Keep Scrolling for continue reading for more stories

The Primary Drivers of Trump Support

The study “Fear and deprivation in Trump’s America: A regional analysis of voting behavior in the 2016 and 2020 U.S. presidential elections” identifies several primary drivers of support for Donald Trump, emphasizing the complex interplay of psychological and structural factors:

Economic Deprivation:

Regions experiencing economic hardship tended to support Trump more than less economically deprived areas. The study suggests that economic conditions, such as job loss or lower economic performance, play a significant role in voting behavior, particularly in the context of perceived threat to economic status.

Racial and Ethnic Dynamics:

The research found that ethnically diverse regions were less likely to vote for Trump than for Mitt Romney in 2012, but Trump’s performance improved in these regions by 2020. This suggests that racial dynamics, including reactions to increasing ethnic diversity and perceived racial threats, significantly influenced Trump’s voter base.

Health Disadvantages:

Areas with higher health disadvantages showed a tendency to vote for Trump, especially where there was an improvement in Trump’s performance from 2016 to 2020 compared to Romney’s performance in 2012. This points to the impact of health-related issues on voter behavior, with Trump perceived as a better option by those feeling left behind by the healthcare system.

Psychological Factors:

The study highlights the role of regional neuroticism and openness to experience in predicting Trump support. Higher regional neuroticism and lower openness to experience were associated with greater support for Trump, suggesting that personality traits at a regional level can influence political preferences.

Fear and Threat Perception:

The synthesis of economic, racial, and health factors indicates that a broader sense of threat—whether economic, demographic, or health-related—strongly correlates with support for Trump. This aligns with theories that voters are likely to support leaders they believe can best address perceived threats.

The study concludes that Trumpism is not driven by a single factor but rather a constellation of interrelated structural and psychological dynamics that interact in complex ways to influence voter behavior.