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Exploding the ‘Poor White’ Myth of Trump’s Rise to Power

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Trump’s resounding victory spotlights a wealthier and more diverse coalition of supporters than many Americans thought possible, including educated voters, women and minority voters.

Catherine Triomphe and Jennie Matthew report: The myth that only uneducated white men would vote for Donald Trump exploded in a sensational win for the maverick billionaire, a former reality star with no political experience whatsoever.

FILE - This 1967 file photo shows, cast members, front, from left, Buddy Ebsen and Max Baer, and rear, from left, Donna Douglas and Irene Ryan, of the television series "The Beverly Hillbillies." Douglas, who played the buxom tomboy Elly May Clampett on the hit 1960s sitcom has died. Douglas, who was 82, died Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, in Baton Rouge, where she lived, her niece, Charlene Smith, said. (AP Photo, File)

“There is a world outside of the East Coast and the California Coast which nobody wants to think about. It’s the have and have not divide.”

— Sam Abrams, professor of political science at Sarah Lawrence College

His resounding victory — even if Hillary Clinton won the popular vote — spotlights a wealthier and more diverse coalition of supporters than many Americans thought possible, including educated voters, women and minority voters.

Here is a look at who voted for whom in the biggest political upset in American politics for generations:

Middle Class and Educated

Half of Americans who are considered middle class, making $100,000 a year or more, voted for the 70-year-old billionaire according to USA Today’s exit polls.

Forty-three percent of people with college degrees backed the Republican, although post-graduates voted overwhelmingly for Clinton, the Democrat, at 58 percent to 35 percent.

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“Half of Americans who are considered middle class, making $100,000 a year or more, voted for the 70-year-old billionaire according to USA Today’s exit polls. Forty-three percent of people with college degrees backed the Republican.”

“We wanted to send a message that there’s too much government ruling our life and that had to stop,” said Rolando Chumaceiro, a family doctor who lives in affluent White Plains, New York.

He recognized problems with Trump, questioned the way he spoke and his vulgar remarks about women and but said overall he was the better choice.

“Mrs Clinton comes from the establishment. It’s the same old fashioned government. We don’t need that anymore,” he said.

Rabbi Shmuel Segal of the Jewish education centre looks up at the Chanukkah lights in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, December 20, 2011. Chanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the re-dedication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.    AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

“He created one of the most pro-Israel platforms in the history of the country, this is just crazy to say that he’s running anything as anti-Semitic in his campaign.”

— Aliza Romanoff, whose father advised Trump

Lower income voters leaned towards Clinton but their support had eroded since President Barack Obama’s election in 2012, perhaps fueled in part by resentment of the high costs associated with Obamacare.

Rural-Urban Divide

Trump’s success was rooted in profound dissatisfaction with the status quo — felt keenly in rural areas and smaller towns far from prosperous cities that voted overwhelmingly for Clinton.

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“The Latino vote is not homogenous, experts say. Cuban Americans backed Trump, others who are socially conservative also supported him.”

“There is a world outside of the East Coast and the California Coast which nobody wants to think about,” said Sam Abrams, professor of political science at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.

“It’s the have and have not divide,” he said.

In a city-based service and knowledge economy, people in more rural areas are struggling. “When you struggle you get angry… and Trump became the symbol of that anger,” said Abrams. Read the rest of this entry »