Who are the Trumpsters?
Ron Brownstein has an interesting analysis of Trump's appeal today in the National Journal:
But two other distinctions emerged more clearly from the Quinnipiac and Marist surveys that could loom larger as the race develops. Trump drew somewhat more support from men than women in the Quinnipiac and Marist surveys. And he consistently ran more strongly among Republicans who did not hold at least a four-year college degree than those who did. Those blue-collar Republicans are growing in influence in the GOP nominating process, as a torrent of White working-class voters have realigned from the Democratic to Republican Party over the past generation.
The class and gender dynamics playing out in the GOP field compound each other, as figures provided to Next America by Quinnipiac and Marist make clear. The two polling organizations analyzed the results among White Republican voters (who comprise nearly all of the GOP electorate in Iowa and New Hampshire, and about 90 percent nationally) based on gender and education, and found that Trump’s support generally followed consistent patterns.
In each of the three surveys, Trump runs best among White men without a college degree, the blue-collar core of the modern Republican coalition. These working-class White men give Trump 38 percent of their support both nationally and in New Hampshire, and 37 percent in Iowa. Those are stunning numbers in a field with 16 candidates dividing the vote. No one comes close to Trump among these men in any of the three polls. In the national survey, surgeon Ben Carson ranks second with these men at just 11 percent. No other candidate attracts more than 17 percent of these men in Iowa or 13 percent in New Hampshire.
Trump’s showing among White women without a college education was also strong, though not quite as dominant: He drew 32 percent of them in the national poll, 30 percent in Iowa, and 27 percent in New Hampshire. Trump led among them in all three surveys, though Carson (at 24 percent in Iowa and 19 percent in New Hampshire) showed competitively with the so-called “waitress moms” as well.
He doesn't do nearly as well with the white college educated Republicans, especially college educated women. (People of other races pretty well hate him for obvious reasons.) But according to Brownstein, he's starting to gain support among the college educated too. Still, Trump is at this point mostly a class phenomenon.
This should be interesting:
In the 2012 GOP primaries, voters without a college degree cast a majority of the vote in 13 of the 20 states where exit polls were conducted, and at least 45 percent in four others. Those voters also generally display much more receptivity than college-educated Republicans to the sharp anti-immigration message Trump is delivering.
In the past two GOP presidential races, candidates leading the national polls in the fall before the first votes were cast ultimately faded without capturing a single state. But Trump’s resilience through repeated controversies over the past several months have suggested that his rivals cannot count on support for him simply evaporating: They will need to find a way to eclipse him.
Eventually, the other candidates who had been counting on mobilizing the GOP’s “populist” voters—led by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas—will need to find a way to dent Trump’s strong early standing with these volatile, deeply disaffected, blue-collar Republicans. Meanwhile, the Republicans aiming more at the party’s more upscale “managerial” wing—a list headed by Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush—will need to consolidate the college-educated Republicans who are already proving the least susceptible to the Trump wave.
And please don't tell me that this is the Democrats' failure to appeal to blue collar workers. It might be, but that ship sailed over a generation ago. These blue collar white folks are now dyed in the wool Republicans and have been Republicans since Nixon decided to make the GOP into the white person's party and Ronald Reagan consolidated it. What's interesting is that the coalition those leaders formed is starting to fracture as the working class whites are finally getting fed up with the elites promising them the moon and failing to deliver.
Unfortunately, the moon they want delivered is a world in which a man on a white horse rounds up and deports "bad people" they don't like.