Salena Zito: Don Blankenship Coverage Shows Republican Establishment, News Media Still Don't Understand Trump Coalition


Washington Examiner reporter Salena Zito discusses how the mainstream media still doesn't understand the "Trump coalition" in light of the frenzy about W.V. Senate candidate Don Blankenship on Sunday's edition of the 'Face The Nation' roundtable.

MARGARET BRENNAN, CBS: But you said in your piece, the people didn't change, the Democrats did. That's what one person you interviewed told you.

DAN BALZ, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, that's right. I mean -- and, I mean -- I -- I -- I ended up talking more to Republicans than people who had supported Trump. But in talking to some of the Democrats in the Midwest, I think there's a feeling that the national Democratic Party doesn't understand the Midwest in the same way that a lot of the Trump voters felt that -- that -- that they didn't understand the Midwest. And -- and their view is, the Democrats have to figure out a way to be able to talk to the center of the country while continuing to hold the coasts. And if they can do that, then they will be genuinely completive in 2020.

BRENNAN: And, Salena, that's a question you're asking in your book. I mean, is that even possible?

SALENA ZITO, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": Well, and, you know, one of the things about this coalition is, is that Donald Trump wasn't the cause of it. He was the result of it. So this coalition, I believe, is willing to continue to break things, even outside the ballot box.

I'm unsure what's going to happen in -- in the midterms. But I do understand that it is still pretty strong and it's pretty intense and -- and they still believe that both political parties, not just the Democrats but the Republicans as well, aren't listening to what they have to say. And I find that fascinating that this movement is going on. But we're still not hearing it. And -- and so that --

BRENNAN: Not hearing it you're saying on Capitol Hill? Not hearing it how?

ZITO: Not -- not hearing it in the way it's depicted when -- typically when -- when there's news reports and they talk -- and they talk about, you know, well, the Trump voter is this and or that and this is what they want.

Case in point, look at the Republicans in West Virginia, they were convinced that Don Blankenship had a chance. Well, I had been in Don -- to West Virginia. It's in my backyard. I live in Pittsburgh. Don Blankenship had zero chance. Absolutely none. But both the Republican establishment and a lot of the news media thought this was something that was going to happen. So they still don't understand what is causing this coalition to stay together, but also to have their voice be heard in the ballot box.

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