As it turns out, the Trump coalition looks a lot like the rest of the Republican Party. Other than a spike in support in the Northeast, there is little in recent polling data to distinguish Trump’s supporters from the heart of the GOP primary electorate. Even immigration hardliners support him at the same rate as the rest of the Republican Party.
“It’s a strange coalition of people,” said Patrick Murray of Monmouth University. “We can’t pin them down demographically. … It appears he’s cherry-picked individual voters.”
Interviews with Trump supporters at a rally on Saturday in Phoenix and in New Hampshire, where he was among the first candidates to hire staffers, suggest he is attracting Republicans from many corners of the party who are drawn to his image as a straight-talking businessman who would shake up politics as usual.
“The issues that are driving the average Trump voter are, first and foremost, that he’s not a politician. Secondly, he is self-funding his campaign, so he can’t be bought,” said Steve Stepanek, Trump’s New Hampshire co-chairman, who supported Newt Gingrich in 2012 and Rudy Giuliani in 2008.
While 17 percent of Republican voters isn’t a majority, and the 4,000 raucous supporters cheering him in Arizona were anything but silent, Trump has hurtled to the top of several recent GOP primary polls. Apparently, he speaks for some Americans. So who are they and where did they come from?