Yesterday I put up a story about a newly-published scholarly article which analyzed the attitudes of Americans about the efficacy of using violence to achieve political ends. The article was based on a public-opinion poll of 7,255 respondents of whom 15% were classified as supporters of MAGA because they voted for Trump and believed that the 2020 election was a fraud.
I’m not sure I would define MAGA supporters just based on how an individual voted in a single election and whether they bought Trump’s nonsense about the election being stolen from him. Be that as it may, however, to my mind the article raised serious concerns about the propensity that MAGA followers seem to have to support political violence, which feeds into what has become an accepted piece of liberal newspeak which sees a return of Trump to the White House as a collapse of American democratic traditions and norms.
If you want the latest example of this fear-mongering approach, take a listen to Rachel Maddow’s latest screed in which she states that Trump’s electoral victory later this year will be
‘the end of politics,’ and the replacement of democracy with an outright, autocratic regime. And she gets more than 2 million viewers when she goes on the air and peddles this crap?
Anyway, back to what the research group at University of California/Davis has learned about who considers themselves to be members of the MAGA cabal.
What is an important contribution to current politics in this article is a very detailed demographic profile of the 1,128 respondents to this survey who are classified as MAGA supporters, lor at least individuals who agree with the basic MAGA point of view.
Let’s start with age. To my surprise, 50% of the MAGA contingent are 55 y/o or older, with the over-65 group representing one-third of all the MAGA people who answered this poll.
I would have thought that the younger folks would have been more strongly MAGA, because most of the people who tried to storm the Capitol on January 6th were not so old, and many of them were waving MAGA flags or wearing MAGA hats.
The other big surprise was that gender-wise, women were 52% of the MAGA group with men being the other 48%. Again, most of the storm troopers outside the capitol were males and generally speaking, women tend to be more a verse to using violence than men.
And by the way, we keep hearing about Trump losing the support of women over the issue of choice. But evidently the female drain away from Trump hasn’t been felt within the MAGA side of things.
So, if we pull all the data together, what we get as an average MAGA profile is a white woman who is already collecting Social Security, lives in the Southeast, is married, and is still working or has always worked.
The problem with using the data from this survey to come up with a ‘typical’ MAGA supporter of Trump is that in the votes being counted tonight in the New Hampshire primary, there were a lot more folks pulling the lever for Trump than what he would get if he were dependent on the MAGA contingent for his votes.
This was evident in the exit polls from New Hampshire which showed Trump getting a solid majority from the over-65 group and the voters who described themselves as being ‘conservative.’
If anything, what the New Hampshire primary seems to have demonstrated is that contrary to what the UC-Davis group claims, MAGA isn’t just 15% of the GOP, but may in fact now represent the majority of Republic(an) voters.
Which is really good news, because like Bill Clinton says, if we do the math, this means the GOP will never win a national election again.
What’s so bad about that?