To hear GOP and Liberal Establishment talking heads or biased media pundits tell it – the only people who support Donald Trump are low income, uneducated white people. Here’s the truth about the people who support Trump.
Contrary to these statements, however, lower-income and less-educated people aren’t the only voters backing Trump. Trump supporters—even the white ones—are rich and poor alike. They are law school grads and high school dropouts. Trump is leading the pack in every corner of the GOP, not just the working class.
In terms of income among Trump supporters, you’ll find roughly equal numbers of high-income, middle-income and low-income voters. According to data from a national NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll conducted online from March 7 through March 13, the share of Trump supporters who make more than $100,000 per year is almost exactly the same as the share of Trump supporters who make less than $50,000 (and that’s true even when you just look at white Trump supporters). Trump gets just as much of his support from the richest Americans as he does from the poorest.
In terms of education, it’s true that there are lots of people without college degrees backing Trump. But that’s because in the GOP—and in the U.S. in general—there are lots of people without college degrees period. According to the Census Bureau, among Americans 18 and over, about 71 percent don’t have college degrees. According to the tracking poll, among Trump supporters, about 74 percent don’t have college degrees, and that’s also true for the subset of white Trump supporters.
Trump’s fan base is not substantially less educated than the country as a whole.
The idea that Trump’s electoral success is because of a groundswell from lower-income Americans is also misleading. According to data from the same NBC News|SurveyMonkey Tracking Poll, Trump is currently the front-runner among every income and education group in the GOP. A plurality of every corner of the GOP is lined up behind him right now. In fact, he does best among very wealthy voters without college degrees, such as small business owners.
Immigrants also support Donald Trump;
A recent informal poll conducted by a Russian-language radio station in New York City showed that more than 80 percent of 5,000 callers preferred Mr. Trump, the Republican front-runner, to Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s likely nominee. A group of Latino Republicans in Rockland County is planning to endorse him, and some older Indian-American professionals and young Hindus in the region already have.
Consider the case of Anand Ahuja, a lawyer in his mid-60s on Long Island, who was a founder of Indian-Americans for Trump 2016, a political action committee that oddly does not raise money. Mr. Ahuja visited the United States in his 20s on a tourist visa from India, and said friends were marrying for green cards. They stayed and prospered, but he returned to India and waited nine years to immigrate legally.
Mr. Ahuja praised Mr. Trump for wanting to stop immigrants from entering the country illegally. “You should not reward people who have broken the law,” he said. “You follow the law, you get punished. That’s why I like Donald Trump when he says, ‘Let’s build a wall.’”
He added, “I believe anybody who came in this country illegally should be deported.”
Or as Tony Mele, 55, the chairman of the Latino National Republican Coalition of Rockland County and a private security consultant, put it: “When you’re in New York and you’re standing on the long line for tickets to a show, or in the supermarket, what happens when one person jumps the line with a cart? It’s like, ‘Oh no you’re not!’ I don’t care if it’s Mexico, Ecuador, what island you came from.”
Mr. Mele, who was born in the South Bronx, added, “You got a guy like Trump saying, ‘Hey, get to the back of the line like everybody else.’”
Rene, 38, a business owner in Spring Valley, N.Y., and a member of the Rockland County coalition, came to the United States illegally as a teenager from Ecuador 22 years ago. His employer offered him a work authorization. Eventually, he applied for legal permanent residency and became a citizen in 2006. He did not want to give his surname for fear of retribution against his school-age children or his businesses.
Rene supports Mr. Trump because he believes the Democrats have not helped immigrants like himself. He said he was fed up with the corruption and resulting lack of resources in the East Ramapo Central School District. Its school board, dominated by ultra-Orthodox Jews, has faced lawsuits, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the possible misuse of federal money in local yeshivas.
“Our community is tired of dealing with the same things going on over and over again,” Rene said. “The only way to make our voice count is to start looking for our way to get in.”