The roots of Trump’s support

In the wake of political science not looking so great with The Party Decides not deciding for Trump, John Sides and Michael Tesler have a nice series of Monkey Cage posts looking at how much (a lot) Political Science still does have to offer us in understanding the rise of Trump.  The first part looked at the fact that most Americans really are not that ideological.  I’m quite partial to part 2, that looks at the role of racial attitudes and white ethnocentrism (something I briefly mentioned last week).  This set of charts pretty well captures things.

These graphs show that white independents and Republicans who think their identity as whites is extremely important are more than 30 points more likely to support Trump than those who think their racial identity is not important.

Likewise, white Americans who perceive a great deal of discrimination against their race are almost 40 points more likely to support Trump than those who don’t think whites face any discrimination.

And whites who think it’s extremely likely that “many whites are unable to find a job because employers are hiring minorities instead” are over 50 points more likely to support Trump than those who think it’s unlikely that many whites are losing jobs to minorities.

These findings are consistent with the important research of Duke political scientist Ashley Jardina, who wrote some of the survey questions used above. Her research shows that white identity more strongly affects opinions when whites perceive themselves as under threat. This foreshadows a rising white identity politics as the United States becomes a majority-minority nation.

Like it or not, Trump is the candidate of white resentment.  And part 3 of the series shows us that it is whites who are full of economic dissatisfaction:

Trump did about 30 points better among those who, almost one year earlier, were the most dissatisfied with their situation, compared to those who were the most satisfied. Even after taking account of respondents’ level of formal education, a strong relationship remains…

Trump is constantly telling voters how his own personal greatness will lead to prosperity. Not only will he make America great again, but he will make America rich again. It’s a message that appears to resonate among Americans who do not feel prosperous.

Short version: Trump is the candidate of downscale white Republicans who blame other races and immigrants for their lack of success in life.  How’s that for the party of personal responsibility.

Photo of the day

All baseball parks need to have nets extending past the dugouts.  Baseball is way too boring to expect fans to pay constant attention.  Back when I used to go to minor league games, I used to always sit behind the net for this very reason.  Anyway, pretty amazing photo here.  The NPR story also has the after photo.

A man's fast reaction helped keep a young fan from being struck in the face by a baseball bat at a spring training game this weekend.

A man’s fast reaction helped keep a young fan from being struck in the face by a baseball bat at a spring training game this weekend.

Christopher Horner/Twitter

%d bloggers like this: