Why You Shouldn't Ignore The #TrumpWon Hashtag

September 27th 2016

Dave Fonseca

Twitter users may have noticed something curious in their trending column on Tuesday morning.

Trump won

This probably seems ridiculous to anyone who watched Trump struggle to disassociate himself from the birther campaign, stumble over his obvious lies regarding his support for the Iraq War, and needlessly brag about stiffing contractors and skirting federal income taxes during the debate on Monday evening.

And, as is often the case, the hashtag isn't even being used by Trump supporters who are celebrating the candidate's victory — at least not for the most part.

Even Trump himself touted the victory.

So, #TrumpWon is sort of an illusion — a hashtag mostly populated by users expressing incredulity or simply getting in on the gag.

But that doesn't mean Clinton supporters can entirely dismiss the notion that Trump had a strong debate performance.

As Mike Vainisi wrote for ATTN: last night, Trump came out of the gate strong by hammering Clinton on her husband's signing of NAFTA, and her past support for the TPP (a trade deal she now claims to oppose).

As a New York Post report from Tuesday morning shows, these early moments of the debate, before it all went south for Trump, resonated with at least some voters in the critically important swing state of Pennsylvania.

“I am a small businessman, a farmer, come from a long line of farmers and coal miners. The policies [Clinton] talked about tonight ultimately either hurt me or ignore me,” a man named Ken Reed told the Post at bar called the Tin Lizzy in Youngstown, PA.

It's just anecdotal evidence at this point, but the quotes in the Post piece do an excellent job of highlighting the contours of the presidential contest. Clinton is working to secure her base of women and minority voters by highlighting Trump's demonstrated history of discrimination and nasty comments. Meanwhile, Trump has figured out a way to speak to white people in swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, specifically by placing the blame for the economic pain and manufacturing job loss in those regions on policies associated with the Clintons.

Of course, whether or not Trump's entreaties to working class voters are sincere, and not just a cynical exploitation of talking points that helped fuel Bernie Sanders campaign, is up for debate. But one thing is for certain: #TrumpWon is no joke.