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Why Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders Both Appeal to Angry, White Men

Donald Trump Holds News Conference In Jupiter, FloridaDonald Trump Holds News Conference In Jupiter, Florida
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at the Trump National Golf Club Jupiter on March 8, 2016 in Jupiter, Florida.Photograph by Joe Raedle—Getty Images

Every election cycle it seems as if there is a new demographic discovered, one that drives the pundits’ conversation and electoral votes. Remember soccer moms? NASCAR dads? Evangelicals?

Well, 2016 is the year of the angry white man.

Working class, white men are propelling both Donald Trump’s and Bernie Sanders’ candidacies, argues Gerald F. Seib in the Wall Street Journal.

There have been plenty of stories already written about the anger driving Trump’s rise, but after his win in Michigan, it’s clear that disaffected white men are also flocking to Sanders as well. But Sanders won among all men in Michigan, 54% to 44%.

Sanders, like Trump, has pushed back on the free trade theories that have become orthodoxy for both parties. He finds support among those who think the elites in government and business have left them behind voters who think trade takes away jobs voted for Sanders, 56% to 43%.

Of course, working class, white men aren’t the only demographic to have been hit hard by globalization. Sanders, unlike Trump, has been careful not to use anti-immigration rhetoric, but interestingly, neither candidate enjoys deep support among non-white populations. A key for Sanders going forward will be if he can take his populist messages to non-white populations.