Start with the fondness for the word “Trumpkin,” meant at once to describe and demean his supporters. Or consider an article from National Review, which describes a “vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles” and whose members find that “Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin.” Scarcely a day goes by without a fresh tweet or article taking the same tone, an echo of the old Washington Post slur against evangelicals as “largely poor, uneducated and easy to command.”
We get it: Trump voters are stupid whites who are embittered because they are losing out in the global economy.
But a new Gallup paper suggests this may be a caricature that misses the fuller picture. The analysis is by Gallup senior economist Jonathan Rothwell, who looked not only at Trump voters but where they lived:
“The results show mixed evidence that economic distress has motivated Trump support,” writes Mr. Rothwell. “His supporters are less educated and more likely to work in blue collar occupations, but they earn relative high household incomes, and living in areas more exposed to trade or immigration does not increase Trump support.”