Donald Trump isn’t just appealing to angry voters fed up with economic decline and political dysfunction. He’s also converting that anger directly into votes.
Yahoo Finance recently ranked all 50 states according to an “anger index:” The most angry states are those where manufacturing employment, overall employment and income growth have been the weakest, while the least angry states are those with the best employment and income trends. Trump is excelling in the angry states—but struggling in the prosperous states. Here’s a breakdown of every state that has held a primary so far, along with the Yahoo Finance anger ranking:
Of the 20 angriest states, 11 have announced the final results of GOP primaries, and Trump has won 10 of them—a 91% winning percentage.The only exception is Ohio, which might be an anomaly, since home-state governor John Kasich won. Kasich hasn't prevailed in any other states.
Trump is far less dominant in more prosperous states. Among the 20 least-angry states, Trump has won just 4 of 11 primaries that have been held so far, or 36%. Ted Cruz has done better, winning 6 of 11, or 55%. And Marco Rubio won Minnesota, his lone victory, unless you count Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
Anger with an underperforming economy isn’t the only factor determining voter loyalties. Exit polls, for instance, show that some Republicans feel betrayed by their party, leading them to outsider candidates such as Trump. Among Democrats, Bernie Sanders’ campaign has clearly been driven by voters fed up with the status quo, yet Sanders has only won 9 of 25 states, while his rival Hillary Clinton—the very face of the Democratic establishment—seems poised to win the nomination.
Yet the economy is still a top issue for many voters, with more than half saying in exit polls that they’re deeply worried about the nation’s economic future. Trump now has a fair shot at winning the majority of GOP delegates required to make him the nominee, and if he doesn’t, he’ll still end up with far more delegates than anybody else. The angry voter seems to be getting what he wants.
Rick Newman’s latest book is Liberty for All: A Manifesto for Reclaiming Financial and Political Freedom. Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman.