Brock McCleary, a longtime Republican pollster, said the GOP’s rebranding to “working-class identity” is necessary for Republicans to build a new “Red Wall” in the upper Midwest and stay competitive long-term in the Sun Belt, where it takes “multi-racial coalitions” even for Republicans to win.
“Big-tent populism,” McCleary said, is an especially good fit in the upper Midwest, as evidenced by Trump twice managing wide margins in Ohio and Iowa, states once considered coin flips.
Republicans also are boosted by an Electoral College system that elevates GOP voting power in less-urbanized states. That helped Trump and George W. Bush win the presidency despite losing the popular vote.
In new Electoral College map, shifting battleground dynamics
by Bill Barrow | AP | April 28, 2021