Now that we are 18 months post Trump election, there is some excellent analysis on who voted for him and why. I thought this article (in turn based on this scholarly paper) was the best analysis I’ve seen on the topic. It argues persuasively that voters who went Trump in the last election cycle and especially those who switched, were people who were afraid to loose status to the globalizing, diverse world we are facing. They wanted to keep the old ways.
It wasn’t economic conditions or pocketbook issues that made the difference. It wasn’t education that made the difference. It was the fear of loosing status to the diverse groups, in China, Mexico and concerns about “low status groups”.
Results do not support an interpretation of the election based on pocketbook economic concerns. Instead, the shorter relative distance of people’s own views from the Republican candidate on trade and China corresponded to greater mass support for Trump in 2016 relative to Mitt Romney in 2012. Candidate preferences in 2016 reflected increasing anxiety among high-status groups rather than complaints about past treatment among low-status groups. Both growing domestic racial diversity and globalization contributed to a sense that white Americans are under siege by these engines of change.
Next thing you know, those people will be wanting to do away with the Lottery…