Last week, at The Catholic Herald, I analyzed Trump’s Midwestern victory more closely:
In the northeast and midwest, Trump won because he performed well in important counties that Mitt Romney, the previous Republican presidential nominee, had lost. Republicans turned out for Trump in the suburbs and rural towns of these states, creating long lines at many of the polls. Together with a poor Democratic turnout for Hillary Clinton and help from many Democratic cross-over voters in these areas, Trump achieved his upset victory.
It’s worth noting that Catholics are the largest religious group in Pennsylvania and, as it happens, the majority religious group in Luzerne, Northampton, and Erie counties. These middle-class Catholics are essential to Democratic victories in the Keystone State. (Despite some pre-election jitters about Trump, a majority of Catholics nationwide ended up voting for him.)
The Catholics of Michigan also helped Trump, especially those in the state’s de-industrialised southeast. He won the state by flipping a dozen counties that had previously supported Obama. For instance, he won Macomb County, a working-class area known as the original home of the Reagan Democrats — socially conservative blue-collar workers who crossed party lines to vote for Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984. Catholics are the majority religious group in Macomb County, which also previously supported Barack Obama.
In many other Michigan counties Trump won – St Clair, Bay, Monroe, Saginaw, Livingston, Jackson – Catholics are also the largest religious group.