Regular conservatives voted for Donald Trump and will stay loyal to him as long as he’s loyal to them.
Despite the vitriol about “white supremacist” deplorables, Donald Trump’s coalition is made up of mainstream Republican voters—mostly regular conservatives.
Henry Olsen writes in the Guardian, “What liberals (still) get wrong about Trump’s support.”
The sheer ordinariness of Trump’s coalition is impossible to overstate. Data from the Voter Study Group show that more than 80% of his votes came from men and women who voted for Republican nominee Mitt Romney just four years before. This group contains the usual suspects among American Republicans: tax-cut advocates, religious evangelicals and Catholics, gun rights supporters and business types eager for deregulation. Trump has made sure to give each faction what they most desire just like any good politician would. That keeps them in his camp even as the media flays him with each supposed transgression.
Evangelicals are a case in point. My work on Republican factions, contained in the book I co-authored with Professor Dante Scala, The Four Faces of the Republican Party, found that very conservative voters who highly value social issues comprise about 25% of the party. These voters today are very afraid that liberal and progressive judges will slowly circumscribe their ability to practice their religion in their daily lives. They tended not to support Trump during the primaries, instead backing the Texas senator Ted Cruz. Their support for Trump now is highly transactional: so long as he nominates the judges they think will protect their beliefs and way of life, they will overlook virtually anything else he says or does.[…]
Nor are Trump’s voters united by racism and sexism, as many on the left presume. Analysis by the libertarian Cato Institute’s Emily Ekins found that Trump’s general election support broke into five groups. Only one, the American Preservationists, contained a large number of voters who could be said to be generally hostile to racial and ethnic minorities per se. They were outnumbered by another group, the Free Marketeers, whose attitudes towards racial and ethnic minorities were as or more tolerant than the attitudes of Hillary Clinton supporters. Each faction’s continued support for Trump is based upon how he acts on their priorities, not on one overarching theme.
This means, as Olsen points out, that the DNC going hard leftist and the media’s extreme attacks on Trump, only solidify his support. Olsen doesn’t even seem like a Trump supporter (and his criticism of the summit with Putin is stupid) but he makes an obvious point.
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