Inside the Trump Voter

A new survey from Public Policy voting did some interesting work on Trump voters. Thought I would share some of the findings:

  • Asked what racial group they think faces the most discrimination in America, 45% of Trump voters say it’s white people followed by 17% for Native Americans with 16% picking African Americans, and 5% picking Latinos. Asked what religious group they think faces the most discrimination in America, 54% of Trump voters says it’s Christians followed by 22% for Muslims and 12% for Jews.
  • Overall 89% of Americans have a negative opinion of neo-Nazis to 3% with a positive one, and 87% have an unfavorable opinion of white supremacists to 4% with a positive one. Just 11% agree with the sentiment that it’s possible for white supremacists and neo-Nazis to be ‘very fine people,’ to 69% who say that’s not possible. (I would have liked to have seen this question limited to the Trump voters. Curious.)
  • They asked about confederate statues, but their question phrasing was weak.
  • Ryan and McConnell’s approval rates have dipped to record lows, because of Trump’s attacks on them. You might not like those guys, but we need them to keep the mad man in check.
  • 57% of Republicans want Trump to run again in 2020; 29% want someone else That’s a lot. Be afraid.

32 thoughts on “Inside the Trump Voter

  1. “Ryan and McConnell’s approval rates have dipped to record lows, because of Trump’s attacks on them.”

    Your claim of causation seems questionable. Evidence?

  2. You might not like those guys, but we need them to keep the mad man in check.

    That’s what I’ve been rejecting.

    The Republican Party in its current form needs to end.

    Let the mad man destroy it or let the rest of the party reject the mad man (and, by extension, people willing to vote for the mad man but not for somebody who is only Ted-Cruz horrible), but don’t by any compromise with Ryan or McDonnell, get into a situation where we’re basically paying the less worse half of the party to control the basket-of-deplorables half. That’s just never going to send well. It will weak the Democrats and strengthen the Republicans (which, unless somebody is willing to break with Trump) is strengthening the mad man no matter what Paul Ryan thinks.

  3. Yeah, I don’t know. I have to think about it. My instinct is that Donald Trump is worse than anything else out there. His threat is beyond partisanship. Ryan and McConnell may be dirtbags, but they play by the rules. And the Democrats will do better if the two halves of the Republican party are busy fighting each other, even if it is happening quietly behind the scenes.

    1. Including the rule that if a supreme court justice dies, the president is not allowed to pick a replacement because he’s in a different party than the majority party of the senate? Trump is indeed a different sort of threat, but let’s not pretend that our democratic norms were not already under threat before Trump.

      1. Or the new Obama rule that the president can decide when Congress is in recess and make recess appointments, even if Congress insists that it is not in recess? The Supreme Court struck down Obama’s action 9-0.

      2. Are the defenders of Republicanism capable of anything other than “what about?” I really enjoyed this summary of the phenomenon, and its logical fallacy.

        “Whataboutism refers to the practice of deflecting criticism by pointing to the misdeeds of others. Oxford Dictionaries defines it as “the technique or practice of responding to an accusation or difficult question by making a counter-accusation or raising a different issue.”

      3. Instead, you could defend the practice of waiting nine months until an election before considering a president’s nominee, if you want to defend the actions of the Republican party.

      4. Yes. That reminds me, has Trump gotten anywhere on undoing Dodd-Frank? He said he was and bailing out banks is more in the Republican mold than bailing out coal mining companies.

      5. The critique of “whataboutism” might have some force if the reference to the Garland nomination were not totally irrelevant to the point that Laura was originally making.

      6. I don’t think BI’s statement was irrelevant — my impression is that she was arguing that Ryan/McConnel were already breaking the norms of democracy and thus shoring up the Republican party in opposition to Trump is not a win for democracy.

      7. The problem with “whatabout-ism” is that it suggests there is no principle adhered to. In other words, the goalposts change depending on which party is in office. Figure out what you value, then hold the officeholder to that value/standard, regardless of political party.

  4. “Asked what racial group they think faces the most discrimination in America, 45% of Trump voters say it’s white people followed by 17% for Native Americans with 16% picking African Americans, and 5% picking Latinos. Asked what religious group they think faces the most discrimination in America, 54% of Trump voters says it’s Christians followed by 22% for Muslims and 12% for Jews.”


    So, those of you who know Trump voters, have you asked they believe that Christians and Whites are more discriminated against than all other groups? And, if so, what incidents of discrimination have they personally experienced? people following them in shops because they think they might steal? being stopped by security personnel? not getting a job they thought they deserved? not getting into Harvard?

    1. MH – is that a real answer to the question? As I said, I do know know anyone who admits to me that they voted for Trump (people refer to them as though they might have spotted one in the underbrush somewhere). I would have to travel elsewhere and ask questions of strangers, which is not something I am capable of doing. If asked calmly, how does a Trump voter answer this question by referring to a time that someone said Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas?

      1. Yes, it is a real answer.

        They don’t refer to the time that someone said happy holidays, they refer to the fucking Starbuck’s cups and the Fox stories about it. It’s now a meme, like ceiling cat, but not funny. Some of the more informed ones used to refer to (very real) the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. I haven’t heard that since Trump took office.

      2. Ah yes. People getting outraged because Starbucks cups were red for Christmas, but didn’t overtly say, “Merry Christmas, Real Americans,” or perhaps more appropriately, “Jews will not replace us.” I’ve yet to hear of anyone actually getting pushback for saying Merry Christmas, I assume it was bland corporate policy that decided that being vaguely inclusive to non Christians in a supposedly secular society was a good business decision, so asked that employees in large retail switch to Happy Holidays and such. Obviously, when stores are decked out in tinsel and playing the Little Drummer Boy on infinite repeat and it’s December, a passing nod at non Christians is not anything more than a vague token, but we’re at the point where even vague token gestures towards ethnic, religious, or racial minorities is used as a declaration of war. Next we’ll have people protesting the smiling black person on cancer brochures as a war on white people. I know a few years back there was outrage that cheerios had an interracial couple in an ad.

      3. I’m old enough to remember when the devout were protesting the commercialization of Christmas, not the lack of it. I still think that’s correct.

        It took me like five years to get used to not wishing “Merry Christmas” to people I knew perfectly well were Jewish. They never got mad.

  5. I am not interested in understanding the Trump voter. But, I am interested in understanding how we can improve the lot of people. For example, West Virginia seems to be in fairly terrible straits. I do not believe that the economic conditions for coal will exist again, though I am willing to hear counter arguments.

    What policies might help West Virginia to a path away from drug addiction/disability payments and opiate overdoses to economic viability?

    1. I studied the West Virginia of China, and what the local government where I worked was trying to make tourism the center of the economy, then followed by organic farming of high profit crops. Their main export was tea, followed distantly by canola oil and tofu, which was hand made/produced. Obviously the similarities aren’t complete, and I doubt there’s a market for artisanal tofu or canola oil in the US the way there is in China, but I wonder if there tourism couldn’t help revive local economies. There would have to be infrastructure built to draw in tourists, and the environmental damage caused by the coal industry would have to be mitigated. I have no idea if this is at all feasible, but my region benefits from being “wilderness” in relative close proximity to large wealthy population centers, and WV is similar. If they could be the mountaineering/adventure destination for wealthy East Coast weekenders, that could potentially be some sort of industry, with lots of employment opportunities in the service sector.

      Another option could be something like high tech, which helped Pittsburgh revive after a slump. University of WV could perhaps try to attract high tech by offering low cost of living and relative beauty.

      1. Marijuana is a high profit crop that would grow well in mountainous regions, but I know that marijuana growing areas of CA are encountering problems. Legalizing marijuana might help with the Mexican drug cartel issues that Northern CA is encountering. It doesn’t seem like that’s politically in the cards in the near future.

      2. All of Washington D.C is already out in the scenery of WV for much of the summer. The infrastructure is there, most of it named after Robert Byrd, and heavily used. Tourism employs more people in WV than coal,but so far not enough people at high enough wages to beat coal politically. I think it will happen soon enough.

        WVU is an asset, but Morgantown is very small and not centrally located in the state. It’s closer to Pittsburgh than it is to Charleston.

      3. I think I’m supposed to go to West Virginia in a couple of weeks. I guess there’s a telescope you can tourist. I’ve never actually touristed there myself. I’ve always just driven through the state.

  6. Here’s Vance, talking about the evolution of the Republican Party and his feelings about it:

    He doesn’t get a lot of sympathy in the comments — a belief in a magic set of views that he defines as the centrist position because he agrees with them doesn’t make them them the middle.

    I remember hoping, when we had something like 16 people running for mayor that there should be one who exactly matched my views. Of course there wasn’t, and now I’m going to have to vote for one person who I think is better than the other, even when I disagree with both of them.

  7. Posted on FB without irony by my Trump-supporting cousin. The anti-Kaepernick one was first, then the “Good morning America” one.

    I don’t even know what to say. I reply constantly to her, trying to engage her. I never mock her. I express myself reasonably. I figure she likes dogs, so she can’t be a horrible person. And yet she never gets it. Ever.

    1. I’ve not seen anti-Kaepernick by name, but I’ve seen threats to boycott if the NFL doesn’t make all the players stand. I don’t know what will happen there, because the NFL’s fan base isn’t white/rural enough for them to ignore those who support the players taking a knee.

  8. So, I took one of those surveys Trump offered back at the beginning of his term and instead of using a fake email address, I put in an account that I keep to give to people who I know will spam me but who I can’t afford not to hear from. This resulted in a White House email nearly every day. These stopped on August 8. Today, I got one from (it says) the “Trump Headquarters”. It also says “Paid for by the Republican National Committee. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.” Anyway, it is a one question poll: The President’s job performance has been: Great, Good, Okay, or Other.

  9. This is to suggest another, maybe more useful question. – What’s up with rhe anti-Hillary voters? There were a lot of us – pox on the both of them voters. My own ballot went for Johnson, there were Steiniacs, huge numbers of people stayed home. From my point of view, the only good thing about the Trump Presidency (besides Betay DeVos) is that it isnt a Hillary Presidency.

  10. Caitlin Flanagan strikes again!

    The Atlantic’s Caitlin Flanagan made an intriguing argument that even the heavily anti-Trump tenor of late-night comedy shows actually helped Trump: “Though aimed at blue-state sophisticates, these shows are an unintended but powerful form of propaganda for conservatives. When Republicans see these harsh jokes—which echo down through the morning news shows and the chattering day’s worth of viral clips, along with those of Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, and Seth Meyers—they don’t just see a handful of comics mocking them. They see HBO, Comedy Central, TBS, ABC, CBS, and NBC. In other words, they see exactly what Donald Trump has taught them: that the entire media landscape loathes them, their values, their family, and their religion. It is hardly a reach for them to further imagine that the legitimate news shows on these channels are run by similarly partisan players—nor is it at all illogical. No wonder so many of Trump’s followers are inclined to believe only the things that he or his spokespeople tell them directly—everyone else on the tube thinks they’re a bunch of trailer-park, Oxy-snorting half-wits who divide their time between retweeting Alex Jones fantasies and ironing their Klan hoods.”

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