“Who are Donald Trump’s supporters?” It’s a question that pundits and political analysts have been trying to answer for more than a year now, using bits of evidence of varying quality. Trump’s candidacy has been powered by explicitly nativist and nationalist themes and policies that carry a distinct aroma of prejudice, so it’s assumed that Trump voters have similar worldviews. Videos shared on Twitter of Confederate flag-sporting white guys hurling abuse at reporters and protesters tend to nurture the idea that Trump supporters are, by and large, unreconstructed racists. […]
But again, these are just assumptions. Gallup, however, just released an analysis of more than 87,000 poll respondents contacted over the last year who offered a positive or negative impression of Donald Trump, and it offers some surprising and clarifying insights into which types of voters are more likely to gravitate toward his campaign.
The long-held assumption that Trump’s campaign is powered by poorer, working-class whites who’ve felt the negative economic impacts of trade, immigration and globalization is, according to Gallup’s data, incomplete at best. Trump’s supporters generally have less education and are more likely to be blue-collar, but “the standard economic measures of income and employment status show that, if anything, more affluent Americans favor Trump, even among white non-Hispanics,” the analysis reads. “Surprisingly, there appears to be no link whatsoever between exposure to trade competition and support for nationalist policies in America, as embodied by the Trump campaign.”