Why Trump is leading the Republican race

By Mitchell Blatt
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, October 9, 2015
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Donald Trump and Ben Carson [File photo]

What is the difference between Donald Trump and Ben Carson? Both are political neophytes who use hyperbole to promote right-wing arguments. They would seem to draw from the same voter pool, but a new poll by the Pew Research Center reveals major differences.

Trump's supporters, on average, are less educated, less wealthy, less conservative, and less religious than Carson's. This makes sense if you consider the candidates more closely. Trump has never been very closely affiliated with the conservative movement. He jumped onboard in the past few years to advance himself.

Neurosurgeon Carson, on the other hand, has published books espousing his conservative Christian views and takes his religion seriously.

The Pew poll shows Trump's potential supporters are more likely to support raising taxes on the rich, not traditionally a conservative position, while Carson voters are against it by a 2-1 margin. On the other hand, Trump loyalists largely support deporting all illegal immigrants, while Carson voters are split almost 50-50, making them more compassionate towards illegal immigrants than the Republican Party at large. With 60 percent of Republicans wanting to deport an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, one can see how Trump rose by being so brash and angry on the issue.

Jeb Bush's supporters are said to be least educated, with 46 percent of them having no college education, compared to 33 percent of all Republican primary voters. Marco Rubio supporters are most well-educated, with 87 percent having some college education, and 48 percent having graduated.

The former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina, has the wealthiest base of supporters, 63 percent earning over US$75,000 a year, compared with 39 percent of all Republicans. The billionaire Trump, however, has the least affluent supporters, with 43 percent earn under $40,000 a year.

In the Democratic Party, the state of the race is more easily discernible, due to the fact that there are only two serious candidates so far. Pew's poll still, however, crystallizes some observations that were evident from anecdotal evidence. Hillary Clinton, loyal servant to Obama and wife of the former president, is the favorite among party loyalists, while the independent Senator Bernie Sanders, who had refused to identify himself as a Democrat, preferring "democratic socialist" instead, is rallying the hardcore leftists.

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