Tariffs, Race, and Voting: A District-Level Analysis of the Trump Effect on the Republican Vote Share
- 23 Downloads
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.
KeywordsIdentity politics Economic insecurity Tariffs Vote share Race/ethnicity
- Bonilla-Silva, E. (2006). Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States, 2nd Ed. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
- CNN. (2018) Exit Polls. CNN https://www.cnn.com/election/2018/exit-polls. Accessed 8 November 2019.
- Dhingra, S. (2014). Reconciling Observed Tariffs and the Median Voter Model. Economics & Politics 26 (3), 483–503.Google Scholar
- Dottle, R., Koeze, E. and J. Wolfe. (2018). The 2018 Midterms, In 4 Charts. FiveThirtyEight. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-2018-midterms-in-4-charts/. Accessed 31 March 2019.
- Green, J., Bjerga A., & Singh, S. (2018). Sowing the Seeds of a Midterm Disaster. Bloomberg Businessweek. https://www.scribd.com/article/377494240/Sowing-The-Seeds-Of-A-Midterm-Disaster. Accessed 15 March 2019.
- Goff, P.A., Jackson, M.A., Lewis Di Leone, B., et al. (2014). The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology 106(4), 526–545Google Scholar
- Krogstad, J. & Lopez, M. (2017). Black voter turnout fell in 2016, a record number of Americans cast ballot. Pew Research Center, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/05/12/black-voter-turnout-fell-in-2016-even-as-a-record-number-of-americans-cast-ballots. Accessed on 15 March 2019.Google Scholar
- Martin, P. (2002). Mexican Workers and U.S. Agriculture: The Revolving Door. The International Migration Review 36 (4), 1124–1142.Google Scholar
- Newport, F. (2013). U.S. Catholic Hispanic Population Less Religious, Shrinking. Gallup https://news.gallup.com/poll/160691/catholic-hispanic-population-less-religious-shrinking.aspx. Accessed 8 November 2019.
- Omi, M., & Winant, H. (2014). Racial Formations in the United States. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Rothwell, R., & Diego-Rosell, P. (2016). Explaining Nationalist Political Views: The Case of Donald Trump. SSRN Electronic. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2822059. Accessed 8 November 2019.
- Shimoni Stoil, R. (2018). What if Tariffs Cost Trump The Farm Vote? FiveThirtyEight https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-if-tariffs-cost-trump-the-farm-vote/. Accessed 15 March 2019.
- Tajfel, H. & Turner, J. (1979). An Integrative Theory of Intergroup Conflict. Pp. 33–47. In S. Worchel & W.G. Austin (Eds.), The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations. (pp. 33–47). Brooks Cole Publishing.Google Scholar
- Tisdall, S. (2018). Money Wars: How sanctions and Tariffs Became Trump’s Big Guns. The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/aug/19/trump-money-wars-economic-sanctions-trade-tariffs-backfiring. Accessed 15 March 2019.
- Willer, R., Feinberg, M., & Wetts, R. (2016). Threats to Racial Status Promote Tea Party Support Among White Americans. SSRN Electronic. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2770186 Accessed 8 November 2019.