Politics & Policy

Beyond ‘Angry White Men’

Trump holds campaign signs during a rally in Lakeland, Fla., in October. (Reuters photo: Mike Segar)
Trump won by appealing to all races, genders, and education levels.

President-elect Donald J. Trump “doesn’t know much,” former President Bill Clinton claimed last week. “One thing he does know is how to get angry white men to vote for him.”

 

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Clinton’s insult may be the highest-level Democratic dismissal of Trump’s victory as the rancid fruit of a white-supremacist campaign. Clinton’s barely concealed message is: “Racists elected Trump, so his agenda must be stopped.”

Nice try.

Trump did win the votes of 62 percent of white men. Let’s assume, for argument’s sake, that they all were angry. Imagine your favorite male Caucasian with a snarl across his pale face.

If angry white men constituted three quarters of the electorate, then Trump’s share of this demographic might make Clinton’s race-baiting words plausible. Unfortunately for an angry white man named Bill Clinton, that particular group composed just 34 percent of November 8’s voters. Trump’s slice of these white men, angry and otherwise, totaled only 21 percentage points of his vote. This was not even half of the 46 percent he actually won, and in just the right states to secure the Electoral College.

Perhaps Bill Clinton’s well-honed ballot-counting skills have been hobbled by seeing his warhorse wife lose to a political rookie. For the Clintons, the painful truth is that a surprisingly diverse collection of voters handed Trump his jaw-dropping upset. If not a full-blown rainbow coalition, Trump’s spectrum of supporters is hardly as white as a sheet.

National exit-poll data are extremely revealing here. Edison Media Research interviewed 24,558 Americans at some 3,000 precincts on Election Day and also surveyed early and absentee voters by phone. This study’s margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points.

Trump won 52 percent of all men. He also gained 57 percent of white voters. That’s 2 percent less than Mitt Romney won in 2012. This makes Trump’s coalition darker than Romney’s.

The whites who backed Trump are not just the stereotypically uneducated, knuckle-dragging, mullet-wearing bubbas with Confederate-flag decals on their Ford F-150 pickups.

Some of these “angry white men” are women. Indeed, 52 percent of Caucasian females voted for Trump.

These Americans are not drooling morons. Trump beat Hillary Clinton 48 percent to 45 percent among white college graduates. He also scored 53 percent of white male college grads and a 44 percent plurality of equally schooled white women. The Clintons should be deeply disappointed that they did not win white voters with bachelor’s degrees. Trump did. 

While Trump did not attain a majority among various minority ethnic groups, he won significant support from such voters — far more than a “white, racist Republican” should have attracted.

Trump won 8 percent of the black vote. While this is no landslide, it’s two points higher than Romney’s 6 percent. More impressive, 13 percent of black men picked Trump.

Trump scored 27 percent among Americans of Asian descent, one point more than Romney.

Trump won 28 percent of Hispanics (one point above Romney), including 25 percent of Hispanic women (one in four) and, at 32 percent, nearly one in three Hispanic men. Given the Left’s relentless accusations that Trump loathes immigrants, especially from south of his promised wall, this is stunning.

At 57 percent, Trump handily took married men. He lost married women to Hillary, but barely: 47 percent vs. 49 percent.

Trump also captured 32 percent of unmarried women, versus Romney’s 31. How astonishing that Trump attracted nearly one in three unwed females, despite the Left’s folklore that they all were lined up like Rockettes behind Hillary, girl power, and a communal desire to smash a glass ceiling just shrieking to be broken.

#related#Notwithstanding Bill Clinton’s inflammatory statement (made to the Record Review of Bedford and Pound Ridge in Westchester County, N.Y.), millions of blacks, Hispanics, and Americans of Asian descent picked Trump. So did millions of women, both married and single, and people who spent at least four years on college campuses.

Bill Clinton and other Democrats should spend less time being angry and more time reflecting on how they lost the presidency and dozens of competitive Senate and House races to Republicans led by a controversial businessman making his very first run for public office.

Deroy Murdock — Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.