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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Data on the Roots of Trumpism

At RealClearPolitics, David Brady and Douglas Rivers use survey data to explain Trumpism:
If Trumpism is fueled by people who have become disillusioned with Washington, then it stands to reason that Republicans who believe that government is run for a few and that the politicians are crooked will be more inclined to support Trump over his opponents. This turns out to be exactly the case.

The Economist/YouGov results show that among Republicans who believe that the government is run by a few big interests (75 percent), Trump is preferred by 39 percent to Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, at 16 and 22 percent, respectively. (Numbers for John Kasich and Ben Carson are insignificant and not included here.) Among Republicans who believe that quite a few people running government are crooked (67 percent), Trump has 41 percent preferring him, as compared to 19 percent and 17 percent for Rubio and Cruz.

In both instances, Trump’s margin is double-digit and impressive. When income and education levels are factored in, the correlation becomes even sharper.
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In sum, much of Donald Trump’s support appears to come from Republicans who have lost faith in Washington. Republicans’ attitudes on trust and corruption in the capital help determine their candidate preferences. In addition, the less-affluent are concerned with a different set of issues and are not as conservative as other Republicans when it comes to taxes on the well-to-do, while they are more conservative on immigration and social issues.

These voters are turning out in large numbers in the early primaries. Turnout through the first 14 Republican primaries in 2016 was more than double 2012 levels. Donald Trump has in his camp voters who are less affluent and highly committed—and they are sending the GOP establishment a strong signal that some of the the politics and policies it has been pursuing are not in sync with a significant portion of the voters the party acquired in the Reagan era.