Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump Voters Share Anger, but Direct It Differently
By JOHN LELAND JAN. 30, 2016 COMMENT
The voters driving two of the more remarkable movements of this election cycle — for Donald J. Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders — share striking similarities. Both groups are heavily white, more male than female, and both are fueled partly by people who, in interviews, express distrust of their parties and the other candidates, especially Hillary Clinton.
… The two movements have significant differences: Mr. Trump attracts support across a wide spectrum of demographic groups, but is strongest among Americans without a college degree (eight of 10 Trump supporters do not have one) and those with lower incomes, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll in December.
I heard from a young person at a very liberal college, who said judging from Facebook feeds, that among “normal people” in that milieu who publicly express a preference for a candidate, just about all favor Sanders. The only Hillary enthusiasts are gay white males.
Trump and Sanders voters are the likeliest among their parties to be “angry” at Washington, according to the Times/CBS News poll, with 52 percent of Trump backers and 30 percent of Sanders backers identifying that way….
The targets of their anger diverge. Mr. Trump’s supporters directed their wrath toward career politicians, unlawful immigrants, terrorists and people who they said were taking advantage of welfare. Mr. Sanders’s supporters assailed big banks and economic inequality.
“Look at our health care,” said Sean Bolton, 42, of Norwalk, a Trump supporter who once voted for Barack Obama because of similar promises of independence. “Who do you think wrote those laws? I guarantee it was the insurance companies and drug manufacturers of the world.”
Are Trump supporters going to jump through all the hoops required to participate in the peculiar Iowa caucuses? How much of a ground game does Trump have in Iowa? Any? Is Trump going to wind up looking like Carson Palmer in the NFC conference championship game last Sunday heaving the ball 30 yards downfield on every play? But do you still need a ground game in an era of social media when it’s technologically easier to get detailed instructions out to the interested?
Even as he said he would compete to attract Trump voters, Mr. Sanders distinguished his message from Mr. Trump’s, saying the Republican candidate is “using it to scapegoat minorities.” Mr. Trump said he would cool his tone once the campaign battles were over.
Another one of those ideas looming just outside the realm of the thinkable is that for the Democrats to import ringers from abroad to win elections, which Democrats have boasted about throughout this century, is a shameless example of political corruption. This is especially true when the Democrats are more or less explicitly making a deal with the Republican donor class: You Republican plutocrats immediately reap the economic advantages of immigration to your net worths, we Democratic politicians later reap the political advantages of their children’s votes.