Economic anxiety didn’t elect Trump and it may hurt his party in the midterms

But focusing on the white working class obscures the true contours of economic distress. In reality, it is people of color who report the most distress — a fact that is not surprising but stands out clearly in the new data. Hispanic-Americans without a college degree averaged 37 on this index and African-Americans without a college degree averaged 32. In fact, African-Americans with a college degree reported slightly more distress (30, on average) than whites without a college degree.

This pattern was evident at every income level. Nonwhites with the same household income as whites still reported more economic distress. This was true even when comparing nonwhites with college degrees to whites without college degrees.

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What about Trump voters overall? They actually reported less economic distress than those who voted for Hillary Clinton — and again this was true at every income level. Moreover, Mr. Trump’s earliest supporters, those who voted for him in the primary, reported less distress than did the primary supporters of either Mrs. Clinton or Bernie Sanders. Similarly, the much-discussed “Obama-Trump voter” did not report distinctively high levels of economic distress.

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