Posted on March 24, 2016

Why Trump Is Winning: His Supporters Think America Is Screwing over Whites

Greg Sargent, Washington Post, March 23, 2016


{snip} A Post/ABC national poll this month asked:  “Which of these do you think is a bigger problem in this country–blacks and Hispanics losing out because of preferences for whites, or whites losing out because of preferences for blacks and Hispanics?”

A large plurality of Republican respondents nationally say that the bigger problem is whites losing out, by 45-19. I asked crack Post polling guru Scott Clement to break these numbers down among supporters of Trump and the other candidates, and it turns out that Trump supporters believe this in far larger percentages:

A majority of Trump supporters–54 percent–believe the bigger problem is whites are losing out. Meanwhile, 37 percent of Trump’s supporters believe this strongly, again higher than among any other candidate’s supporters.

To be clear, correlation does not necessarily mean causation, and this is only one of many potential factors explaining Trump’s support. As Clement and Max Ehrenfreund write for Wonkblog, the poll also found that Trump supporters are more likely to say they are struggling economically. But as they explain, when you take these economic findings along with the above views on the racial question, it suggests that Trump supporters tend to believe their “losses are being caused by other group’s gains.”


As Brian Beutler has pointed out, those seeking to account for the Trump phenomenon have regularly downplayed the degree to which raw white identity politics may be fueling his rise, euphemistically rooting his success mainly in “economic anxiety,” with little regard for the appeal that his rank xenophobia and bigotry may hold for many Republican voters. {snip}