Much attention has focused on the lower-income voters who helped elect the president but Trumps supporters are more financially secure than many believe
How to explain Donald Trumps ascendancy? If you follow the standard election analysis, his victory was largely spurred by the financial pain and fears of poor and rural Americans. But if you look closer, Trump voters are more financially secure than a lot of us thought.
As a recent immigrant to the US, Ive been fascinated by Trumps incredible rise. But its the motivations of well-off Trump backers which fascinate me the most. Id heard much about the working class or dwindling middle class credited with bringing the real estate mogul victory. But what about those who described themselves as affluent?
I started to look for voters who would fit this bill, and hope to follow them throughout the next four years to chart whether their support will wane or strengthen over time.
Of those I interviewed, many feared backlash if they talked openly. All said admitting backing Trump marked you as racist, sexist and possibly stupid. Some, such as a Los Angeles private jet entrepreneur and a Miami hotelier, agreed to interviews and then reneged, wary of hurting their livelihoods. But those who participated justified their ballot choice passionately and defiantly.
Here are some of their views, in their own words.
I expect him to build that wall
Cathy ODell Town, notary, Orange County, California