A post-campaign study comparing the George W. Bush coalition in 2000 to the Trump coalition in 2016 found that Mr. Trump particularly improved in areas hurt most by competition from Chinese imports, from the bygone brick and tile industry of Mason City, Iowa, to the flagging furniture plants of Hickory, N.C. The study concluded that, had the import competition from China been half as large, Mrs. Clinton would have won key swing states and the presidency with them.
Even if so, I don't believe anyone really thought she'd actually kill the TPP. And the 'received benefits' of NAFTA, as interpreted by the media, were always going to hurt her in the general election.
Later: Rafe makes some interesting points against this article. I don't necessarily agree. It makes me uncomfortable to blame bigotry, when some of these voters went for Obama in previous campaigns. Can you be a bigot and vote for Obama? Is someone who voted for a bigot automatically a bigot also? Perhaps I overanalyze. I've heard from many who thought Trump was all an act, a bit of sensationalist theatre ... who got to hear my take on him from my years in NYC (he hasn't changed). Maybe the Obama voters stayed home, and a (theoretical) nonvoting working class got energized by the dogwhistling. If so, the articles talking up a 'divided America' are even more inaccurate than I already believe. This would be a sliver of people noone needs to court in the future because they're a vanishingly small population, on their way out (demographically speaking). But the polls I've seen, Clinton underperformed Obama for most races, most ages. Trump did better than Romney with people of color. Is that bigotry? No, I'm afraid we have to face the hard reality - it's not so much how Trump won, but how much Clinton lost. Oddly, that gives me hope for the future.