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Profile of Those Who Voted for Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016
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The GSS surveyed 95 people who voted for Obama in 2012 and for Trump in 2016. The sample is obviously suboptimally small. Still, the demographic characteristics of this contingent of people whose modest size will have a disproportionately large impact on the annals of The Decline and Fall of the American Empire that the Sinitic historians of the future will write is worth taking a look at. The following table compares them to the broader 2016 electorate that also voted in 2012 as recorded in the 2018 iteration of the survey:

Characteristic BO to DT Electorate
n-H white 91% 72%
Mean age 55 yo 52 yo
Working class 54% 38%
College grad 31% 40%
Male 66% 47%
Union household 24% 14%
Married 60% 55%
Worship weekly+ 13% 27%
Political independent 52% 36%

Disproportionately older working-class married white men in labor unions who lack strong political party or religious affiliations–in other words, exactly what we expected.

GSS variables used: PRES12, PRES16, AGE, RACECEN1(1), HISPANIC(1), PARTYID(2-4,7), UNION, CLASS(2), ATTEND(7-8), SEX, DEGREE(3-4), MARITAL(1)

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  1. MBlanc46 says:

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  2. aperson says:

    Nice work. But are they older?

    I would expect the population that has voted in at least two elections to be older than the general voting population because in the general voting population no 18-21 yr old could’ve voted in two Presidential elections.

    There’s a related effect for married vs non-married but a countervailing trend for graduating college (which makes the working class result stronger).

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  3. I wonder if they will vote for Blumpf again!

    The only way these people would vote again would be if the local blue collar economies were thriving again. I don’t live in the USA so I can’t really say.

    It’s also highly possible that these people truly voted for Trump due to economic concerns and not the borders (working class PA is white).

  4. anon[825] • Disclaimer says:

    Exactly the people Bill Clinton courted when he ran for President. Hillary openly expressed her contempt for these people at every opportunity.

    • Agree: Audacious Epigone
  5. @aperson

    Touche. The effect is small but you’re right, it must be there. That doesn’t mean that what is reported is technically inaccurate, but it is modestly misleading.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  6. @UrbaneFrancoOntarian

    I do, and I can’t say definitively. If it’s Biden/Harris or Biden/Abrams, it’ll be more neo-liberal race-hustling from the Democrats with the economic left getting stilted again just like they did in 2016. If that’s the case, Trump will probably keep a lot of these people in 2020. Some will probably be too jaded to bother voting at all, though, and Trump’s margins were razor thin in 2016 so it’s not as though he has much margin for error.

    • Replies: @Feryl
    , @Feryl
  7. Feryl says:

    It’s also highly possible that these people truly voted for Trump due to economic concerns and not the borders (working class PA is white).

    Many immigrants in the Midwest and inland Northeast came here via airplanes, on work Visas, refugee programs, the Visa lottery, and family-reunification. Since Bush’s 2nd term, where I live there’s been a major increase in the number of Africans, MEsterners, and Asians. Almost all of them were given permission to come and stay here.

    The vast majority of illegal Hispanics are in the Sunbelt states, the coastal regions, and to some degree in Northern “farm towns” where agribusiness operates.

    Trump did as well as he did in the Midwest because of his stance on trade. NAFTA still stings everyone born before 1986, at least the lower class people who saw New York boom as heartland factories got shuttered and people fled to the South and West where the weather is “better” (enjoy the sun burns, droughts, and the heat indexes that routinely exceed 100 degrees) and you can still find “good” jobs.

    I see that B. Clinton has been mentioned; it really is the economy, like he always said. Trump appealed to desperate people, and there’s no one more desperate than the Rust-Belters, who voted based on trade policy since for once we had a Republican who did more that repeat mindless “patriotic” slogans and apologize for CEOs.

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
  8. Feryl says:

    California, Arizona*, and Texas are the states most dramatically impacted by illegal Hispanic migration. Yet of course, highly populous and “growing” (well, until very recently for CA) TX and CA have been bastions of pro-immigrant sentiment, more often than not, since the 70’s. CA’s conservative white middle class was driven out by high housing costs. Really, on a cultural level the behavior of CA blacks in the 70’s and 80’s is far more agonizing than the behavior of the current CA Mexican community. So it’s fair to say that CA’s once robust population of conservative whites left entirely due to economic reasons, not cultural ones. Texas, on the other hand, still has a substantial number of middle class whites who just move to a different part of the state if their neighborhood starts to look to much like Johannesburg or Tijuana.

    *Arizona has a lot of older and ornery libertarian type whites, and it’s paid off electorally for Arizona politicians to buck PC trends, going back some decades (the state got into hot water, back in the 80’s, for not doing enough to acknowledge MLK). Arizona’s state GOP chair was one of the earliest in the country to heavily back Trump, doing interviews with TV news outlets and such.

  9. Feryl says:
    @Audacious Epigone

    Vice president makes absolutely no difference*. None. There’s no sense in caring about the “ticket”. Just focus on the presidential candidate in and of themselves. Mike Pence is probably the most intense Evangelical Christian politician this country has ever see, and yet Trump is still not religious; in fact, compared to Bush and Reagan he scarcely seems to invoke the trappings of religion, let alone practice them (the embarrassing “Corinthians” gaffe signaled to Trump’s handlers that they were better off not even bothering, and it’s not like Ted Cruz’s piety made any difference).

    *VP’s understand that it’s their job to parrot the ideology preferred by their mate. It ought to be clear whether a possible VP can be relied on to act as such; failure to stay on the reservation means that they’ll be kept off the ticket. It’s very likely that a failure by Abrams/Harris to keep their mouths shut for the time being could disqualify them from being chosen (Liz Warren had made her “brand” radioactive because the imposter Indian thing can’t be reconciled with someone who affects to be such a woke progressive).

  10. Really, on a cultural level the behavior of CA blacks in the 70’s and 80’s is far more agonizing than the behavior of the current CA Mexican community.

    Hey, at least Ebonics is English.

    I lived in an African immigrant neighborhood where the black behavior was quite tolerable. No, what was disturbing was how alien it was.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if whites were decamping from Mesoamericans as much as from blacks.

    • Replies: @Feryl
    , @Feryl
  11. Feryl says:
    @Audacious Epigone

    Biden is probably going to win the nomination, since he’s heavily favored by the older people and black people who actually vote in the primaries. Agnostic has said that “unexpected” victories by the underdog (such as Trump in ’16) tend to cause the loyalists of the losing party to re-group around a mild-mannered “old-fashioned” (conformist to the established order) candidate in the following election, since they “know” that a bolder candidate would cause them to lose yet another pres. election for which they would be humiliated and shaken. Agnostic predicts that Trump V Biden would be quite close; if the Dems lose, then perhaps they’ll finally get the message that a true Leftist is needed. If the Dems win, Boring corporate whore Joe Biden would be vulnerable to being taken out after 4 years by another populist Republican. And if Biden has two terms, you can bet your ass that the GOP will run an ass-kicker who will rout the Dem successor to Biden.

  12. Feryl says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    My point is that people of means *sure as hell don’t want CA’s demographics to revert back to 1970, when black power zealots were bombing places and murdering people.

    *CA’s biggest problem is living expenses, not racial demographics. Back in the 70’s and 80’s, throughout America, people left many cities/older suburbs in order to live in a more peaceful environment, and this was feasible everywhere in America. Many whites have deserted CA because their money just doesn’t go that far there anymore. Again, compare TX to CA; demographically the states have been affected nearly the same by post-1970 immigration policy*,* yet financially the states are very different from each other; TX has remained much more affordable.

    **Texas is arguably worse than CA from a demographic standpoint, because TX has a large population of legacy American blacks that will never leave the Southeast.

  13. Feryl says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I lived in an African immigrant neighborhood where the black behavior was quite tolerable. No, what was disturbing was how alien it was.

    Sure, but it’s not as if their descendants are going to be able to achieve even the state of behavior described above, let alone improve on it. The track record is that Hispanic-Americans assimilate 40-50% to white American norms, and Asians assimilate 50-70% (by “norms” I mean not just success, but also following basic customs of America and having pride in the country and the people who really built it). For blacks, at best we get off-spring of black elites who use their family advantages and affirmative action to find success, although they often misuse the resulting power and visibility. So that’s really only assimilation to like 30-40%, in the best case scenario for most American born blacks*. For the vast majority of American blacks, we’re talking assimilation to the tune 10-20%, and that’s even true if their ancestors were here 300 years ago. Crime, disorder, indolence, irresponsible parenting, squalor and decay, anger at the “white” system, etc.

    *Guys like Larry Elder are way on the outside of mainstream black thought and culture. Even the most successful blacks frequently resent the “white” system for keeping the ‘hood down.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  14. Twinkie says:

    Asians assimilate 50-70%

    Asians assimilate 110% to the SWPL-dom.

    Hispanic-Americans assimilate 40-50% to white American norms, and Asians assimilate 50-70%… For blacks… 30-40%…. vast majority of American blacks… tune 10-20%.

    Where did you get these numbers?

    • Replies: @Feryl
  15. AceDeuce says:

    The negative things that Americans in other regions have been crying about since the 2009 “Great Recession” have been a part of much of the “Rust Belt” since the mid-late 1970s. The issues that affected America as a whole since then also hit that area–again and again– and have only served to deepen their plight.

    • Replies: @Feryl
  16. @Audacious Epigone

    Edited it to include the 2016 electorate that also voted in 2012. It bumped the mean age up from 51 to 52.

  17. Feryl says:

    NAFTA was the turning point, though, because it was Clinton who signed it* (he could’ve vetoed it, and would’ve had much party support to do so in the relatively populist early 90’s) and it symbolically represented the elite’s knowing decision to destroy what was left of America’s manufacturing. Pre-NAFTA, the industrial North could still tell itself that if it “improved the environment” for business, companies might decide to reinvest in the heartland. But after NAFTA, there was no way any region of America would be able to rely on manufacturing.

    *Had Bush warned America that Clinton was going to destroy our traditional economy, he would’ve done better; alas, it was Bush himself who helped craft NAFTA in the late 80’s/early 90’s.

  18. Feryl says:

    I made them up, to roughly indicate how well non-white ethnic groups assimilate to normal American attitudes and customs. Blacks are always total misfits, Mestizos do spotty usually, and Asians do the best.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  19. Twinkie says:

    I’ll give you non-made up numbers:

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