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Hullabaloo


Thursday, December 31, 2015

 
Well look who's voting for Donald Trump

by digby


This New York Times article about Donald Trump's supporters has buried the lede so badly I have to wonder if they did it on purpose. And worse, the headline seems to indicate that Trump is really appealing to Democrats even though his support all comes from people who vote for Republicans. It's very confusing. But the article itself is absolutely fascinating.

First things first --- there's a map that shows that his support is concentrated in the Northeast, the Southeast and parts of the South. It runs across all age and economic demographics although his strongest support comes from older, white working class people.  Obviously, there are pockets of support elsewhere, but it's quite startling just how much of his support comes from these regions and how little of it comes from elsewhere:



So what does this mean, exactly? Well, here's that buried lede:

His geographic pattern of support is not just about demographics — educational attainment, for example. It is not necessarily the typical pattern for a populist, either. In fact, it’s almost the exact opposite of Ross Perot’s support in 1992, which was strongest in the West and New England, and weakest in the South and industrial North.

But it is still a familiar pattern. It is similar to a map of the tendency toward racism by region, according to measures like the prevalence of Google searches for racial slurs and racist jokes, or scores on implicit association tests.

“This type of animus towards African-Americans is far more common than just about anyone would have guessed,” said Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, the economist who first used Google search data to measure racial animus and argued that Barack Obama lost four percentage points in 2008 because of racial animus (a number I have argued is too high). He is now a contributing op-ed writer at The New York Times.

Racially charged searches take place everywhere — they are about as common as searches for “The Daily Show” or the Los Angeles Lakers. But they are more common in some parts of the country than others.

That Mr. Trump’s support is strong in similar areas does not prove that most or even many of his supporters are motivated by racial animus. But it is consistent with the possibility that at least some are. The same areas where racial animus is highest in the Google data also tend to have older and less educated people, and Mr. Trump tends to fare better among those groups — though the effect of Google data remains just as strong after controlling for these other factors.

Why does anyone find this surprising?

I wrote about the fallacy that drives too many liberals to assume that Trump's appeal is a matter of Marxist false consciousness: they may think they hate Mexicans and Muslims and  Blacks but really they're just frustrated that they aren't doing better economically. (I have to assume these people have never met a rich bigot...) This is the Sanders pitch to Trump voters and  I don't think it will work any better than it ever has because it just isn't true. Unless Sanders says that he's ready to deport immigrants and support  abusive cops and surveil Muslims and worse, they're just not going to respond. Their world is not organized around economics, it's organized around bigotry toward other races and ethnicities (also, feminists and liberals...) Trump gets this and he's articulating this perfectly --- American will be "great again" once we put all these people in their places.



Happy New Year everyone!
















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