If you want to know what makes a Donald Trump supporter, take a Republican and make him or her more concerned about immigrants, globalization and free trade.
That's the big takeaway from a new study by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and the Brookings Institution. The survey breaks out several ways in which Trump supporters hew somewhat closely to the broader Republican Party, but also tend to embrace more isolationist and populist — or even nativist — approaches to the political issues of the day.
And that's especially true on immigration.
When it comes to whether a person is bothered by immigrants who speak little to no English, Republicans in general are significantly more bothered (66 percent) than Democrats (35 percent). But Trump backers are significantly more bothered still, at 77 percent.
Four in 10 Trump supporters (41 percent) want to identify and deport all illegal immigrants, compared with about 3 in 10 (29 percent) Republicans.
Trump supporters are about 11 points more likely than your average Republican to say that immigrants increase crime in local communities.
And they are eight points more likely to say that immigrants change American society "a lot."
They are 13 points less likely to say that immigrants strengthen our country, with just 13 percent agreeing with that statement.
But the more anti-outsider ideology isn't just about immigrants. It also pertains to discrimination against racial groups and globalization.
For example, while 72 percent of Republicans believe that discrimination against whites has become as bad as discrimination against blacks and other minority groups, among Trump supporters the number is 81 percent.
And 74 percent of Republicans say the American way of life should be protected against foreign influence, while 83 percent of Trump supporters say this — including 45 percent who are "completely" in agreement.
Trump backers are nine points more likely to say that free-trade agreements are "mostly harmful" because they move jobs overseas and depress wages.
Trump supporters are also significantly more likely to say that, in response to all of the above, the country needs a leader who is willing to "break some rules." While 72 percent of Trump supporters say that, just 57 percent of Republicans agree.
And, perhaps not surprisingly, Trump's base is significantly more apt to support a ban on Syrian refugees, building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and banning all Muslim immigrants — Trump proposals all.
The pattern is actually remarkably consistent across all of these questions, with the gap between the GOP and Trump supporters being about 10 points, give or take. Of course, there is plenty of overlap among Trump supporters and Republicans, so if you isolated the non-Trump Republicans, you'd get a significantly bigger gap between Trump backers and other Republicans on many of these issues.
In other words, Donald Trump surged to the GOP nomination on a platform that appeals to a demographic that doesn't so neatly overlaps with the broader Republican Party. His positions were often cast as extreme — and they were, in many cases — but he also took some more populist positions on matters such as taxes for the wealthy and free trade that aren't so easily pegged on the political spectrum.
The sum total of the campaign he has run is one that appeals to the kind of voters we have described above — those who are pretty close to Republican orthodoxy on many of these issues, but for one reason or another are more anti-immigrant, anti-free trade and protectionist in their view of the world.
The way he has done that has often caused GOP leaders to cringe and has turned him into a massively unpopular general election candidate, with 7 in 10 Americans viewing him negatively. But it's clear there was a sizable demographic that was receptive to his message in the primary.
That segment of the population was further to the extremes on these issues especially.