Trump voters (2015- ) are those who have voted for Donald Trump for US president – or say they will in opinion polls. Because they are mainly written about by White liberals, they have been stereotyped as White working-class men with high school educations who have been thrown out of work by US free trade policies. That is misleading.
Median household income: $72,000 according to exit polls during the state primaries. Compare that to $62,000 for Whites and $56,000 for Americans. Nor do they suffer from high unemployment, whether from free trade, immigration or other causes.
Education: 54% do not have a university degree, according to exit polls during the state primaries. But neither do most Americans (71%) or even most Whites (67%). If anything, Trump voters are on average more educated.
Race: 87% White, 5% Hispanic, 1% Black, like they come from some lily-White suburb. In fact, they do tend to live in the Whitest places within their commuting zone. Most live far from Mexico in places with few Hispanics.
Religion: Trump polls above 50% only among White Evangelical Protestants (63%). But even they are more against Hillary Clinton than they are for him.
Gender: 58% male. Trump polls at 30% among women – almost as bad as among Hispanics (26%).
Age: 63% are 50 or older. Trump polls under 30% among those under 50, who make up nearly half of all registered voters.
Party: 69% are Republicans.
Loyalty: 53% are not so much voting for Trump as against Hillary Clinton.
Opinions: What most Trump voters think:
- 87% There is a a big chance Clinton would make major mistakes that would hurt the country.
- 81% Compared with 50 years ago, life for people like me in America is worse.
- 79% Government regulation of business usually does more harm than good.
- 78% Clinton would continue Obama’s policies and that would be bad.
- 76% Government should not raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
- 72% Clinton would be a terrible president.
- 71% Government cannot afford to do much to help the needy.
- 68% Trump would be a good or great president.
- 68% Free trade agreements have been a bad thing for the US.
- 68% Free trade agreements have hurt my family financially.
- 68% The future of the next generation of Americans will be worse compared with life today.
- 66% Immigration is a very big problem.
- 65% Terrorism is a very big problem.
- 58% There is some chance Trump would make major mistakes that would hurt the country.
- 57% To fight terrorism, the government should subject Muslims to more scrutiny.
- 52% Crime is a very big problem.
- 51% Relations between racial and ethnic groups is a very big problem.
Xenophobia: Terrorism, immigration and free trade mainly seem to function as dog whistles for xenophobia. Most Trump voters do not live in places with high immigration, nor do they suffer from high unemployment. Places with the worst terrorist attacks by Muslims (New York, Virginia, California, Florida) are hardly hotbeds of Trumpism.
White mortality rates: There does seem to be some truth, though, to the bit about life getting worse: Trump voters tend to live in commuting zones where White people, particular the middle aged, are dying at high rates.
– Abagond, 2016.
Update (September 13th): Hillary Clinton on September 9th said,
“you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates says that, if anything, is too low:
“Much like Trump’s alleged opposition to the Iraq War, this not an impossible claim to investigate. We know, for instance, some nearly 60 percent of Trump’s supporters hold “unfavorable views” of Islam, and 76 percent support a ban on Muslims entering the United States. We know that some 40 percent of Trump’s supporters believe blacks are more violent, more criminal, lazier, and ruder than whites. Two-thirds of Trump’s supporters believe the first black president in this country’s history is not American. These claim are not ancillary to Donald Trump’s candidacy, they are a driving force behind it.”
Jamelle Bouie did a piece on the numbers for Slate and says Clinton was not far off.
- 2016 election for US president
- Can Trump win?
- Know-Nothing Party
- White Evangelical Protestants