Liberals want reality to conform to their heroic narratives about life. So wouldn’t it be easier if Trump’s support were mostly explained by racism (which is repulsive), rather than his supporters’ status as low-earning, working-class people (which is sympathetic)? The reality is that these issues may be connected.
Because some liberals find explanations of Trump’s support by “class” or “economic anxiety” to be prissy or evasive, they make a joke whenever a Trump supporter is found doing something heinously racist. They point to it and say, “Wow, lots of economic anxiety here.” Naturally, their argument would be bolstered if it turned out that Trump supporters were discovered to not be so strained economically. Data journalist Nate Silver provided what looked like a reason to believe this. And, even though the evidence is quite thin, wonkish liberals are running with it.
Matt Yglesias, using numbers from Silver’s article “The myth of Donald Trump’s working class support,” writes that Trump supporters are “pretty rich.”