This thesis explores the transformation of the Republican electoral coalition from the party of Abraham Lincoln to the party of Donald Trump. By comparing the Trump coalition—which Hillary Clinton said was half full of “deplorables”—with previous Democratic and Republican presidential coalitions, the drastic change in the electoral habits of Southerners and white working-class voters is made evident. Trump’s appeal to these voters is due not only to his populist rhetoric but also to the presidential campaigns of Republican candidates Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan, as well as to George Wallace’s independent and Democratic presidential campaigns. Trump’s unforeseen victory in 2016 has also commanded support from both Republican voters and long-time Republican politicians. Though the strength of this support will not be fully measured until the 2020 presidential election, this thesis offers some preliminary thoughts by analyzing the possible impact of Trump supporters on the approaching 2018 congressional elections.
Talerman, Lily, "From Democrats to "Deplorables": The Trumpization of the Republican Party" (2018). Politics Honors Papers. 6.