A new polling analysis reveals an important detail of why establishment Republicans aren't able to stop Donald Trump's identity-based appeals to white voters: They represent the GOP's actual voting base.
This month a Washington Post/ABC News poll asked: “Which of these do you think is a bigger problem in this country — blacks and Hispanics losing out because of preferences for whites, or whites losing out because of preferences for blacks and Hispanics?”
In the poll overall, 40 percent of Americans said that blacks and Hispanics lose out to whites, compared to only 28 percent who said whites are losing out to those minorities.
But beyond that, Greg Sargent at The Washington Post dug in further to find that among Republicans, 45 percent say whites are getting the bad end of the deal, against only 19 percent who say blacks and Hispanics are losing out to whites.
And among Trump supporters, it gets worse — a whopping 54 percent say whites are losing.
To be clear, there is a chicken-and-egg problem here: Is Trump encouraging this idea among his supporters, or were whites who already thought this way a natural constituency that got drawn to Trump?
But as Sargent concludes: "as long as Trump has an incentive to stick to his white-backlash strategy, it is that much more likely that he will keep up with the wretched antics that risk driving minorities and young voters further away from the GOP."