If you don’t plan on voting for Donald Trump in North Carolina’s March 15 primary, you’re probably among the millions of confused Americans who today are still wondering where this Trump tidal wave came from and why you didn’t see it coming.
The guys at Ipsos, the polling firm, published this interesting bit of research way back in October, when we all thought this Trump thing looked much less certain and might still vanish from the political stage.
Even then, their research showed that Trump had – intentionally or not – tapped into a deep strain of neo-nativist sentiment running through the Republican electorate.
A September Ipsos poll found that a whopping 72 percent of Republicans agreed with the statement: “More and more, I don’t identify with what America has become.” And 62 percent agreed with this statement: “These days I feel like a stranger in my own country.”
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And it’s not just Republicans. Fifty-eight percent of independents also agreed with the first statement, and 53 percent agreed with the second.
Conversely, 55 percent of Democrats agreed with this statement: “More and more, America is a place that I can feel comfortable as myself.”
Trump voters look at America and see a nation that, demographically and culturally, is leaving them behind. And they want the loudest, toughest, least politically correct person they can find to stand up and start screaming about it. The Donald more than fits the bill.
The media, as well as the Republican establishment, totally misread the mood of the GOP electorate. Perhaps if someone had paid more attention to polling on this subject, or assigned it the proper weight we now know it deserves, we wouldn’t all be standing around so shocked right now. (Heck, even the guys who did this research speculate at the end of their piece that Trump’s candidacy “may not go the distance.”)
The Trump phenomenon, which cuts across traditional political boundaries and loyalties, isn’t really that hard to understand, ultimately, even if you don’t agree with it. --Eric Frazier