Friday, August 12, 2016

THE NEW YORK TIMES, PRINTING THE LEGEND AGAIN

In a story about the economic speech Hillary Clinton delivered yesterday, Amy Chozick and Alan Rappeport of The New York Times write this, which sounds as if it's based on facts, though it actually isn't:
Seeking to chip away at the perception among working-class white voters that Mr. Trump is the economic populist in the race, Mrs. Clinton said the Republican nominee merely paid “lip service” to being on the side of average Americans.

... unlike Mitt Romney, whom President Obama effectively portrayed as a cold corporate titan in the 2012 race, Mr. Trump enjoys some of his strongest support among working-class white voters who believe he cares about people like them.
As Ed Kilgore noted a week ago, it's a fallacy that Romney lacked white working-class support:
Mitt Romney won non-college-educated white voters by an estimated 62-36 in 2012.
Until recently, as Kilgore notes, Trump was doing better than that -- though not much better:
As the New York Times’ Nate Cohn noted on July 25, Trump was winning white working-class voters at better than a two-to-one clip in some surveys (66-29 in a July CNN poll, 65-29 in a July ABC/Washington Post poll).
But recently Trump has been lagging Romney:
A new NBC/Wall Street Journal survey showed his lead among non-college-educated white voters drooping to 49-36. Similarly, McClatchy/Marist pegs it at 46-31. These are not world-beating numbers.
Shouldn't Chozick and Rappeport know about these polls? Shouldn't they know that even at his peak Trump was doing only a bit better than Romney with non-college whites? Why are they perpetuating a myth?

And why do we believe the myth, anyway? Zaid Jilani has an answer:
Much of the analysis of Trump’s support was based on the fact that he did very well indeed among a particular group of white working-class voters early on: those who planned to vote in the GOP primary....

But one third of white working-class voters planning to vote in a GOP primary is not that many people. Just 14 percent of eligible adults took part in the presidential caucuses and primaries, 9 percent of the total American population. White working-class Trump voters were a small subset of that number, not really enough to make much of a difference.
And note this:
Within that GOP primary, ... the income differences between backers of the major candidates was not large over the course of the contest. A FiveThirtyEight analysis of exit poll data from primaries that took place through May 3 found that the median income of Trump voters was $71,000 -- just $1,000 shy of the figure for voters backing Ted Cruz, Trump’s only serious rival for the nomination throughout the contest.
But the political establishment has a permanent crush on working-class whites, particularly the males, so the legend will continue to be printed.

6 comments:

Philo Vaihinger said...

But the political establishment has a permanent crush on working-class whites, particularly the males, so the legend will continue to be printed.

Well, OK, if by that you mean working-class whites are who they love to hate.

Hasn't everyone opposed to Trump as well as half the Republicans who claim to support him framed The Donald as a white nationalist who stands for every Archie Bunker in America?

And isn't that supposed to be the bulk of uneducated white males?

KenRight said...

The decline of wages and good manufacturing jobs for the white working class since circa 1980 shows the blogger is just being a good SJW.

flipyrwhig said...

The media ALWAYS screws up the difference between the primary electorate and the general-election electorate. Chris Matthews et al. love to gas on about "Reagan Democrats," which was another name for the same group. And IMHO a fair number of tastemakers and agenda-setters on the left _love_ the "Trump as populist" story because they really like to chastise the Democratic Party for not being left-populist enough, hence ceding ground to Republicans. That argument is basically Thomas Frank's whole career, and it was a primary lens for viewing the Bernie Sanders challenge to Hillary C. So the mainstream media hears about Trump, Republicans, and class -- wrongly and unreflectively -- from all sides. Hence they replicate this bad argument virally, as in the examples here.

Dark Avenger said...

Hasn't everyone opposed to Trump as well as half the Republicans who claim to support him framed The Donald as a white nationalist who stands for every Archie Bunker in America?

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/08/05/488802494/former-kkk-leader-david-duke-says-of-course-trump-voters-are-his-voters

The working-class white men you shed tears for aren't voting for their Savior the Orange Goat of the Wood of a Thousand Scams in overwhelming numbers, Ken.

I'll tell you what: You come here to where I live in the Central Valley of California, and I'll go with you door to door while you explain to the stigmatized and betrayed working-class white men around here their false consciousness if they vote for Trump.

And I'll take you to the urgent care or ER afterwards, as the situation dictates.

Deal?


Dark Avenger said...

"If they don't vote for Trump"

petrilli said...

49-36, 46-31 are still some pretty high numbers, numbers worth noting in this race. Granted, the subset is of lesser significance in the general than the primary as could have been pointed out. Still, more of a venial than mortal sin I think. What hasn't happened to Trump yet is a veil-dropping video of him trashing and denigrating that subset as happened to Romney. It's hard to imagine that happening at this point. Looking at videos off his rallies, it's more like a cult. These people couldn't be turned around for any reason, not a dead hooker, not a live boy.