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Trump voters earn more and are better educated than the typical American

AP Photo/Mel Evans
This guy has huge support among Americans earning more than the U.S. household median.
  • Corinne Purtill
By Corinne Purtill


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Coverage of 2016’s bizarre primary season has painted the stereotypical Donald Trump supporter as white, working class, and uneducated. Trump’s popularity with that demographic led some early pundits to dismiss his candidacy, as there simply aren’t enough such voters to propel a candidate to victory.

But an analysis of exit poll data by FiveThirtyEight finds that Trump voters have higher median household incomes than the typical American, and higher education levels too.

After reviewing exit poll data in 23 states, statistician Nate Silver found that Trump voters’ median household income was higher than the median in every state, sometimes by a wide margin. In Florida, for example, the median household income is $48,000. For Floridian supporters of the real estate mogul and reality star, it’s $70,000.

The state medians included all households, not just voters. People who vote tend to have higher incomes than people who don’t, and Republicans tend to have higher incomes than Democrats. Even taking that into account, Trump won over a higher share of voters earning more than $100,000 per year than his deposed Republican rival, Sen. Ted Cruz.

Household IncomeShare of All US HouseholdsShare of Voters for TrumpClintonSandersCruzKasich
 < $30,00027%12%20%18%11%9%
≥ $200,0006%9%7%5%6%14%

What’s more, Silver found that 44% of Trump voters have college undergraduate degrees, compared to 29% of US adults. Explaining Trump’s popularity isn’t as simple as it once seemed.

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