The image of the Donald Trump supporter is that of an under-educated conservative white male.
That is partly true.
The more accurate depiction is that his supporters are also moderate Republicans, independents and – yes – registered Democrats who want a hard line on immigration.
“There’s some truth that there’s a unique Trump coalition that’s not just the conservative coalition, that includes socially liberal Republicans who know that Trump is not concerned about social issues,” said Alfonso Aguilar, a former chief of the U.S. Office of Citizenship under President George W. Bush and the current director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.
“And there are Democrats in the middle class who blame immigrants for taking jobs away from American workers," Aguilar told Fox News Latino. "Whether or not they feel Trump is an extremist on immigration, they agree with his position.”
Then there’s big labor, Aguilar said, which opposes free trade pacts and is not in favor of bringing in guest workers – positions that fall in line with Trump.
“It’s not a conservative position to be against free trade, Trump has said he’s pro-choice,” Aguilar said.
The broader Trump supporter group poses a challenge for many, including the Republican establishment that has dismissed the billionaire’s fans as extremists and a narrow group, and therefore not large enough to really be a major factor in the longer run.
Civis Analytics, a Democratic data firm, found Trump getting the support of 29 percent of registered Republicans, 36 percent of registered independents, and 43 percent of registered Democrats, according to The New York Times. Some states allow people other than Republicans to vote in GOP primaries.
The way to try to crack Trump’s support among conservative Republicans, Aguilar said, is to heighten awareness among this group that Trump is not the candidate who will advance their interests.
“It should make conservative voters in the primary think twice about their support for Trump,” Aguilar said. “His broad coalition of supporters is still small, it’s not a majority, but he does have a base and he could win the nomination.”