President Ronald Reagan.

Why do white men overwhelmingly back Donald Trump and dislike Hillary Clinton?

The data is right there in numerous polls showing Clinton leading almost every other category except white males, especially those without a college education.

In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, Trump leads among white men by 24 points while Clinton overwhelms him with black, Hispanic and female support.

It remains to be seen what impact Clinton’s weekend health scare will have on poll numbers generally, but it is clear that she has a huge deficit with white men.

Included in the list of white male supporters are major ethnic groups such as Italian and Irish Americans which will come as no surprise to those of us who sample Irish American opinion.

Our sister website IrishCentral polled over 7,000 Irish Americans and discovered Trump ahead by four points at a time when other polls showed Clinton overall up six.

Donald J Trump: "Make America Great Again."

Donald J Trump: "Make America Great Again."

Perhaps this is not so surprising when you mention one name: Ronald Reagan.

Reagan was adored by the Reagan Democrats, ethnic Americans who formerly voted for the Democratic Party.

They love that image of the strong man on his white horse coming to rescue the wagon train. Reagan was a brilliant communicator, and Trump has also played this skill brilliantly.

Remember Reagan’s classic line after an attempt to assassinate him barely failed – "Honey, I forgot to duck" – or his splendid theatrical call at the Berlin Wall to Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall.”

This was vintage Reagan, and white male voters loved him for it. They have been waiting for his successor to come along ever since.

Ronald Reagan speaking at the Berlin Wall.

Ronald Reagan speaking at the Berlin Wall.

They thought they had him for a while in George W. Bush, but his misadventures in Iraq soon brought him down.

Trump is their man on this occasion, and if you listen closely you will continue to hear the comparison from the right.

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As Democrats have been so heavily influenced by John F. Kennedy with his style and panache over the years, so have Republicans with Reagan.

I didn't know Reagan, but I strongly believe Trump is far from being his second coming.  Indeed, I think Reagan would be insulted by the comparison.

One man ended the Cold War and made the world safer, while another threatens to undo that. It is time white men woke up to that reality. Donnie you are no Ronnie.

Trump’s biggest advantage for his white backers may well be during the debates. Clinton is process-driven, suspicious, while Trump has the better body language, is folksier and gives off that air of command, bogus though it may be.

Memories of Reagan, warm and witty, crushing the prune faced Jimmy Carter in 1980 with the famous “there you go again” line will likely be revived.

Trump, whatever you think of him, has a way with words, and knows how to pitch an emotional moment on TV.  But there can be no denying at all that Clinton wins on substance.