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One tweet that explains why Donald Trump is shockingly close to winning

Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

Donald Trump is on the verge of a stunning victory in the 2016 election, confounding pundits and forecasters by winning states where he rarely or never led in the polls.

The explanation for this increasingly probable outcome is pretty simple. Trump has won white working-class voters who used to vote for Democrats, and by margins that appear to be destroying the “firewall” that was meant to assure Hillary Clinton’s victory in traditionally Democratic states.

Those voters used to be fairly split between the parties. But as the New York Times’s Nate Cohn writes, this year white voters, particularly white voters without a college degree, formed a voting bloc around what they saw as their shared interests:

That’s how Trump’s campaign — which embraced overt white nationalism to a degree unprecedented in recent American politics — was able to beat the odds and come, now, very close to victory.

Watch: What the media gets wrong about Trump voters

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