Who is the candidate of whites? Bernie Sanders. Trump, who is being painted as the candidate for angry whites … is polling pretty normally across different groups.
Suppose we measure a candidate’s “whiteness” by the ratio of their level of white support to their level of nonwhite support within their party. Donald Trump seems to be somewhere around 1.3 – 1.5. Bernie Sanders is somewhere from 3 – 10. It isn’t even close. If any candidate is “playing to the politics of white insecurity” or “preaching to the white electorate” or “harnessing the white vote”, it is he.
(though I should clarify that in a general election, Sanders would no doubt garner much higher nonwhite support than Trump just because of the D after his name. We’re only talking about relative to other people in their own party here)
This explains a couple of otherwise mysterious things. How is Sanders on track to win in Iowa and New Hampshire when he is losing so badly nationally? Well, because Iowa and New Hampshire are two of the whitest states in the country. And how come I keep hearing people say “I’m sure Sanders will win, because even though the media and Big Business support Hillary, everybody I know supports Sanders”? Well, are those people white? Is their entire friend group white? Do they live in very strongly white areas? Then Sanders probably has much higher support among their friends and neighbors than he does nationally.
To be honest with you, I’m not that surprised. I see some flirtation with Sanders in the students and faculty at my whiter-than-most, otherwise conservative, university.