If you missed the #March4Trump events yesterday, you weren’t alone. For the most part, the crowds appear to have been what could only be described as embarrassingly small.
It was suggested to me that the crowds were small because, “Most Trump supporters were working at the time of the rally.”
The “marches” took place on a Saturday. It would be easy to “buy” that idea, but it looks less and less like a rational explanation the more one thinks about its premise and the facts about Trump’s “base”.
Yes, surely some Trump supporters work on Saturdays, but let’s look at some facts.
According to exit polls, Trump did well with older voters.
He edged Clinton 49% to 46% with voters 40 to 49 years old.
He did better with even older voters, winning 52% of the 50-64 and 65 and older age groups.
These oldest 2 age groups combined were 46% of the total electorate.
Are these the people who tend to work on Saturday? Perhaps, but it seems more likely to be the case if they are poor or among the working poor which leads to the question of income of Trump supporters.
She beat him 53% to 40% with the 17% of voters making less than $30,000 a year, and she won 52% to his 41% of the 19% of voters with income between $30,000 and $49,999.
In contrast, Trump only squeaked out narrow victories with the 54% of the electorate who make between $50,000 and $199,999.
He narrowly won the 30% of voters making $50K to $99,999 by only 3%, and by a razor-thin 1% of the 24% of voters making $100K to $199,999.
I feel pretty safe in saying that most of these Trump supporters aren’t the sort of people required to be at a job on a Saturday.
Think about it.
36% of the electorate makes less than $50K a year. Clinton won that voter block by much, much bigger margins than Trump beat her in the higher income brackets.
Again, I feel safe in suggesting that low income workers are more likely to be the kind of American workers who work on Saturdays, but that was a group that Trump lost by very significant margins.
So here’s where we are so far.
We see that Trump’s supporters tend to be the older and wealthier voters, and these are voters unlikely to be in jobs that require them to work on Saturday.
What about education level?
Yes, Trump won 66% to Clinton’s 29% of white voters without a college degree and, yes, I’ll concede that they may be more likely to be in jobs that include working on Saturday, but they were only 34% of the electorate.
It begs the question, “Where were the 48% of the white college grads he won?”
White college grads, it must be said, was another very narrow victory for him. Clinton got 45% of this voter block which made up 37% of all voters – a slightly larger group than whites without a degree.
So now let’s mix in what people actually think about the job he’s doing.
His approval rating per FiveThirtyEight is 43.9% while his disapproval is at 49.9%.
Given all of these facts and the reality that the crowds were small, a far more likely and logical conclusion from my point of view than his fans had to work yesterday is that;
1) he never had that many fans to begin with (he lost the popular vote by 3million)
2) his fan base includes the well off and the elderly, two characteristics that, especially when combined, aren’t likely to be working on a Saturday
3) while his fans include the non-college degreed whites who may be more likely to have jobs that require working on a Saturday, he didn’t win them all, this group makes up only about 1/3 of the total voters, and it doesn’t really explain why the crowds were small until perhaps one also considers….
4) the reality that his approval ratings are low, which means that fewer and fewer people are happy with the job he’s doing.
Maybe that’s why so few people showed up. It’s because he has fewer and fewer fans with each passing day.