Trump's emergence this cycle as a conservative powerhouse has surprised pundits and newbies alike. But when exactly did his ideological shift begin? Both Democrats and Republicans insist on painting him as a fake conservative, arguing that his new political identity is purely political opportunism.
We decided to look at the data and find out if there was any evidence of his actual political ideology shifting, or if it seems like he's still a moderate at heart. It turns out that his political views have been shifting right far before this election cycle. Starting in 2011, the year Trump kicked off his 'birther' campaign, he begins giving more and more to conservative candidates, and less to liberal ones.
His donations increase in frequency around 2014, at which point they are being directed only towards conservative candidates. Finally, in mid-2015, he declares his candidacy for President, at which point he begins receiving donations. While they are predominantly from conservative donors, there is still clearly a pro-Trump camp within liberal donors.
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