MOST analysis of Donald Trump’s support in the primary elections has focused on his appeal to poorer, working-class white voters, who are assumed to have lost the most to globalization and are more open to his particular brand of populist politics. But his victory in the New York Republican primary on April 19th underscored his wider support across the party’s base. Mr Trump took 61% of the vote overall (the first time he has gained over 50%) winning across all demographic groups. That was to be expected in his home state. However, averaging out his support in all state primaries (where exit polling is available) shows that richer and better educated voters form as big a part of Mr Trump’s support base as those at the lower end of the income and education scales.
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Take education: on average, voters with a high-school education or less have made up 16% of the Republican electorate overall and a fifth of Mr Trump’s voting base; but college graduates and postgraduates account for 43% of his support. Looking at income: voters earning under $50,000 have made up 29% of the electorate and 32% of Mr Trump’s support. Those earning over $100,000 have accounted for 37% of the electorate and 34% of his base. In Illinois, for example, he took 46% of the vote among low earners, but they made up only a quarter of the electorate, whereas he attracted 39% of the highest earners, who made up two-fifths of that primary’s voters.
He does not have a majority of the “rich vote”. The race is split. But the idea that it is mostly poor, less-educated voters who are drawn to Mr Trump is a bit of a myth. Only 13% of the votes in New York’s Republican primary came from New York city; the vast majority were from the traditionally more Republican upstate area. But the data show that he won the support of 52% of voters statewide earning under $50,000, and 64% of those earning over $100,000. It would seem Mr Trump is a broadly appealing fellow after all.