by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The conventional wisdom during the presidential campaign held that Donald Trump’s politically incorrect rhetoric would alienate millions of minority voters, who’d turn out on Election Day and deliver the presidency to Hillary Clinton.
The thing about the conventional wisdom is how unwise it can be — especially when it comes to a candidate as unconventional as Trump.
He didn’t perform very well overall with minority voters. But he won a larger share of them than Mitt Romney did when he was the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee. And in some specific places minority voters helped deliver victory to Trump.
One of those places is Robeson County, N.C., America’s most racially diverse rural county. No majority-minority county in the nation saw a greater electoral swing than Robeson County. Trump won it by 5 points four years after Obama won it by 17. …
… Donnie Douglas, who edits the Robesonian newspaper, had a slightly different take. He said most local voters are conservative but many historically favored Democrats, who pledged to take care of them. Forty-percent of the county’s residents are on Medicaid, he said, “so we’re a county that depends on the government.” Trump’s mix of law and order, social conservatism, outsider status, and his promise that “nobody’s going to be dying on the street if I’m president,” resonated here.