Trump Is Inspiring Rust Belt Democrats To ‘Cross Over’
YOUNGSTOWN – The first sign that something was different about this presidential election hit Mark Munroe in the weeks before Ohio’s Republican primary in March. Munroe is chairman of the Mahoning County GOP, and he began getting phone calls from people who wanted to know what the process was to vote in the upcoming primary.
“These were people who had never voted in a Republican primary before. It was obvious that something was going on,” he says. “And 90 percent of them were voting for Trump.” According to Munroe, the GOP in Mahoning County has registered tens of thousands of new voters—Democrats and Independents—since the March primary.
Trump got nearly as many votes as Clinton did back in March. That’s notable because Youngstown, the seat of Mahoning County, hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon narrowly won here in the landslide election of 1972. Like much of northeastern Ohio, the city has been reliably Democrat since the Great Depression, when organized labor forged an alliance with the Democratic Party that would persist even through the infamous decline and fall of Youngstown’s steel industry in the 1970s. – READ MORE