A recent poll released by the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, California has identified a key question that determines whether a voter is likely to support Republican frontrunner Donald J. Trump.
That question is whether the voter agrees with the statement: “People like me don’t have any say about what the government does.”
The analysts explain:
Among people likely to vote in the Republican primary, people are 86.5 percent more likely to prefer Donald Trump as the first-choice nominee relative to all the others if they “somewhat” or “strongly agree” that “people like me don’t have any say about what the government does.” Using statistical techniques, we can conclude that this increased preference for Trump is over and beyond any preferences based on respondent gender, age, race/ethnicity, employment status, educational attainment, household income, attitudes towards Muslims, attitudes towards illegal immigrants, or attitudes towards Hispanics.
In contrast, voters who agree with the statement are 26% less likely to vote for Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) or Marco Rubio (R-FL).
Rand uses a sample size of over 3,000, surveying the same individuals throughout the presidential election. In 2012, it was the fourth-most accurate of the major national polls.
The poll also finds that Trump voters are more likely to favor liberal economic policies such as progressive taxation.
“It appears, then, that Trump supporters form a powerful populist coalition uniting concerns about immigrants and other groups with support for economically progressive policies,” the poll concludes.
On the Democratic side, the Rand poll found that more likely Democratic primary voters see Hillary Clinton as a strong leader than rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Yet no factor is as powerful as “people like me don’t have any say…”.