An interesting Matthew MacWilliams Politico piece posited that authoritarian attitudes drive Trump voters. Here's how he came to that conclusion-
My poll asked a set of four simple survey questions that political scientists have employed since 1992 to measure inclination toward authoritarianism. These questions pertain to child-rearing: whether it is more important for the voter to have a child who is respectful or independent; obedient or self-reliant; well-behaved or considerate; and well-mannered or curious. Respondents who pick the first option in each of these questions are strongly authoritarian.
Based on these questions, Trump was the only candidate—Republican or Democrat—whose support among authoritarians was statistically significant.
Let's see. The authoritarian kids are respectful, obedient, well-behaved and well-mannered. Those are good things, but not ones that will let you stand out in life or in the workforce. They are behaviors that will help one fit into a blue-collar job.
The anti-authoritarian traits are independence, self-reliance, considerateness and curiosity. Those will serve one well if you're looking to stand out, start a business or land competitive positions. They might get in the way of a more mundane job, but are traits that will help folks move beyond mundane jobs.
The "authoritarian" set seems more old-school than authoritarian, more blue-collar than white collar. "Keep your nose clean and do you job", Joe Shoprat tells his kids. When you're being slotted into a blue-collar career, you're not expected to be curious and independent, you're supposed to do your job and be part of a team.
That's going to lead folks towards being price-takers in the job market, being polite and respectful but not overly creative. You don't stand out, since standing out isn't a good idea. Being part of the team, part of the system is the goal.
However, if you are a good generic worker, you get the going rate for generic workers. As the economy shifted and intellectual creativity became more important, blue-collar jobs became less valued. Increased trade and improved logistics makes blue-collar workers compete against their peers from around the world, resulting in lower wages and fewer job opportunities.
That old-school blue-collar block makes up the prototypical Trump voter, folks who are left behind by the information-driven global economy. They're good citizens feeling like they're being left in the dust by changes and long for a simpler era where hard work paid better and their values weren't questioned by the big-city elites.