Midnight in America: an analysis of white vote choice in the 2016 US Presidential election

Thompson, J., 2021. Midnight in America: an analysis of white vote choice in the 2016 US Presidential election. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

In the last decade, populist radical right actors have enjoyed success across a host of advanced Western liberal democracies by mobilizing economically, culturally, and socio-culturally anxious majorities. The United States, a Republic with constitutional structures designed by Founders to prevent the rise of demagogic actors, was thought to be the exception to the populist advance. However, the rise of Trump during the 2016 Republican primaries and his subsequent victory against Hillary Clinton in the general election prompts a re-evaluation. This thesis therefore provides an exploration of the salient economic, cultural, and sociocultural forces that led a majority of White voters to cast their ballots for Donald Trump in the 2016 US Presidential election. To investigate which of these factors is the most salient, the thesis adopts a quantitative research design by analysing nationally representative secondary survey data. While I find that negative economic evaluations mattered in 2016, the most noteworthy set of results concerns the salient relationships between outgroup prejudice and White voters' fear of impending demographic change on vote choice for Trump. The essential contribution to knowledge to which this thesis lays claim is in its ability to better approximate which of these factors mattered the most in contributing to Trump’s victory. In this respect, the doctoral thesis builds on the burgeoning literature on White political behaviour in the aftermath of the 2016 election by providing a robust framework that aims to fully account for the various economic, cultural, and socio-cultural dimensions of Trump's victory.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Thompson, J.
Date: June 2021
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 01 Dec 2021 11:46
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2021 11:46
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/45020

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