The Trump Narrative.

The standard liberal interpretation of supporters of Donald Trump is that they are angry, poorly-educated, older, working-class white men.[1]  How true is this stereotype?  A recent chart in the Wall Street Journal may offer some insight.[2]

So far in the primaries, Trump has won an average of 39.1 percent of the Republican vote.  If the various munchkins who were running for the Republican nomination had gotten out of the way early-on in favor of one candidate, then the “The Donald” might refer to a specialty deli sandwich[3] right now.

The demography of the Trump vote.

There is no polling data on “angry.”  Just channel Robin Williams.[4]


High school or less:     46.1 percent.

Some college:              42.5 percent.

BA                              34.6 percent.

Post-grad.                    27.0 percent.


<$50K                         44.0 percent.

$50K–$100K              36.6 percent.

>$100K                       35.4 percent.


65+                              39.8 percent.

45-64                           39.6 percent.

30-44                           35.1 percent.

17-29                           30.2 percent.


Male                            42.0 percent.

Female                         33.5 percent.


Rural.                                      40.9 percent.

Suburban.                    37.9 percent.

Urban.                         32.7 percent.

How Conservative?

Somewhat.                  40.0 percent.

Mod./Liberal.              37.3 percent.

Independent.               35.2 percent.

Very.                           35.1 percent.

In sum, Donald Trump does draw many votes from just the group described in liberal media.  However, he also draws a lot of support from the antithesis of the stereotype.  It would appear that Trump is also the candidate of a significant share of the well-educated, the well-off, the younger, and the female among Republicans.  Apparently, lots of them are angry too.[5]

[1] Or “rednecks” as my sister-in-law phrased it.

[2] Aaron Zimmer, “Inside the Trump Coalition,” WSJ, 25 March 2016.

[3] I’ll let you figure out the ingredients.  Probably a lot of ham on an onion loaf to begin with.

[4] See, for example,

[5] See

2 thoughts on “The Trump Narrative.

  1. oh good. we can’t categorize the people we can’t comprehend. (though I doubt DT or TC would be able to – both seem expert at that.) The fact that he’s receiving support across the board, however, doesn’t mean that they are all supporting him for the same (i.e. anger and lack of management thereof..) reason or reasons. Clearly some are focused on the loud angry DT, some are taken with the say whatever he wants guy. Then there are others who are ‘attracted’ (I use the term very loosely) to the ‘I’m not a politician’ moniker (also not a constitutional scholar, nor understanding which branch of gov’t does which.) There are the fans of “white is best” approach, the isolationists, etc. He really does have so many qualities that attract… too many.

  2. One thing to bear in mind is that these are all people who would have formed the bedrock of the New Deal electorate. For a long time now, they’ve been abandoned by both parties. They’ve been voting Republican on cultural issues (guns, the attempt to impose a kind of secular sharia law). doesn’t mean that they have agreed with the whole program. Krugman had an interesting piece back in the Fall in which he argued that Trump’s independence from the usual big campaign donors allowed him to say what he thought. (At any given moment or conjunction of stars.) The support for Trump, said Krugman, revealed that there were a large number of Republicans who rejected the Republican orthodoxy of the last decade or more. They just had to vote Republican to keep the Democrats from running things. (Into the ground, in their view.)

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