Trump calls it his hidden power — the people the experts can’t see; the people who shun the polls or just lie to them. Trump’s base has always understood that their movement was more powerful than the pundit class could ever realise. At a Trump rally last week in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, I met Mike, a fiftysomething Greek-American, who described Trump’s appeal: ‘He has tapped into these deep cultural veins that they just can’t reach or even understand,’ he said. By ‘they’ he meant the Democrats and much of the media. He was right. Trump fans are often wiser than the people who loathe them.
Perhaps we all need to take our assumptions about how and why Americans vote and turn them on their head. It’s not about race or racism. It’s about class. Even if Trump doesn’t win, he has still forged a ‘rainbow coalition’ of the working classes that means Republicans can win in decades to come. He might just fall short in the coming days. But he has reinvented the Republican party as a winning proposition in a multi-racial America for the foreseeable future. The Trump operation ran an especially imaginative and successful campaign in Florida. He appealed to Latinos — not just Cubans, but Puerto Ricans, Guatemalans and Colombians. In Texas, too, Trump showed that he can swing Hispanic voters en masse.