Highlights taken from an article by by: Bobby Azarian, Ph.D at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mind-in-the-machine/201712/analysis-trump-supporters-has-identified-5-key-traits
- Trump emerged on the political scene. A 2016 Politico survey found that high authoritarians greatly favored then-candidate Trump, which led to a correct prediction that he would win the election, despite the polls saying otherwise.
2. In Trump’s speeches, he appeals to those with Social dominance orientation (SDO) by repeatedly making a clear distinction between groups that have a generally higher status in society (White), and those groups that are typically thought of as belonging to a lower status (immigrants and minorities).
A 2016 survey study of 406 American adults published this year in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that those who scored high on both SDO and authoritarianism were those who intended to vote for Trump in the election.
3. Trump’s are sometimes shockingly direct. There’s no denying that he routinely appeals to bigoted supporters when he calls Muslims “dangerous” and Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “murderers,” often in a blanketed fashion. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a new study has shown that support for Trump is correlated with a standard scale of modern racism.
4. A 2016 study found that “…the racial and ethnic isolation of Whites at the zip-code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.” This correlation persisted while controlling for dozens of other variables. In agreement with this finding, the same researchers found that support for Trump increased with the voters’ physical distance from the Mexican border.
5. There is no doubt that some Trump supporters are simply angry that American jobs are being lost to Mexico and China, which is certainly understandable, although these loyalists often ignore the fact that some of these careers are actually being lost due to the accelerating pace of automation.
If such data is accurate, the portrayal of most Trump supporters as “working class” citizens rebelling against Republican elites may be more myth than fact.
Bobby Azarian, Ph.D., is a cognitive neuroscientist and science writer in the Washington, D.C. area. Online: www.bobbyazarian.com