Trump’s Strongest Supporters are… Registered Democrats


I kid you not.

This is not meant as a way to bash Donald Trump, it’s simply a regurgitation of the latest studies of the polls.

In a recent statistical study of the polling data, Nate Cohn of the Upshot at the New York Times found one very interesting tidbit.

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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 G.O.P. 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, according to data provided to The Upshot by Civis Analytics, a Democratic data firm.

Yep. Donald Trump’s strongest support comes from registered Democrats.

This doesn’t surprise many conservative pundits who have long wondered how Republicans could possibly support a candidate who also happens to be so openly liberal. Conn Carroll expressed his lack of surprise on Twitter.

I would argue that Carroll is exactly right. Many big government Democrats who also happen to be more conservative on certain issues (let’s call these folks populists) have been migrating to the GOP, even as they continue to be registered Democrats. While these folks have been voting Republican in Presidential elections for the last two decades, they still hold their “big government” views on the welfare state, healthcare, education and even Unions.

These are your core Trump supporters. (And that’s not a good thing for Trump’s primary chances.)

Trump GOP Coalition

Mr. Trump appears to hold his greatest strength among people like these — registered Democrats who identify as Republican leaners — with 43 percent of their support, according to the Civis data. Similarly, many of Mr. Trump’s best states are those with a long tradition of Democrats who vote Republican in presidential elections, like West Virginia.

Mr. Trump’s strength among traditionally Democratic voters could pose some problems for his campaign. Many states bar voters registered with the other party from participating in partisan primaries. Other states go further, not allowing unaffiliated voters to vote in a primary; in the G.O.P. race, for example, that would mean restricting the electorate to those registered as Republicans — one of Mr. Trump’s weakest groups. 

Perhaps the biggest thing to take away from the data – Trump performs weakest with actual Republicans… in the Republican Primary. While his supporters argue that this is proof positive that he can reunite the old Reagan coalition, conservatives would argue that the truth is quite different. Trump’s weakness among GOP voters (particularly conservatives) actually proves that he cannot win a general election against a strong candidate.

Which side is right? It’s too early to tell, but we might get a chance to find out over the next ten months.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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