On CNN’s website there is a breakdown of the South Carolina Republican primary exit polls by demographic. Though Trump received the majority of votes over all there are a couple of demographics that stand out, education and age.
In the education category, Rubio won the majority of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher while Trump and Cruz won the majority those with a high school diploma or some college. Though these majorities are slim.
In the age category, one of two categories that show a significant win for Trump, Trump won the majority of those over age 45.
The other category that showed a large win for Trump is by party affiliation where he won a much larger majority of independents and a slim majority of Republicans.
In addition, the number of minorities in the poll are so small that they are listed as N/A, appearing as if approximately 90% of the respondents were white. That might be the case, though I am relatively unsure about the sample in regard to race and ethnicity.
What I read out of the report is that the majority of Trump voters appear to be older and less educated Republican-leaning independents.
Remember all of those workers that Janet Yellen wrote off, the older people who haven’t had a good, reliable job in almost a decade and who, out of bubble fear mongering, have been cut off from access to capital markets and can’t create their own job? They have “Trump voter” written all over them.
This isn’t proof, of course, that economic policy has anything to do with the Trump phenomenon and correlation isn’t causation. But, in my opinion, where there’s smoke there’s probably fire. Older people like me know what the 1980s and 1990s economic atmosphere felt like, and the economic atmosphere now is like a whole other world where one learns the real meaning of survival. And with those Trump voters being less educated, they are more susceptible to scapegoating rhetoric, especially when the demands of simply surviving from day to day are mentally taxing. They don’t care much for the economic predicament they are in and don’t have time to consider counterfactuals.
Persistently tight money is simply our political undoing. It would have been much better if we could have decided early on in the aftermath of the crisis that, at the very least, supply side inflation is easier to live with than it is to try to control it with monetary policy. We very much need a different nominal target than inflation.