WASHINGTON – Britain's stunning exit from the European Union sent a political jolt across the Atlantic, fueling Donald Trump's belief that frustrated U.S. voters will back similarly sweeping change in November. It rattled Democrats who are banking on Americans ultimately choosing a more conventional leader in Hillary Clinton.
The British referendum was hardly an exact mirror of the U.S. political landscape. The American electorate is more diverse, and Trump is deeply unpopular with minority voters. That's a serious weakness dogging his Republican candidacy. The referendum also centered on a single issue, while the presidential election can be as much a decision about personality as it is about policy.
Yet the parallels between the forces that drove the British vote and those at the core of Trump's campaign are undeniably striking.