It’s easy to stereo-type the supporters of American presidents. I remember when Obama was in office his supporters were called “latte-drinking, Prius-driving, Birkenstock-wearing, trust fund babies”. I’ll leave it to your imagination on what the stereotype is for Trump supporters, but a new research report questioned 8,000 Trump supporters to determine how they could be characterised. Using cluster-analysis, the report found there are 5 types of Trump supporters:
1. Staunch Conservatives (31%).
They are fiscal conservatives, moral traditionalists and moderately nativist towards American identity and immigration.
– They are very loyal Republican voters. They are slightly older, more male than female, upper middle class and have moderate levels of education. They are most likely group to own guns and are the most politically interested.
– They are sceptical of immigration, especially of Muslims. They feel having lived in America most your life and being a Christian is important to being a real American.
– They oppose tax hikes on the wealthy, business regulation and government-provided healthcare.
2. Free Marketeers (25%).
They are small government fiscal conservatives, free traders, have liberal views on immigration.
-They voted mainly against Clinton, rather than for Trump. They tend to come the West, skew male, are middle-aged and the most educated and well-paid of Trump groups. They tend to own their own house, work full-time and have private health insurance.
-They are cosmopolitan, know LGBT people and the least likely to watch TV. They are fiscally conservative like Staunch Conservatives but support free trade.
3. American Preservationists (20%).
They economic progressives, believe the system is rigged, have nativist immigration views and a nativist/ethno-cultural conception of American identity.
-They are less loyal Republican supporters (half had positive views to Clinton in 2012), they are the core group that propelled Trump to victory in the primaries. They have low levels of education and the lowest incomes of all Trump groups.
-They are most likely to say religion is important, but least likely to attend church regularly. They are most likely to be on Medicaid, have a permanent disability that prevents them working and to smoke. They watch the most TV, but are the least politically informed. They have a strong sense of their racial and Christian identity and intensely support the temporary Muslim ban. They feel the greatest angst over race relations and feel that anti-white discrimination is as pervasive as other forms of discrimination.
-They are trade sceptics, believe in Democrat-type policies to redistribute income, are worried about old-age entitlement programmes and dislike Wall Street. They also believe that global warming is a serious threat and human activity is primarily to blame.
4. Anti-Elites (19%).
They lean economically progressive and believe the system is rigged.
-They have cooler feelings towards Trump, initially had favourable opinions towards Clinton but swung against her. They are middle-class with moderate education and skew younger than other Trump groups.
– They are the least likely group to own guns, attend church and be politically informed. Compared to Preservationist, they have more moderate positions on immigration, religious traditionalism and the environment, but compared to Democrats they are less liberal towards legal immigration and the temporary Muslim travel ban,
-They believes elites have taken advantage of the system against ordinary people and they favour increasing taxes on the wealthy.
5. The Disengaged (5%).
They don’t know much about politics, but what they do know makes them feel detached from the institutions and the elites. They are sceptical of immigration.
-They are less loyal Republicans, skew younger, female and are religiously unaffiliated. They have limited knowledge of political facts.
-They have weak preferences on most issues, except immigration where they want more controls and they support the temporary Muslim travel ban.
The report has a lot more detail including the fact that the “Anti-Elites”, “American Preservationists” and “Disengaged” favour compromise over sticking to principles in order to get things done (unlike the groups) and that every group disliked Clinton more than Obama especially the “Anti-Elites” and “Disengaged”. Happy reading.