And here’s the thing about purity: it’s a niche market. The more perfect a candidate is for you, the less perfect they’ll be for someone else. Of course it’s our job as progressives to limit the concessions we make — and some concessions truly are unconscionable. But figuring out how and when to compromise is a necessary art, an ongoing discussion, and a rigorous process. It’s not a job for the trigger-happy.
These results do not present a clear picture between social and economic hardship and support for Trump. The standard economic measures of income and employment status show that, if anything, more affluent Americans favor Trump, even among white non-Hispanics. Employment status and occupational categories are among the least important explanatory variables for Trump favorability. Surprisingly, there appears to be no link whatsoever between greater exposure to trade competition or competition from immigrant workers and support for nationalist policies in America, as embodied by the Trump campaign. These results make it very unlikely that direct exposure to harm from globalization could be a causal factor in motivating large numbers of Trump’s supporters.