It’s very hard to categorize a “typical” Trump voter. While he does best with more downscale white voters, that alone isn’t what has propelled him to frontrunner status. The real key to his success has been his ability pick up voters from all parts of the GOP electorate - older and younger, Tea Party and traditional, secular and Evangelical. In fact, while Mitt Romney and John McCain have little in common with Trump, the three share an ability to win over the most consequential group of voters in the GOP primary: those who identify themselves as “somewhat conservative.” Political scientists Dante Scala and Henry Olsen outlined the power of the “somewhat conservative” Republican in their recent book “The Four Faces of The Republican Party.” In this deep dive into the GOP electorate, Olsen and Scala looked at the four ‘factions’ that comprise the modern GOP - moderates and liberals; somewhat conservative voters; very conservative evangelicals; and very conservative secular voters. Ultimately, they found that “the bedrock base of the Republican Party” was the group that defined themselves as “somewhat conservative.”
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