Trump. Yes, it’s all about race

Okay, not all about race, but close enough.  Political Scientist Philip Klinkner has done some nice analysis with 2016 ANES Pilot data and the results are not pretty for Trump supporters.  The headline of the piece at Vox focuses on Muslims, “The easiest way to guess if someone supports Trump? Ask if Obama is a Muslims” and we get this tidbit:

You can ask just one simple question to find out whether someone likes Donald Trump more than Hillary Clinton: Is Barack Obama a Muslim? If the answer is yes, 89 percent of the time that person will have a higher opinion of Trump than Clinton.

That’s more accurate than asking people if it’s harder to move up the income ladder than it was for their parents (54 percent), whether they oppose trade deals (66 percent), or if they think the economy is worse now than last year (81 percent). It’s even more accurate than asking them if they are Republican (87 percent).

Those results come from the 2016 American National Election Study (ANES) pilot survey. My analysis indicates that economic status and attitudes do little to explain support for Donald Trump.
Yep.  Forget all this economic stuff, it’s the white ethnocentrism.  He runs some nice multivariate regressions and you know what is predictive as hell?  Racial resentment.  Not predictive?  Economic pessimism.  Here’s the handy chart:
So, racial resentment– not even that far behind Party Identification.  The Muslim questions are also strong predictors of support for Trump.  Meanwhile, economic pessimism, income, and education are not statistically distinguishable from 0.
So, yes, that slogan really should be “Make America White Again” or, at least, “Make America for White People Again.”  Honestly, I don’t know how any self-respecting non-racist Republican can be supporting this dangerous charlatan.  Okay, I do, but they shouldn’t.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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