The Improbable Demographics Behind Donald Trump’s Shocking Presidential Victory

The Improbable Demographics Behind Donald Trump’s Shocking Presidential Victory, by Joel Kotkin.

America is a nation of many economies, but those that produce real, tangible things — food, fiber, energy and manufactured goods — went overwhelmingly for Trump. He won virtually every state from Appalachia to the Rockies, with the exceptions of heavily Hispanic Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, and President Obama’s home base of Illinois.

Some of his biggest margins were in energy states — Texas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Wyoming, North Dakota — where the fracking revolution created a burst of prosperity. Generally speaking, the more carbon-intensive the economy, the better the Republicans did. Many of his biggest wins took place across the energy-producing regions of the country, including Ohio, Texas, Louisiana, Wyoming, Idaho, and especially West Virginia, where he won by a remarkable margin of 68% to 27%. The energy industry could well be the biggest financial winner in the election. …

Exit polling nationwide showed Trump won two-to-one among people without a college degree, matched Clinton among college graduates, losing only those with graduate degrees, a group that has voted for the Democrats since 1988. …

This election was about class, something the left never talks about anymore because they prefer to divide people by identities like race, sex, and sexual orientation.

Class has been a bigger factor in this election than in any election since the New Deal era. Trump’s insurgency rode largely on middle- and working-class fears about globalization, immigration and the cultural arrogance of the “progressive” cultural elite.

Trump owes his election to what one writer has called “the leftover people.” These may be “deplorables” to the pundits but their grievances are real — their incomes and their lifespans have been decreasing. They have noticed, as Thomas Frank has written, that the Democrats have gone “from being the party of Decatur to the party of Martha’s Vineyard.”

The middle class who aren’t in a “minority group”, and the lower class who aren’t on welfare, voted for Trump — while the rich, those on welfare, the minority groups, and ex-felons voted for the establishment:

Many of these voters were once Democrats, and feel they have been betrayed. And they include a large swath of the middle class, whose fury explains much of what happened tonight. Trump has connected better with these voters than Romney, who won those making between $50,000 and $90,000 by a narrow 52 percent margin. Early analysis of this year’s election shows Trump doing better among these kind of voters.

At the same time, however, affluent voters — those making $100,000 and above — seem to have tilted over to the Democrats this year. This is the first time the “rich” have gone against the GOP since the 1964 Goldwater debacle. Obama did better among the wealthy, winning eight of the 10 richest counties in 2012. In virtually all these counties, Clinton did even better.