Maybe He Has a Point

In Politico is “Some big GOP players say Trump has a point“:


While many in the GOP are fiercely condemning Donald Trump for his proposal to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the U.S., a whole lot of other Republicans are saying, hey, he has a point…

In The Atlantic, Peter Beinart echoes the sentiment in “It’s Not Just Trump“, while Henry Olsen warns us that “The Polls May Be Underestimating Trump’s Support“, clue-ing we sophisticates on how those dumb, hick whites love themselves heaping servings of The Donald:

Donald Trump’s persistent lead in the GOP presidential-preference polls has been a great source of confusion for the chattering classes. But Trump is actually just the latest manifestation of a more global trend: Data suggests the appeal of anti-immigrant policies to working-class voters is much deeper than most American elites want to believe. And because Trump draws the bulk of his support from less-educated, working- and middle-class voters, he may be positioned to do even better still—for now. Polling data from Europe shows that parties with similar voter profiles to Trump’s consistently do better in both online polls and at the ballot box than in live-interview polling. And currently Trump is far ahead online.

Donald Trump is simply the American version of Nigel Farage, Geert Wilders, and many other European leaders of working-class, anti-immigrant parties who profit from stoking the flames of resentment because there is so much kindling available to light.

So what explains the chasm between these particular candidates’ online versus live polling data? It turns out that a nontrivial share of these same working-class, anti-immigrant voters won’t tell a live person who they support but will share their true feelings when their support is secret—like on Election Day. This is no surprise: Support for immigration and globalization are perhaps the only political sentiments that unite elites from both business and the academy, from right and left. Openly supporting an anti-immigration candidate can risk social opprobrium, ridicule, or worse. In other words, for every group of vocal Trump supporters, there are probably a lot more who just don’t advertise it.

It looks like Olsen may have discovered a new sociological phenomenon!

Oh wait, it’s already been coined… that rustic remnant of another age, the ‘Silent Majority’, is dusting itself off.

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