Reconciling the Various Reasons for Trump

After the election, I concluded that Trump won with three appeals:

  • Bring back jobs
  • Drain the swamp
  • Build the wall

and that I approved of the first two. (It’s now clear that all three are unlikely to happen.)

Many people have offered reasons why Trump won, and they fall into three areas:

  • Election problems
  • Economic hardship
  • Racism

I won’t go into the electoral issues (Comey, gerrymandering, fake news, Clinton, Russia) here. There are stats that make a good case for both jobs and racism being the cause. Can we reconcile the two?

I have an article (not out yet) arguing that fear of others is the defining characteristic of conservatives. Edsall says that only cities with a population greater than 1 million showed economic growth, so maybe low population density causes both xenophobia and weak economic opportunities.

EDIT 4/17/17: a Political Science professor just analyzed the recently released 2016 American National Election Study and found racial bias was more significant than authoritarianism or income inequality.

Finally, the statistical tool of regression can tease apart which had more influence on the 2016 vote: authoritarianism or symbolic racism, after controlling for education, race, ideology, and age. Moving from the 50th to the 75th percentile in the authoritarian scale made someone about 3 percent more likely to vote for Trump. The same jump on the SRS scale made someone 20 percent more likely to vote for Trump. Source

EDIT 5/19/17: PRRI analyzed what factors motivated white working-class voters to support Donald Trump

  1. Identification with the Republican Party: 11 times more likely to support Trump
  2. Fears about cultural displacement: 3.5 times more likely
  3. Support for deporting immigrants living in the country illegally: 3.3 times more likely
  4. Economic fatalism: almost twice as likely
  5. Economic hardship: 1.7 times more likely to support Clinton
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