Trump is still popular with his Republican base, with an 84% approval rating from them (though he has around a 38% approval in general), and it really shouldn’t come as a surprise. He was the guy who came to them and said “hey, there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re not bad at this, the system screwed you. It’s not your fault, the government abandoned you for bad trade deals (that I profited from), let’s go back to those days where you could finish high school, work in a factory and make thousands of bucks! Weren’t those greats, those good old days (50’s or something right)?”
Meanwhile the rest of the country was like, you didn’t finish school, or you didn’t go to college, you took a bad job, we all knew they were leaving and you didn’t listen, it’s your own fault. You could have stuck with retraining, but you didn’t. You could have stayed away from drugs, but you didn’t. Take responsibility.
Also they’re suddenly fine with gays, transgenders, gay marriage, abortion and all that, and the base is like:
“The hell is this? This ain’t my childhood! Let’s go back to that, we’ll even get our jobs back because reasons!”
So yeah, not actually surprising when you think about it. He validates all those thoughts everyone else is saying are bad, and makes them feel like they can blame other people for their own mistakes, or unwillingness to move. There’s other reasons for the last one, money’s tight and it ain’t easy to find a job in the cities or north, or the coast, just because you moved, but still the option was there, and they stayed home.
They didn’t like the black guy, they don’t like how the cultures changing, and they want to go back to their childhood (or whatever) when things were easy, simple and made sense. Is it any surprise they go for a guy who promises exactly that?