LMAO … ok.
I strongly disagree with this study.
“During the Trump presidency, some of the most interesting and innovative thinking on the center right has come from writers and politicians sometimes called “national populists.” This group challenges Republican orthodoxy on questions of economics and suggests that a new policy agenda, focused more on working-class concerns, could realign the U.S. electorate. We consider the plausibility of their claims, examining the relevant scholarly literature and recent trends among voters. The data show that most voters who supported Trump were overwhelmingly driven by cultural rather than economic concerns. This implies that the national populist vision is unlikely to provide major electoral gains for the Republican Party. Trump’s popularity among his supporters suffered very little due to his governing mostly as a conventional Republican politician, and those of his party who have adopted more redistributive voting patterns in Congress in recent years have not realized resulting gains at the ballot box. In fact, the American public gave Trump higher marks on the economy than any other major issue, contradicting the claim that more free market economic policies create an electoral cost. We also note that continuity with previous trends, rather than electoral realignment, was the norm in recent election cycles, meaning that the idea that there has been a major shift towards Republicans becoming the “working class party” is mostly a myth. Republican success in the future will depend on the party speaking to the cultural, rather than economic, concerns of its voters, whether symbolically or in more tangible terms. This can mean championing issues that Republicans have ignored in recent years like opposition to affirmative action, in addition to facilitating the kind of backlash politics towards cultural liberalism among non-white voters that has worked so well among whites in recent decades. Economic policies that seek to address working-class concerns but hinder overall growth can alienate both voters and donors for little gain. …”
In 2016, Trump won the presidency with this coalition:
In 2020, he lost the presidency with this coalition:
Saying that Trump won 58 percent of non-Hispanic White voters in 2020 is highly misleading. Who were those White voters? Where did they live? Did they live in the swing states?
In the 2016 election, Trump won fewer conservatives, Republicans, non-Whites and upper middle class voters. He won more moderates, Independents and working class and lower middle class voters. In the 2020 election, Trump won more conservatives, Republicans, non-Whites and upper middle class voters while losing moderates, Independents, and working class and lower middle class voters. There was a definite shift to the Right in the ideology and values of White men who voted for him.
In the 2016 election, Trump’s voters were nearly equally drawn from conservatives (20.4% of the electorate) and populists (18.95% of the electorate). In the 2020 election, however, Trump’s voters were significantly more conservative and his appeal was more limited. Trump only won populists by 47 points in 2020 and Joe Biden ran up the biggest victory with Moderates and Independents in decades. Trump lost support with White men in the Center and made up for it by higher conservative turnout.
George Hawley and Richard Hanania are reading far too much into the 2016 election results. The reason that support for Trump was so strongly correlated with immigration restriction, opposition to political correctness and White identity in that election is because he struck a chord with “American Preservationists” or “Democratic Leaning Working Class voters” (DLWCs) or the “Disaffected” or “Embittered” or “Hard-Pressed Skeptics” or “Market Skeptic Republicans” or “white supremacists” or whatever political science euphemism you want to use to describe the ethnocentric White populists and nationalists who are adjacent to the Republicans. He won the Far Right vote in 2016.
In the 2020 election, the Far Right vote wasn’t there for him again. He won far more conservatives and Republicans. He won more based blacks. Conservatives went from being 1/2 of his supporters to 3/4ths of his supporters. His margin of victory with populists cratered.
It is because God Emperor Trump became Blumpf in the span of four years. He disappointed his “Far Right” base on issue after issue and governed as a milquetoast conservative Republican. The Trump presidency sucked. Trump’s 2020 campaign sucked too. The salience of social identity issues with this demographic plunged because Blumpf was perceived as weak on White identity, immigration, political correctness, campaign finance, Israel, race and crime, law and order, heritage protection, Big Tech censorship, etc. His greatest cultural accomplishment was mainstreaming homosexuality on the Right.
Donald Trump’s image had completely changed in the “Far Right” by 2020. He went from overwhelming support in the “Far Right” swath of the electorate where the actual “National Populists” are concentrated to lukewarm support and/or being bitterly controversial. Trump support in 2020 was more reminiscent of Mitt Romney’s support as the “lesser of two evils.” It was less a vote for Trump than against Joe Biden and as a result he punched at about Mitt Romney’s strength with populists.
“The main shift between 2012 and 2016 is that Republicans made gains among the populists (voters who are economically liberal and conservative on social/identity issues). In 2012, Romney outperformed Obama by about a 2-to-1 margin among these voters. In 2016, Trump outperformed Clinton by about a 3-to-1 margin among these voters. The data here strongly suggest that the increasing salience of identity issues in the campaign caused the shift. …”
In 2012, Romney beat Obama by a 2-to-1 margin with populists.
In 2016, Trump beat Hillary by a 3-to-1 margin with populists.
Well then … what was Donald Trump’s margin with populists in 2020 with Joe Biden? Does Trump beating Joe Biden by 47 points look like a 3-to-1 margin? I don’t think so.
My issue preferences changed between 2016 and 2020.
In the 2016 election, my top reasons for voting for Trump were White identity, political correctness, immigration, trade, foreign policy, campaign finance. By 2020, I had come to perceive Trump as beholden to a small group of Jewish billionaire donors for whom he was delivering a trophy case of victories advancing the MIGA agenda. Political correctness had intensified into wokeness on his watch. Immigration had been a major disappointment. The trade deficit had gotten worse. White identity was far more ruthlessly repressed in terms of violence, censorship and legal battles than in the Obama era.
Across what had previously been the Alt-Right, economics became much more salient between 2016 and 2020. The support for Andrew Yang’s campaign was an early example of this. A bitter divide opened up between populists who broke with Trump (who were branded “wignats”) and paleocons who stuck with Trump until the end (who rebranded as the “Dissident Right”). The populists became more interested in economic issues. There was a growing realization that the backlash politics that had fueled Trump and the GOP in the 2016 election simply wasn’t moving the ball on social identity issues.
If the GOP isn’t delivering the goods on social identity issues like immigration, law and order or political correctness OR economics for populist voters, what then? A huge number of them simply reverted to being non-voters. That’s what I did in the 2020 election faced with choosing between Biden or Trump. I went from being a Trump Independent voter in 2016 to being a non-voter in 2018 and 2020.
My voting history:
2000 – Al Gore
2002 – Didn’t Vote
2004 – John Kerry
2006 – Didn’t Vote
2008 – Supported Ron Paul. Voted Constitution Party
2010 – Voted Republican during the Tea Party Revolution
2012 – Supported Ron Paul. Voted Constitution Party
2014 – Didn’t Vote
2016 – Strongly supported Donald Trump because of immigration, political correctness, foreign policy, trade, campaign finance
2018 – Didn’t Vote
2020 – Didn’t Vote
The GOP could win nationalist and populist voters … IF it actually delivered the goods on social identity issues, which it hasn’t, and if it moderated its economic agenda, which it refused to do during the Trump presidency. Without Trump on the ballot, the crowd that voted for him reluctantly or with reservations or who gave him a second chance has no reason to stick around in the GOP.