Donald Trump boosters often accuse his detractors of being “out of touch” with America. They point to his success in Republican primaries, and argue that it proves those who wrote off his chances of winning the nomination don’t know what real America is about. Then they assume his success in Republican primaries will carry over to the general election. But this is a mistake, because general election voters are a lot different than Republican primary voters.
It’s often been pointed out that general election voters are younger and more diverse than those who vote in Republican primaries, but I decided to quantify this – and the results are pretty revealing. I looked at GOP exit poll data in nine potential swing states and compared the percentage of white voters and young voters with the turnout among those same groups in the 2012 general election.
In the nine states I looked at, the white vote has averaged about 91 percent during the GOP primaries, but whites only made up an average of 77 percent of voters in those same states in the 2012 general.