Beyond Economics: Fears of Cultural Displacement Pushed the White Working Class to Trump

Report Author: 
Daniel Cox, Ph.D., Rachel Lienesch, Robert P. Jones, Ph.D
Original Date of Publication: 
2017 May

The white working class voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election by a margin of roughly two to one. To illuminate the characteristics, attitudes and experiences that were most significant in predicting white working-class voters' support for Trump, researchers at the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) tested a variety of demographic, cultural and economic factors before and after the election that may have influenced these voters. Findings based on analysis of data from a national survey and focus groups were released in this joint PRRI and Atlantic report. The researchers' multivariate logistic regression model identified four significant predictors of support for Trump among the white working class. They found that white working-class voters who identified with the Republican Party were 11 times more likely to support Trump. In addition, fear of cultural displacement was also a significant indicator of support for Trump, as white working-class voters who felt like "strangers in their own land" were more than three times more likely to support Trump. Similarly, those who favored deporting immigrants living in the country without authorization were 3.3 times more likely to express a preference for Trump. Economic concerns were less predictive of support for Trump, as white working-class voters who reported being in fair or poor financial shape were nearly twice as likely to support Clinton. The report also found that factors such as views on race and gender roles as well as degrees of civic engagement were not significant independent predictors.

 

(Sarah Purdy for The ILC Public Education Institute)  

View the report here. 

Get more information from PRRI and the Atlantic.

Citation: 

Cox, D.; Rachel Lienesch; and Robert P. Jones. Beyond Economics: Fears of Cultural Displacement Pushed the White Working Class to Trump. Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and The Atlantic. Available online: 

https://www.prri.org/research/white-working-class-attitudes-economy-trad...

 

Source Organization: 
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