Attendees at a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump board the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. (Photo: Mic Smith/AP)
CHARLESTON, S.C. — The people kept coming, and the line kept growing and growing.
The line of people to see Donald Trump snaked from the entrance to the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier down the parking lot, back up toward the entrance again and then back around alongside another lane of cars. By the time the fire marshal stopped letting people in, with almost 2,000 people onboard the ship, there were still around 1,000 people waiting outside.
For three hours, I walked among the Trump supporters standing in line, engaging them in conversations that lasted between 10 and 20 minutes, trying to better understand who they were and what had drawn them to come see Trump.
The portrait of a Trump supporter — drawn from those conversations as well as an extra three hours of interviews with attendees at a rally in northern Virginia the week before — did correspond much of the time to the basic profile: white, middle or working class, resentful of immigration, overwhelmed by dramatic changes in morality and technology, and fearful and angry about being left behind culturally and economically.