Thoughts & Essays

Trump’s Base: In which I do math (😂🤣)

As of 2018, there are 327,167,434 million US citizens and 253,768,092 (78%) of them are 18 or older. Of that, about 153 million are registered to vote. That’s about 47% of the total population and about 60% of eligible US voters.

Of those voters, as of 2017, Gallup polling showed that “46% are either “Democrats or Democratic leaners” and 39% are either “Republicans or Republican leaners.”

So, roughly, 98,969,555 of the voting population of the US leans or is Republican. (Leaving 116,733,322 as Democratically-aligned.)

According to the Gallup’s most recent polls Trump has an 87% approval rate with Republicans. That’s about 86,103,512 registered voters.

In 2018, voter turnout was about 53%. In 2016, voter turnout was about 61%. The 2018 turnout was unusually high for a mid-term election, but 2016’s turnout was about bang-on for a presidential election (contrary to popular belief). I would expect to see a higher-than-usual turnout for the 2020 election due to the 2018 turnout and just because so much is on the line and things have been so fraught these last few years, but let’s not count those chickens before they hatch. We’ll assume a 61% turnout rate for 2020.

That means about 154,798,536 people will vote in 2020, of which about 60,371,429 will be Republican or Republican-leaning, and of that, about 52,523,143 (according to the current Gallup numbers) will vote for Trump.

In a nation of 257 million registered voters, where around 155 million of them are expected to actually vote, about 53 million might vote for Trump.

(Assuming I mathed right, which is always a crap shoot, but I sourced my numbers, tried not to guesstimate too much, and used a calculator widget to figure the percentages, so…)

So, call that 53 million Trump’s base. That’s… not a lot, relatively speaking.

Trying to come up with a hard number for Trump’s base is tricky. I’ve done a lot of Googling and reading about it, and I have not found much in the way of hard numbers. I’ve seen a lot of percentages based on this poll or that, calculated from adults 18+, registered voters, likely voters, etc, counting this number of people as “hardcore” supporters or that number of people as “likely supporters,” and so on, and so forth, but… not much by way of hard numbers.

What it does come down to is that “Trump’s base” is not large. It’s not even close to any kind of a majority. And I think that’s important to know in this frightening and disheartening age of ours.