Silent Majority? Who Are Donald Trump's Supporters?

Supporters of US Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump hold up a sign during a Tea Party rally against the international nuclear agreement with Iran outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC on September 9, 2015. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP - Getty Images

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By Dante Chinni

Who exactly are Donald Trump’s supporters? The latest set of NBC News/Marist polls offer some answers, showing similar profiles for voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. They are more likely to be young, unmarried men without a college degree.

The September polls offer a more consistent profile for Iowa and New Hampshire Trump-ites and stand in contrast to July numbers that showed two different pools of voters in the states.

Back in July, Mr. Trump did better with older voters (45 or older) in New Hampshire and better with younger voters (under 45) in Iowa. He scored higher with self-described “moderate” voters in Iowa while doing better with self-described “conservatives” in New Hampshire. He did better with unmarried voters in Iowa, while registering higher numbers with married voters in New Hampshire.

Those July numbers just created more confusion among political analysts who wanted to understand the Trump phenomenon.

But the August/September polls (the interviews were completed on the 2nd of the month) suggest that as Mr. Trump and his positions get better known, he is appealing most heavily to a certain kind of Republican voter.

The only real “difference” between Iowa and New Hampshire in that table above is the age grouping. Trump’s supporters are evenly split between young and older voters in Iowa and while he gets a greater percentage of younger Republicans (under 45 years old) in New Hampshire.

One other commonality in the September data: In both states, Mr. Trump leads among white evangelical Christian voters.

For the other Republican hopefuls, the latest numbers may offer at least some good news. After all, it’s easier to wage a campaign against a candidate who has a discreet, known base of support. You can either make a play for those voters with messages aimed at them, or differentiate by going for other segments – older voters, women, college grads.

That said, there is also a very powerful bit of discouraging news in these polls for Mr. Trump’s opponents. He does better with some groups than with others – moderates, unmarried voters, men – but he still leads among most of the other groups as well.