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 reshape 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.
While race and racial attitudes have been and continue to play an important role in support for Republican presidential candidates, fears about growing racial diversity appear to be uniquely important to support for Trump compared to previous Republican candidates. Although our analysis does not speak to whether these attitudes were primed by Trump’s campaign, or whether he capitalized on emergent attitudes and rode them to victory, it seems clear that they will play a key role in the future of the Republican Party.
Fear of Diversity Made People More Likely to Vote Trump
The 2016 election was really a battle about having an open society.
Sean McElwee and Jason McDaniel, The Nation
To our sisters and brothers, what’s sadder
than seeing America splatter
with racial detritus
designed to divide us
by blocking the rungs of the ladder.
Mary Boren, 5/19/17