Donald Trump’s Base Is Pretty Old, But Not All That Conservative


Someone asked me the other day where Donald Trump’s support comes from. I realized I didn’t really know, so I figured I should check it out. According to David Brady and Douglas Rivers, a pair of political scientists at Stanford, recent YouGov polls break it down like this:

  • Not particularly ideological….20 percent of Trump’s supporters describe themselves as “liberal” or “moderate,” with 65 percent saying they are “conservative” and only 13 percent labeling themselves as “very conservative.”
  • A bit older, less educated, and less affluent than the average Republican.
  • Slightly over half are women.
  • About half are between 45-64 years of age, 34 percent over 65, and less than 2 percent younger than 30.
  • One half of his voters have a high school education or less, compared to 19 percent with a college or post-graduate degree.
  • Slightly over a third of his supporters earn less than $50,000 per year, while 11 percent earn over $100,000 per year.

The only two of these that are noteworthy are the first one, which shows that Trump’s appeal spans ideological boundaries, and the fourth one, which shows that his support comes almost exclusively from the middle-aged and the elderly. Aside from that, he appears to be a fairly standard issue Republican.