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Studies confirm: Trump voters were motivated by racial prejudice — not ‘economic anxiety’

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It became conventional wisdom during the presidential campaign that Donald Trump supporters were motivated by bigotry, until the Republican candidate won and it became politically incorrect for Democrats to say that.

But the problem with that forgiving logic is, it’s just not really true, reported The Intercept.

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“Whether it’s good politics to say so or not, the evidence from the 2016 election is very clear that attitudes about blacks, immigrants, and Muslims were a key component of Trump’s appeal,” Philip Klinkner, a political scientist at Hamilton College, told the website.

An entire genre of newspaper reports has profiled Trump supporters who regret their votes, now that programs they use are on the chopping block, or still back the president — but a common theme is their disdain for “illegal” immigrants and changing U.S. demographics.

“(Oklahoma widow) Betty Harris voted for Barack Obama when he first ran for president in 2008 because she liked his promise of change,” reported the Washington Post last week. “But he disappointed her in a number of ways, including, in her eyes, being too sympathetic to Muslims. She voted for Republican Mitt Romney in 2012 and Trump last year.”

“She likes the president’s promises to crack down on illegal immigration, which she thinks has hurt the job market, and to bully manufacturers into staying in the country,” the Post added.

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Klinker examined a recent study published by American National Election Studies (ANES) and found attitudes toward race, ethnicity and religion — not economic anxiety — offered the best predictor of Trump support.

“Everywhere (divorced Texas school bus driver Tamara) Estes looks, she’s reminded that her country is changing,” the Post reported last month.

“White enrollment in Texas schools recently dipped below 30 percent,” the Post continued. “Hispanics are the new majority; Pew estimates that more than 13 percent of Texas students are the children of undocumented parents. Estes wants a better-paying job but says it’s hard to get one these days if you speak only English. Increasingly, the first question in any job interview is, ‘Habla español?'”

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Another Oklahoma senior citizen, 70-year-old Judy Banks, told the New York Times she backed Trump because “he was talking about getting rid of those illegals” — but now she’s worried the president’s proposed budget cuts might cost her job through the Labor Department’s Senior Community Service Employment Program.

“If I lose this job, I’ll sit home and die,” Banks told the Times — yet she might still vote for Trump in 2020.

Klinker wasn’t surprised by the new data — which backed a previous ANES finding that showed white voters who believed Barack Obama was a Muslim were 89 percent more likely to back Trump over Clinton.

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And he’s certainly not alone in his conclusion.

Progressives like Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and filmmaker Michael Moore have argued that income inequality — and not bigotry and xenophobia — fueled Trump’s rise, but many analysts aren’t buying that explanation.

“Income predicted support for (John) McCain and (Mitt) Romney, but not Trump,” wrote analysts Sean McElwee and Jason McDaniel recently in The Nation.

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Trump won the votes of a majority of non-college-educated whites, but he also won a majority of college-educated whites, and he drew the support of more young white voters than Clinton and a majority of white women.

In fact, white voters backed Trump regardless of their age, gender, income and education.

“Racial identity and attitudes have further displaced class as the central battleground of American politics,” McElwee and McDaniel wrote.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Elementary school cheer squad parents raffling off an AM-15 automatic weapon as a fundraiser

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Just weeks after a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio killed nine people, only 200 miles away in Richmond, the cheer squad is selling raffle tickets to sell a semi-automatic gun.

Fox19 reported Wednesday that the Junior Lions Cheer Team have infuriated Heather Chilton, who's 7-year-old daughter is on the squad for the first time.

"This is absurd, you're having elementary kids sell your AR-15. Why?" Chilton said. "I highly doubt that something would happen with the gun, but say it did. Say one of the kids in the high school got a hold of it — got the AR-15 or AM-15 and shot up a school with it, and I'm the one that sold the raffle ticket to his dad?"

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Gov. Jay Inslee withdraws from presidential election

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that he was officially leaving the presidential race Thursday.

He said that he got into the race with the intention of trying to raise the important issue of climate change and demand the issue be part of the conversation in the debates.

The Democratic Party has refused to have a debate that focuses exclusively on climate change, despite the numerous plans, ideas and approaches from the 20-plus candidates running for president.

He said that he isn't currently endorsing other candidates for 2020, but he hopes that his "atlas" for a climate plan will be adopted by other candidates.

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Scorching WaPo editorial tells Trump to own his bad economy and stop blaming the fed

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

In a scathing piece from the Washington Post editorial board, the team at one of the nation's top papers told President Donald Trump to stop trying to pretend it's the Federal Reserve's fault for a slumping economy.

Trump has tried to claim that the economy isn't just fine, but outstanding and excelling expectations. Yet, in the same breath, Trump claims that that the Federal Reserve is responsible for all of the problems he says don't exist. It's enough for The Post editorial board to note the economic message is "remarkably dissonant."

Trump decided to that the Fed must lower interest rates and engage in “quantitative easing” to lower bonds. It's part of a tactic the Fed uses during tough times, which Trump says don't exist. Even during the worst financial crisis in a generation, in 2008, "quantitative easing" was controversial. Then there is the matter of a payroll tax cut, something Trump said he was looking at before saying he wasn't looking at it. But if there's no crisis, then why is it necessary.

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