"We won with poorly educated — I love the poorly educated." Those were some great words from Donald Trump's mouth after he won the Nevada GOP caucus. The phrase even started trending on Twitter because it was so ridiculous — but Trump was right about the first part. He won among the poorly educated Republicans of Nevada. And the highly educated, and women and moderates, and many other groups.
Trump continues to be victorious (he also won New Hampshire and South Carolina, only losing Iowa to Ted Cruz), while still making detestable comments, preaching policies that experts believe are infeasible, and getting an A+ in hypocrisy. Many are wondering: how the heck is he winning? Who is actually voting for this man? The answer goes beyond anything statistics can predict.
— Steph (@steph93065) December 9, 2015
However, since stats are important, let's investigate first with a look at the Nevada entrance polls as reported by CNN. These polls are basically surveys taken before or after people vote. Experts then use the numbers in attempt to figure out how certain demographics are voting. They're not always reliable, but we'll get to that in a bit.
We're focusing on Nevada because out of the first four voting states, it's most representative of the country. There, compared to his competitors, Trump won the highest percentage of votes from Republican women and men, whites and Latinos, and people at every education level (from those with a high school education or less to those with post-graduate degrees).
It doesn't stop there. He also won people who identify as very conservative, somewhat conservative, moderates, born-again or evangelical Christians, and those ages 30 to 65 and older. The only group he didn't completely capture? The youngins — those 17 to 19-year-olds who mostly went for Marco Rubio.
In Jesus name I pray for Mr. Trump & all his supporters. I ask God to help people see that he is the best man for POTUS. Amen. #Trump2016
— Diane Orsak Wilson (@DianeOTurner) February 25, 2016
What might be more telling, however, are the categories where he's won across the board for every single one of the four states that have voted so far. Those groups are: people with an education of high school or less, those who claim a moderate ideology, independent voters, and folks who consider immigration to be the most important issue (surprise!). He's also killing it with people who think the top candidate quality is "tells it like it is" and "can bring change."
Now, let's put these numbers into context. Some of those groups make up a tiny percentage of the total vote. For example, although Trump won 44 percent of the Latino vote in Nevada, that translates to less than 3,000 people. In fact, the number of Latino Republicans in Nevada is pretty small; only about two percent of all eligible Latino voters in Nevada (or about 6,000 Latinos) actually voted in the GOP primary.
Also, you know those people who said they want someone with a "tell it like it is" quality? They make up less than the number people who want someone who "shares my values." That winner has pretty much been Cruz every time. Plus, these sample sizes are small — the Nevada poll, for instance, only talked to 1,573 people, meaning there's a higher chance for margin of error.
TELLS it Like it IS
Run the USA Like a BIZ
No more DEMS
No more RINOS
No more DRUNK-ON-DC WINOS#Trump2016
— Booyah Boyz (@BooyahBoyz) February 26, 2016
What exactly does this all mean? Trump is still winning, that's obvious. But which groups he takes will change as demographics shift from state to state. Perhaps the most accurate answer to the question of who's voting for Trump lies in another poll statistic. The majority of the folks who voted for Trump believe the next president should be outside the establishment; many also say they are "dissatisfied" and "angry" with the government. People are pissed. They're tired of the government screwing them over. They're fed up with hearing that same old sh*t. And Mr. Trump is their answer.
On Reddit, there's a subreddit, or group, called Ask Trump Supporters. Browse through the different topics, and you'll see that people believe he's actually uniting the country. The "Can you tell me, using one word, why you're voting for Trump?" section is filled with answers like "anti-establishment," "energy," "strength," and "patriotism." (Also "hair," because let's be real.)
And look through "Can you name the number one reason you're voting for Trump?" and you'll find that the most popular answer is that Trump is just misunderstood.
To non-Americans, Trump's demagogic rhetoric makes us look embarrassing. And his defense to important questions, like why he hired immigrants while preaching for more American jobs, often sounds like he's about to let out a "your mama" joke. But his message of "making America great again" is resoundingly simple here at home, and the guy can be sincerely funny. As long as he's promising to give the government a face-lift to people who thinks it needs a full-body makeover, he can say whatever the hell he wants without consequence.
His rise to power has been compared to Hitler's — not because he's going to order the mass killing of people, but because he's been able to exploit a divided country and rise to power while people who know it's wrong don't speak up. If you think that comparison is extreme, maybe this one to a film called Idiocracy is more accurate — unless, of course, you're one of the many people voting for him.