The Forgotten Class – Where Trump Won Wisconsin


Following President-elect Donald Trump’s historic victory over Hillary Clinton, Democrats across the country found themselves asking where they went wrong.

Despite Republican successes since 2010, Wisconsin is a state that had voted Democratic for president the last seven times, including an overwhelming win for President Obama in 2012. Wisconsin was considered part of the Clinton’s ‘Blue Wall’ that would help propel her to victory. No public poll ever showed Trump winning in the state.

Much to the surprise of nearly everyone, Wisconsin turned red on Nov. 8. The vote totals show Trump narrowly defeating Clinton by 27,257 votes or roughly one percent.

The result left many Democrats stunned. The conversation quickly turned to asking what happened and what had gone so terribly wrong. Many theories quickly emerged pointing to Clinton never visiting it during the general election, an under vote in Milwaukee county that could have made up the difference and a general lackluster turnout statewide, the lowest since 1996.

Democratic operative Andy Suchorski recently offered a different theory. He has put together a map of Wisconsin comparing the percentage of the vote that Hillary Clinton received compared to President Obama’s winning campaign in 2012.

Photo: Andy Suchorski
Photo: Andy Suchorski

According to Suchorski, “the darkest red counties represent a drop of at least 15% in the Democratic candidates vote share, the second darkest shade of red is a drop of 10%-15%, the pinkish-red is a 5%-10% drop off, and the pink is 0%-5%. The only three counties in blue – Dane, Waukesha and Ozaukee – Clinton received more votes than President Obama in 2012 and earned a higher percentage of the vote as well.”

Using the vote totals on the map, Suchorski said,

“the scale of devastation outside of Milwaukee and Dane counties cannot be understated.”

Suchorski is using his map is a wakeup call to many Democrats who felt Wisconsin was safe during the most recent election. Yes there were problems in the cities, but the real losses came in the outstate area. How Democrats react will be telling about the future political outcomes in this state.

Suchorski offered this advice to Democrats, “Rural voters – and urban voters – both expressed severe anxiety about the direction the country is heading, and neither group of voters feels like our party listens, cares, or does anything about those anxieties. This I believe is the core problem the Democratic Party faces, we must rebuild trust with voters in every corner of Wisconsin, listen to their concerns, and demonstrate that our agenda is a reflection of those conversations.”