If the establishment had its way, America would be no country for angry white men. As WSJ reports, Tuesday’s primary elections underscored an emerging, central reality of the 2016 presidential campaign: This is the year of the dissatisfied white male.
Those white males are the voters who propelled Donald Trump to convincing victories Tuesday in Michigan and Mississippi, as they have elsewhere. And, asThe Wall Street Journal reports, they may determine whether he can roll on next week in a series of big industrial states.
Here’s what is less noticed: Dissatisfied white males also helped propel Sen. Bernie Sanders to a stunning victory over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic contest in Michigan, and may keep him in the game for many weeks to come.
All of this further suggests they may be the swing voters who decide the general election in November, when the critical question could well be whether Democrats can win enough of them to supplement their big advantages among women and minority voters.
In Michigan, 52% of the Republican primary electorate was male, exit polls indicated. Mr. Trump won them going away, 43% to 23% for Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Meantime, he lost among women, 30% for Sen. Ted Cruz to 28% for Mr. Trump.
The story was similar in Mississippi. Mr. Trump won men by 20 percentage points, exit polls indicated. There, he won women, but by a mere 9 percentage points.
So, the more male the Republican electorate, the better for Mr. Trump. Also, the angrier as well.
Perhaps more interesting, angry white males are sustaining the Sanders campaign, not just the Trump campaign.
In Michigan, they kept him nearly even with Mrs. Clinton, offsetting her big advantage among women and among minorities. Among women, exit polls indicate, he finished just behind Mrs. Clinton. But among men, he won easily, 54% to 44%.
Together, in other words, Messrs. Trump and Sanders are collapsing what had become, in the 1990s, something of a bipartisan consensus in favor of free trade. And angry white males, many of whom feel trade has marginalized their jobs and prospects, are leading the way.
And perhaps white American men have good reason to be ‘angry’ after all:
All of this sets up a fascinating battle in the fall. In a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, Mrs. Clinton beats Mr. Trump in a hypothetical general-election matchup, 51% to 38%. But among white men? He wins comfortably, 53% to 35%.