and Trump.
A Must Read
A must read for anyone desiring an honest and objective explanation/understanding of the 2016 presidential election.