Layering in gender and age underscores voters’ retreat. Trump in 2016 narrowly won younger whites. But he now faces crushing disapproval ratings ranging from 62 percent to 76 percent among three big groups of white Millennials: women with and without a college degree, and men with a degree. Even among white Millennial men without a degree, his most natural supporters, Trump only scores a 49-49 split.Among minority men, Trump's position is essentially unchanged or has even improved slightly; I guess nothing he has said has surprised them. But minority women hate him:
Trump’s support rapidly rises among blue-collar white men older than 35 and spikes past two-thirds for those above 50. But his position has deteriorated among white women without a college degree. Last year he carried 61 percent of them. But in the new SurveyMonkey average, they split evenly, with 49 percent approval and 49 percent disapproval. His approval rating among non-college-educated white women never rises above 54 percent in any age group, even those older than 50. From February through December, Trump’s approval rating fell more with middle-aged blue-collar white women than any other group.
Among African Americans and Hispanics, reactions to Trump depend more on gender than age or education. In every age group, and at every level of education, about twice as many African American men as women gave Trump positive marks. In all, 23 percent of black men approved of Trump’s performance versus 11 percent of black women. “The outlier here isn’t [black] men … it’s [black] women, where you have near-universal disapproval of Trump,” said Cornell Belcher, a Democratic pollster who studies African American voters. Still, black men are one of the few groups for which Trump’s 2017 average approval rating significantly exceeds his 2016 vote share.When it comes to race, I think Trump represents a defensive spasm from the past, which is slowly disappearing. That anti-racist protesters always hugely outnumber the racists in any recent confrontation shows me that things will continue to move in the same direction. The nation's dramatic shift over the Civil War and its commemoration seems to me an important sign; heck, as Youtube recently reminded me, in my lifetime radical leftist Joan Baez recorded "The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down."
I think developments in the war of the sexes are potentially more explosive. I will bet now that the 2020 election produces the biggest gender gap in US voting history; that is certainly what the polls predict. Trump's election seems to have crystallized feminist discontent with men of a certain sort, and you see that discontent bursting out all over.
I regard these conflicts as fundamental and very difficult to solve, so I wonder where all this is leading. The anger that pours forth from men's rights activists and some of their feminist opposites troubles me; after all, it's going to be hard to continue the species if men and women can't get along, and young men without women in their lives (a rapidly growing group) are just plain dangerous. I guess the root of my rambling here is that I regard racism as a problem that could be solved, or at least for which I can imagine a solution. I am not at all sure that the problems of men and women, of marriage, of raising children in a world where everyone is supposed to have a career, ever can be solved, and I certainly cannot imagine a realistic solution. So to see these conflicts brought to the center of the national discourse makes me wonder what is in store for us. I am certain that this will make many men and some women even more loyal to Trump, who stands strongly for the old, patriarchal model of the family. I hope it makes more women turn against him. But I am not really sure that is how things will play out.