UB Now reports:
The underlying narrative of Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential race is a tale of Republican turnout that surged to very high levels on Election Day in rural areas and small cities, flipping states like Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to the GOP that were expected to go to the Democrats, according to internationally acclaimed political scientist Theda Skocpol.The Donald breaks mainstream American political science into pieces.
“This election blows to smithereens many of the theories in my profession of political science,” Skocpol told a UB audience on Thursday.
The outcome — which featured an unusual candidate in Trump, who faced determined opposition from the start of his campaign from key office holders in his own party, previous presidential candidates and leading interest groups — ultimately hinged on a handful of states, mostly in the Midwest and will have environmental, health, immigration and social policy consequences far into the future, she said.
Skocpol, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University and director of the Scholars Strategy Network, delivered the keynote address for UB’s “Critical Conversations,” an annual program showcasing distinguished scholars discussing vital issues, questions and challenges facing the world in the 21st century.
She also took part in two small group discussions and joined a panel discussion with faculty during her two-day visit to UB.
During the keynote, Skocpol told audience members that “it’s not news” that Democrats tend to do better in big cities and Republicans do better outside of cities. “That has been true for quite some time,” she said. “But that became even more amazingly pronounced in this election.
“It’s those counties that went from Democrat [in the 2012 presidential election] to Republican,” she said. “That’s the real story.”