Trump gambles on cultural frustration over economic self-interestIn Quinnipiac University polling this year, blue-collar whites and seniors (of all races) were more likely than Americans overall to support Trump’s original travel ban on Muslim-majority nations, his plan to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, and deportation of undocumented immigrants who have not committed a serious crime. The nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute has found that, compared to the public overall, both groups were much more likely to say the police are not unfair to African-Americans, and the blue-collar whites were more likely to say transgender people should be required to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender at birth.But with Trump still receiving very low marks from minority voters, and facing historically low ratings for a Republican president among white-collar whites, he can afford hardly any defection from the blue-collar
older whites that have been his staunchest supporters. And, even with increasingly unvarnished appeals to cultural anxiety, that may be exactly what Trump is courting by renouncing his campaign pledges to defend the safety net programs that now support so many of his own voters.
Trump’s base is blue collar/older/evangelical whites. That’s all he has. And he will do anything to keep them (short of governing responsibly and actually helping them). That’s why Jeff Sessions is still there.