After a 2005 video of Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault was released last week, dozens of Republican leaders denounced his candidacy. But overall support for Trump dropped just one point, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll that was conducted just after the video leaked. As The Atlantic points out, this raises the question: Who is still supporting Donald Trump?
The answer, for the most part, is men. An Atlantic poll conducted between October 5 and October 9 shows that fewer than one-third of women voters support Trump, while more than two-thirds support Clinton. The numbers are almost reversed when it comes to male voters, and among white male voters in particular, Trump leads Clinton by 28 points.
But The Atlantic poll goes beyond the gender gap to highlight its source: Analysis shows that men who feel discriminated against are much more likely to support Trump than men who don’t.
Among those surveyed, Trump supporters are almost twice as likely as Clinton supporters to “agree” or “completely agree” that society punishes men “just for acting like men.” Clinton supporters, meanwhile, are more likely to “completely disagree” with the statement. And according to an analysis by Dan Cassino published in the Harvard Business Review, 9 percent of Republican men said men faced “a great deal” or “a lot” of discrimination in 2012, but that figure rose to 18 percent in 2016. If you add in those who say they face a “moderate amount” of discrimination, 41 percent of Republican men report feeling discriminated against.
As Cassino told The Atlantic, men who feel discriminated against are also more likely to view Hillary Clinton negatively. “Men used to run everything, and now they don’t, and Hillary Clinton is the apotheosis of these fears,” he explained.
Another of Cassino’s studies supports this hypothesis: Men who were asked if they earn “more, less, or about the same [salary] as their spouses” before being asked about the election were much more likely to support Trump, even if they made more money than their wives.
Trump, then, appeals to men who feel threatened by social change — even if that change benefits everyone in the end.