It’s time to solve the mystery of Donald Trump’s coalition: What is it, how did he acquire it, and how has that impacted both Republicans and Democrats in 2016?
Back in December, the New York Times posted an exhaustive profile of who is the typical Donald Trump voter in a story headlined “Donald Trump’s strongest supporters: a certain kind of Democrat.”
Its opening paragraph says it all and then some:
Donald Trump holds a dominant position in national polls in the Republican race in no small part because he is extremely strong among people on the periphery of the GOP 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.
Needless to say that is an incredible swing in the results, and it’s based solely on one factor alone: Does the individual contest allow Democrats and Independents to vote or not? If they do, chances are Trump is going to win and win comfortably. If they don’t, chances are Trump will under-perform public polling.
Which brings us back to New York, and the reason we set it aside—because until proven otherwise it’s an outlier for two reasons. One, it’s the first closed primary where Trump way out-performed his public polling. Two, Trump was the only one of the remaining candidates who had a closed primary along with home field advantage.
Both Cruz in Texas and John Kasich in Ohio, had to defend their home turfs with the Trump crossover factor in play. Thus, it’s reasonable to assume they would’ve performed better in winning their home states had that not been the case (especially Cruz, given his overall strength in closed contests).
By the way, guess where the bulk of “open” contests took place during this primary? In the South, Appalachia, and the industrial North.
Furthermore, Trump’s periphery coalition also helps to explain the simultaneous surge in GOP primary turnout, coinciding with the dip suffered by Democrats. In the first 21 states to release exit polling so far, you see two groups emerge as the least likely to vote for Trump:
- – Weekly churchgoers.
- – College graduates.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.