Professor McDaniel: Fear of Diversity Made People More Likely to Vote Trump

Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Photo of pink sign at protest that reads Ctrl Alt-Right Delete

THE NATION -- Jason McDaniel, associate professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University, and Sean McElwee, policy analyst at Demos, reviewed survey data to find that a fear of diversity made people more likely to vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

“We find that opinions about how increasing racial diversity will affect American society had much more impact on support for Trump during the 2016 election compared to support for the Republican candidates in the two previous presidential elections. We also find that individuals with high levels of racial resentment were more likely to switch from Obama to Trump, but those with low racial resentment and more positive views about rising diversity voted for Romney but not Trump.

“In short, our analysis indicates that Donald Trump successfully leveraged existing resentment towards African-Americans in combination with emerging fears of increased racial diversity in America to re-shape the presidential electorate, strongly attracting nativists towards Trump and pushing some more affluent and highly educated people with more cosmopolitan views to support Hillary Clinton. Racial identity and attitudes have further displaced class as the central battleground of American politics.”

Photo by Mark Dixon