Jun. 5th, 2017

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Amid the insanity of a 130+ day Gish Gallop that's still emanating from the dumpster fire it's hard to keep a handle on the idea that there are actual facts to be reviewed and data to be analyzed. Let's turn for a moment to one such story:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/06/05/its-time-to-bust-the-myth-most-trump-voters-were-not-working-class/?utm_term=.112ef36b9f08

This weekend, the Post's Nicholas Carnes and Noam Lupu put together another attempt to bust the "working class for Trump" meme. This has been one of the most popular stories since the election - or even the campaign. The story has been fueled by the fact that the machine Democrats as I ranted yesterday picked a candidate who seemed to have no ability to connect with actual working-class (blue collar especially) voters.

Carnes and Lupu put it directly - most primary Trump voters were affluent, and so were his election-day supporters. Data show that only about 1/3 of his support came from people who have household incomes below USD 50,000 - the current median. A similar number (1/3) had household incomes above $100k. That holds true particularly for non-Hispanic white voters, supposedly the core of Trump's support.

Carnes and Lupu also looked at education levels - Trump voters were reported famously to be people without college degrees. True, but a broader analysis shows that something like 70% of all Republican voters don't have college degrees. Trump drew voters from the high-school educated in line with the voting membership of that party.

Bottom line: the "prototypical" white non-Hispanic voter without a college degree who makes below the median income accounts for only 25% of Trump's vote tally. This "prototype" is a creation of (imo) lazy media looking for an easy story and angry supporters of other candidates looking for an easy scapegoat. Reality, as usual, is more nuanced than easy and if we're going to get rid of this cancer before it kills us we need to start by getting rid of bad myths.

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