Despite the latest polls showing a significant slump in the popularity of Donald Trump only a foolhardy forecaster would confidently claim that the celebrity politician has no chance of being elected the president of the United States of America. Dave Eggers highlights some of the reasons for caution in this on-the-ground description of a Trump rally for the Guardian newspaper:
“It was just before four o’clock in the afternoon, and the rally wouldn’t start until seven, but already the lot was crowded with cars and trucks – not all of them American-made.
Yes, they were generally white, but there were also African-Americans and plenty of Latinos. A startling number of Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders and South Asian-Americans. There were the expected Harley-Davidson riders in black vests, but there were also a remarkable number of people with disabilities. There were families, professional types, veterans and one Filipino-American navy officer in full dress whites. It was not the homogenous sea of angry white men that one might have expected. Instead, it appeared to be a skewed but not wholly unrepresentative cross-section of the people of northern California.
…as I moved among them, taking pictures, I noticed another unexpected demographic reality – the audience was at least half women. There were women of all ages, socioeconomic classes and ethnicities. Black women, white women, Indian women, teenagers, preppy women, women dressed as if heading to a party at the beach, women in heels, older women in large groups, one elderly woman in a “Veterans of Foreign Wars” hat. Despite all the things that Trump has said that indicated, or proved, he was at best an unreconstructed chauvinist and at worst a misogynistic and existential threat to the foundational rights of women, his appeal among the women of the Sacramento area was real.”
The whole article is a fascinating insight into the strange sentiments that Donald Trump has tapped into and which may yet yield him the electoral keys to the White House. As the “Leave” campaign in Britain’s EU membership referendum is finding out, a week is a long time in politics.