Racism, sexism, and support for Trump

I don’t know how I missed this Monkey Cage post from back this spring on how racial prejudice, but not authoritarianism explains support for Trump versus Clinton.  And, of course, not economic anxiety.  Only suckers in the media fall for that one.  Anyway, from Adam Enders and Steven Smallpage:

Being strongly identified with one party or ideology is tightly connected with support for one candidate or the other. Stronger Republicans and more extreme conservatives are more likely to support Trump and less likely to support Clinton. Unlike previous work that looked at how Trump supporters greatly differed from supporters of his fellow Republicans, authoritarianism doesn’t seem to predict much of the difference in support for Trump and Clinton. Trump supporters were shown to be more authoritarian than at least Marco Rubio and John Kasich supporters. But strong authoritarians only slightly favor Trump over Clinton.

That’s true for populism as well: Trump supporters are only slightly more populist than Clinton supporters. All these relationships and non-relationships hold in a multivariate setting controlling for the effects of other variables.

On the other hand, levels of racial resentment are just as strongly correlated with supporting one candidate or the other as identifying with one party or ideology over another. High levels of racial resentment are correlated with supporting Trump; low levels of racial resentment are associated with supporting Clinton. [emphases mine]

The Economist also took a look at this using their YouGov survey data:

However, one theory of Trump remains standing. Along with the questions on authoritarianism, we also requested YouGov to ask a battery of questions aimed at measuring racial resentment. Different from outright racism, this is measured by support for the idea that blacks are undeserving and clamorous for special assistance. Strongly disagreeing with the claim that “over the past few years blacks have gotten less than they deserve”, for example, reflects a high degree of racial resentment.

Racial resentment was tightly linked to Mr Trump’s supporters. These results held true when we controlled for region, race and religion, among other factors: 59% of Trump supporters in the Republican primary scored in the top quartile on racial resentment, compared with 46% of Republicans who backed other candidates and with 29% of voters overall. Those who thought that more should be done to fight terrorism were also much more likely to support him. In the Gallup study, whites who lived in racially isolated areas had a higher opinion of Mr Trump as well.

These findings cast doubt on the alarming notion that Mr Trump is propelled by a latent yearning for a strongman. Instead, they bolster the view that the candidate’s recent speeches painting a dystopian vision of black America racked by crime and unemployment were aimed not at black voters themselves, but rather at the kind of whites who tell pollsters that blacks are lazy and overindulged.

Yep.  Oh, and let’s not forget the sexism.  This is the first time I’ve seen good research on that.  And it’s important to note the key data pre-dates the Access Hollywood tapes.  To the Monkey Cage again (Carly Wayne, Nicholas Valentino and Marzia Oceno):

In June 2016, we conducted a nationally representative survey of 700 U.S. citizens. They were asked whether they agreed with statements such as “Most women interpret innocent remarks or acts as being sexist” and “Many women are actually seeking special favors, such as hiring policies that favor them over men, under the guise of asking for equality.” An index based on these statements is widely used in social science research on sexism and gender attitudes.

We found that sexism was strongly and significantly correlated with support for Trump, even after accounting for party identification, ideology, authoritarianism and ethnocentrism. In fact, the impact of sexism was equivalent to the impact of ethnocentrism and much larger than the impact of authoritarianism. Again, this was in June — well before the “Access Hollywood” tape was released and several women came forward to accuse Trump of unwanted touching or kissing.

Short version: you might as well print the hat and t-shirt, Racists and Sexists for Trump.

Too good

At a Trump rally today:


Map of the day

Survey Monkey now lets you make any electoral college map you want based on demographic groups (e.g., college-educated whites, Millennials, old people, etc.) in their state-by-state polling data.  So much fun.  For your viewing pleasure, here’s Millennials:

Here's what the Electoral College map would look like if only millennials voted

And white Millennials:

Here's what the Electoral College map would look like if only millennials voted

This was entirely predictable

Ron Brownstein tweeted today:

Uhhh, yep.  And from the January article:

Castellanos acknowledges Trump would begin the general election as an underdog against Hillary Clinton. But Castellanos believes Trump would move aggressively to court the voters now dubious of him—and could enjoy more success than most people expect. “He will pivot,” said Castellanos. “I would not be surprised if in the general election we would see a very different Trump. … Has he hurt himself with Hispanics, minorities, women, Democrats? Of course. Has he irreparably lost his ability to change how he is understood by them? Absolutely not.”

But many other analysts inside and outside the GOP are skeptical that Trump could substantially improve his image in a general election because many of the same policy positions and combative personality traits that are attracting more Republicans are precisely the factors alienating other voters.

Citing such Trump proposals as mass deportation of undocumented immigrants and a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S., Emory University’s Abramowitz says, “The reason he is doing better among Republicans is that his message resonates with a large share of the Republican electorate; they agree with what he is proposing. But outside of the Republican electorate those are things that are quite unpopular. So I don’t think there is much room for growth in his standing among [other] groups at all.” [emphasis mine]


Photo of the day

Mysterious Celtic Cross has appeared in Irish forest.  Via Atlas Obscura.

Celtic Cross Donegal

The changing demographics of the parties

Love this feature from Pew looking at the changing relationships between demographics and partisanship since 1992.  Age, race, and education and how they relate to partisanship have all undergone substantial changes.  There’s a number of ways of thinking about this, but I especially like the approach of looking at what percentage of a party’s supporters come from each particular demographic group.  Short version: Republicans have become much more white (actually less white in absolute terms, but relative to the country as a whole, more so), older, and more reliant on less-educated voters (doesn’t look so dramatic as country has become more educated).  Meanwhile, pretty much opposite changes among Democrats.  These charts nicely capture it:

And, put these together, and you get this dramatic chart:

No great insights here from me, but fair to say, if you want to understand America’s changing partisan politics, understanding the changes in these charts is certainly important.

North Carolina in the 2016 election

I’ve been meaning to do a post based on some really nice empirical analyses of NC for a while now, but haven’t gotten around to it.

First, Nate Silver devoted one of his electoral analyses to the role of North Carolina a few weeks ago.  I especially like the part discussing the demographics of NC and how it is different from other swing states:

it’s a little different than most of the other swing states. Its mix of voters — a combination of college-educated whites (and college students) in Charlotte and the Research Triangle, African-Americans, and often very conservative white evangelicals elsewhere in the state — is distinctive. All right, it fairly closely resembles Virginia and Georgia, although both are barely even swing states at the moment.3. But it isn’t similar to Midwestern states such as Michigan and Wisconsin, which have a far higher proportion of white voters without a college degree. This is particularly true if you also consider religion: the noncollege whites in North Carolina tend to be evangelicals, whereas the Midwest has a lot of groups like middle-class white Catholics.

There’s also a fascinating discussion of how the demographic patterns of states mean their polling/voting is more or less correlated with each other.  In the end, it means that NC really may be a firewall for Clinton:

The result of all those extra CPU cycles is that North Carolina turns out to be a bit more important than you might think — bad news for Trump given the recent polling there.

Also loved Nate Cohn’s in-depth analysis based on the Sienna College poll of NC back in September:

Perhaps no battleground state is as polarized along demographic lines as North Carolina. Mr. Trump has a lead of 53 percent to 28 percent among white voters, most likely his best tally with that group in any of the battleground states. Mrs. Clinton holds the overwhelming support of black voters, at 86 percent to 3 percent in a three-way race…

The state’s white voters are divided as well. Mr. Trump’s advantage with whites stems from a huge margin of 66 percent to 17 percent among white voters without a college degree. Mrs. Clinton’s challenge runs deep: She has a narrow lead of only 46-39 among white voters without a degree who are registered as Democrats…

The educational split in North Carolina could be the largest in the country. The state is in many ways still culturally Southern, but it has been transformed by rapidly growing metropolitan areas like Raleigh and Charlotte. These areas are full of migrants from outside the state, especially from the Northeast. Mrs. Clinton fares better among these voters, even after accounting for their greater education, than among those born in the state.


And, more recently, there was a nice, thorough story in the Christian Science Monitor about the role of NC this cycle.  As for the following quote, I definitely had the preceding Cohn analysis in mind:

Other states are electoral battlegrounds, but none have North Carolina’s mix of traditional Southern-style conservatism alongside thriving Millennial-led multicultural progressivism. Agrarian yet tech savvy, deeply evangelical yet globally progressive, deep red splashed with bright blue – the contrasts that once were part of North Carolina’s unique draw have become fissures.

That makes it a state to watch not only on Election Day, but in the months and years after – a crucible for how the pitched sides of America’s political divide can coexist and evolve.

“North Carolina is a microcosm of the divisions in the US electorate, but on steroids: The gap between white voters with and without college degrees is huge, the white to nonwhite gap is huge, and the rural-urban gap is huge,” says Steven Greene, a political scientist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

And, plenty more good stuff in there, too.

As for me, I love that NC has become such an important and interesting state.  As I told the CSM reporter, I’ve got plenty of smarter, more insightful friends in NY, Texas, etc., who nobody really cares about.  Not fair, but, heck, either is the electoral college.

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