Thank you for this analysis. It is the best description that I have read of how Trump won the election.
I think the conclusion that Democrats should not try to reach out to Trump voters does a disservice to Democratic candidates and to those voters. Many, many Trump voters looked away from Trump’s terrible behavior and bigoted statements in order to vote for the candidate that happened to seem closest to them on one or two important issues. To quote a Trump voter I spoke with in October: “I know who I am voting AGAINST!” A Democrat without the negative baggage that Hillary Clinton carried would have beaten Trump handily in November. A candidate without baggage who also demonstrated an understanding of business, economics and job creation, would have won in a landslide.
Trump is doing his best to drive from the Republican Party internationalists, libertarians, mainstream Christians, first amendment advocates, those who understand the value of immigrants and others. Take a look at that voting map. All of those counties along the Mississippi River in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois are agricultural counties. They export a large portion of their commodities and will be badly damaged by a trade war with Mexico. It would not take much to flip them back to a party that pledges to protect their markets.
There are certainly some Trump fanatics who will not change their allegiance, at least for a few years. The vast majority of Trump voters, who did not attend his rallies, can be persuaded by a party that speaks to some of their concerns.