Donald Trump holds a dominant position in national polls in no small part because he is extremely strong among people on the periphery of the Republican coalition.
He is strongest among Republicans who are less affluent, less educated and less likely to turn out to vote. His very best voters are self-identified Republicans who nonetheless are registered as Democrats. It’s a coalition that’s concentrated in the South, Appalachia and the industrial North, according to data provided to The Upshot by Civis Analytics, a Democratic data firm.
Mr. Trump’s huge advantage among these groups poses a challenge for his campaign, because it may not have the turnout operation necessary to mobilize irregular voters.
Jonah Goldberg writes:
This is one place where Sanders and Trump overlap. They want to make the people ruining this country pay. Sanders wants to impose a cartoonish “speculation” tax on Wall Street; Trump wants to make the Mexicans pay for the wall that will keep them out.
The one area where Trump and Sanders break totally with populist practice, other than geography, is religion. Nearly all of the famous heartland populists of yore were steeped in Christianity and spoke its language fluently. Long’s “Share the Wealth” plan, for instance, was vaguely derived from the Bible.
Sanders is a “not particularly religious” Jew who hates to talk about religion. Trump, because he’s seeking the GOP nomination, has had to work hard at faking religious sincerity. But even if he were serious that he won’t share his favorite Bible verse because “that’s personal,” his reluctance would distinguish him from traditional populists.