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.”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.”
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.