On SAGE Insight; Who Voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 Election, and Why?

Article title: The Anger Games: Who Voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 Election, and Why?

From Critical Sociology

Recently released data from the 2016 American National Election Study allow us to offer a multifaceted profile of white voters who voted for Donald J. Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Here the researchers found that Trump’s supporters voted for him mainly because they share his prejudices, not because they’re financially stressed. The American National Election Study is an extraordinary source of insight. Since 1948, the ANES has surveyed representative samples of eligible voters in every national election. In 2016, as before, this survey was conducted both face-to-face and online, before the election and after.

This study examines 17 variables in all—five demographics (gender, education, age, marital status, and income) and a dozen attitudes. The intent was to explain two outcomes: first, what divides Trump from non-Trump voters; and second, what divides strong from mild. The electorate is deeply divided. Nearly 75% of Trump supporters count themselves among his enthusiastic supporters, and even “mild” Trump voters are much closer in their attitudes to Trump’s enthusiasts than they are to non-Trump voters. Polarization is profound, and may be growing.

Abstract

Recently released data from the 2016 American National Election Study allow us to offer a multifaceted profile of white voters who voted for Donald J. Trump in the 2016 presidential election. We find that Trump’s supporters voted for him mainly because they share his prejudices, not because they’re financially stressed. It’s true, as exit polls showed, that voters without four-year college degrees were likelier than average to support Trump. But millions of these voters—who are often stereotyped as “the white working class”—opposed Trump because they oppose his prejudices. These prejudices, meanwhile, have a definite structure, which we argue should be called authoritarian: negatively, they target minorities and women; and positively, they favor domineering and intolerant leaders who are uninhibited about their biases. Multivariate logistic regression shows that, once we take these biases into account, demographic factors (age, education, etc.) lose their explanatory power. The electorate, in short, is deeply divided. Nearly 75% of Trump supporters count themselves among his enthusiastic supporters, and even “mild” Trump voters are much closer in their attitudes to Trump’s enthusiasts than they are to non-Trump voters. Polarization is profound, and may be growing.

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Article details
The Anger Games: Who Voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 Election, and Why?

First Published February 9, 2018 Research Article
DOI: 10.1177/0896920517740615
From Critical Sociology

     
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