Tariffs, Race, and Voting: A District-Level Analysis of the Trump Effect on the Republican Vote Share

  • Kevin DoranEmail author
  • Tauna S. Sisco


In 2018, tax cuts coupled with foreign trade sanctions raised concerns on economic insecurity and voter disenfranchisement in America’s dominantly red heartland. President Trump’s campaign rhetoric also negatively characterized the Latinx population, a group tied to agricultural labor. Our research analyzes economic insecurity and identity politics as connected to vote share changes at the state and local levels between the 2016 and 2018 elections. Using identity theory, we posit that perceived threats, either economically or racially, will impact vote share. We find little evidence of a tax/tariff effect on changes in Republican vote share. However, race and ethnicity tied to Hispanic income gains or White-Black inequality in education impacted Republican vote share. We interpret these results as support for the argument that group-positional grievances motivated White voting behavior. All told, we find support for arguments that group-based grievances and perceived threats continued to motivate Republican support in the 2018 election.


Identity politics Economic insecurity Tariffs Vote share Race/ethnicity 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologySaint Anselm CollegeManchesterUSA

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