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How the G.O.P. Elite Lost Its Voters to Donald Trump

January 01, 1970 | The New York Times | News

As the Republican Party collapses on itself, conservative leaders struggling to explain Mr. Trump’s appeal have largely seized on his unique qualities as a candidate: his larger-than-life persona, his ability to dominate the airwaves, his tough-sounding if unrealistic policy proposals. Others ascribe Mr. Trump’s rise to the xenophobia and racism of Americans angry over their declining power. But the story is also one of a party elite that abandoned its most faithful voters, blue-collar white Americans, who faced economic pain and uncertainty over the past decade as the party’s donors, lawmakers and lobbyists prospered.

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