Sunday, December 11, 2016

Clinton campaigner learns about values of Trump voters

Diane left her job as a CEO and was hired by the Clinton campaign to stay in touch with the "undecided" voters.  She was baffled.  How could anyone not see that Hillary Clinton was superior to Donald Trump?  She got to know George well, and soon his story sounded like the others.  He'd once had a good life, but now no one cared about him. . . he said he'd worked hard, but now can't afford health insurance and everyone was being taken care of except him.  He wanted his country back.
"Over the summer, I  found and interviewed over 300 undecided voters, and 250 of them agreed to stay in touch, to send me weekly diary entries about their emotions, what they were thinking about both Clinton and Trump, and how they were leaning when it came to their vote. I had no responsibility to change their views; instead, I synthesized the data that I was collecting, and reported in to the campaign. I also added the insights that I had and made regular suggestions about how the campaign might better articulate its positions and modify its strategies. . .

There was one moment when I saw more undecided voters shift to Trump than any other, when it all changed, when voters began to speak differently about their choice. It wasn’t FBI Director James Comey, Part One or Part Two; it wasn’t Benghazi or the e-mails or Bill Clinton’s visit with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the tarmac. No, the conversation shifted the most during the weekend of Sept. 9, after Clinton said, “You can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.”. . .
If you had asked me to describe a Trump voter last spring, I would have been largely wrong about their motivations, dreams, and even their values. Sure, there are extremists among them, but it was eye-opening to realize how legitimate the concerns of many are, and to realize that, if I just listened hard, I would find that I have more in common with the Georges of the world that I could ever have imagined."
Boston Globe

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