August 23, 2017


How Big Is The Bannon Wing Of The Republican Party? (Harry Enten, 8/23/17, 538)

Generally, we're talking about a more populist, nationalist and isolationist brand of Republicanism. More specifically, Trump voters who are pro-police, against free trade, against the U.S. playing an active role (militarily and diplomatically) in the international community, strongly against illegal immigration, and in favor of more infrastructure spending. There are obviously other parts of Bannon's agenda, but these are among the defining features that help separate it from other wings within the Republican Party.

To help us figure out how many Trump voters match this description, let's consult the 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Study.1 The survey asks voters whether ...

They are for or against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. (Which we'll use as a proxy for free trade.)

The U.S. should send troops to help the United Nations uphold international law.2 (Involvement in the international community.)

The U.S. government should identify and deport immigrants in the country illegally. (Illegal immigration.)

Their local police should receive a grade of A (excellent), B (above average), C (average), D (below average) or F (poor).

Their state government should increase spending on infrastructure. (Infrastructure spending.)

Among Trump voters, approximately 15 percent supported all five positions, including a B or better for their local police. So let's call this 15 percent the "core Bannon" voter. This isn't a particularly large group. On its own, for example, it's not enough to win a Republican primary. But it's certainly big enough that Trump needs its continued support in order to survive a serious primary challenge in 2020 (if one arises). Remember Trump won only 45 percent of the national primary vote in 2016. To put this 15 percent in some additional perspective, the percentage of Hillary Clinton voters who were Hispanic in the general election, an important part of her coalition, was about 12 percent.

Posted by at August 23, 2017 9:25 AM