- Feb 2018
From the NYT:
Many of the voters who said they voted Democratic but now intended to vote for Mr. Trump offered explanations that reflect longstanding theories about why the party out of power tends to excel in midterms.
Michelle Bassaro, 61, is a Trump supporter, but in the midterm election, she voted for the Democrat in her district to balance the administration’s power. She said she had voted for Republicans when Democrats were in the White House for the same reason, consistent with research that shows that some people intentionally vote for divided government.
Another reason was local: The Democrat promised to bring more jobs to her area, Nanty Glo, Pa. (The name comes from a Welsh phrase that means “streams of coal,” but its coal jobs have disappeared.)
Voters often think differently about state and national issues. Some said they had voted for their local Democrat in the midterms because the person had served well for a long time, or because the candidate’s policies would directly help their community. But presidential politics were another story, they said. Many of the white working-class voters in the Rust Belt who supported the president in 2016 were traditionally Democratic voters who backed President Obama in 2012 and even continued to vote Democratic down-ballot in 2016. Democrats generally held on to these voters in 2018, but the reasons many of them voted for Mr. Trump, like his promises on immigration or the economy, could still be relevant.