James T. Hogkinson, the crazed gunman who fired at Republican congressmen in early June, hardly fits the common image of a militant Bernie Sanders Democrat. He was 66, married for 30 years, a proud gun-owner, working in construction and living in a small Midwestern town. In fact, he came close to stereotypes of one of Trump’s blue-collar “deplorables,” which only highlights the dishonest nature of common media narratives.
Actually, Trump’s core support wasn’t the downtrodden working class: he did better among the third of voters who earned more than $100,000 a year than among the two-thirds who earned less than that. Among the one-third of voters who earned below $50,000, Trump lost to Clinton by 12 points. Nor were his supporters overwhelmingly uneducated: he actually won white voters with college degrees, 37 percent of the overall electorate. The Trump coalition was far more varied and complex than simplistic analysis and conventional wisdom suggest.