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Why did Wisconsin shift from blue to red?

Posted at 10:21 PM, Nov 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 23:21:57-05
MADISON --  Some people think Kathy Cramer predicted a Donald Trump presidency and a knew a shift from blue to red in Wisconsin was coming.  
 
Her book, "The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker" was published in March. 
 
"I would love to say 'oh of course,' but no I was surprised," Cramer said.
 
The author grew up in Grafton and has spent the last 16 years working at UW-Madison. Since 2007, she's been studying the way people make sense of politics by spending time in 27 rural Wisconsin communities.
 
"The views really surprised me," she said. "The intensity of them." 
 
She found people feeling like they're working hard to make ends meet. They said they're doing the same jobs in the same places as generations before them, but are worse off. 
 
"Then comes along Donald Trump who says you're right," she said.
 
Professor Cramer said people in small town Wisconsin believe in the slogan, "Make American Great Again."
 
"They acknowledge that he says some pretty horrific things, he's kind of obnoxious, this whole treating woman badly thing they don't look well upon," she said. "But that he's going to change the way things are done and often times that means he's going to change the spending, stop the spending. He's going to stop the flow of money to people or group that they don't think are deserving."
 
Cramer said race is part of the resentment but believes you can't just write it off as racism.  
 
"To the East Coast media and people on the East Coast who are perceiving that what's going on, is that the alt right have run Rufshad over rural Wisconsin and the KKK is in control, that is not the story. The story is like a decade building of resentment that is partly about race, but is partly about people wanting a different economic situation," Cramer said. 
 
The author has re-visited some of the communities after the elections and said people are hopeful but don't expect change overnight.