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Researchers Think They've Found the Secret to Trump's Appeal

Image: Researchers Think They've Found the Secret to Trump's Appeal

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Sunday, 27 Mar 2016 09:48 AM

One of the great mysteries in recent political polling history — perhaps in all of polling history — is how Donald Trump has seemingly come out of nowhere to turn the presidential race on its head.

Experts ranging from top political pundits like NBC's Chuck Todd to polling guru Nate Silver have all been flummoxed by the Trump phenomenon.

Now comes evidence of what might be happening via the Washington Post.

Trump appeals to evangelical and secular voters, conservative and moderate Republicans, independents and even some Democrats. Many of his supporters are white and don't have a college degree, but he also does well with some highly educated voters, too.

How? What new research shows is that these people have a shared type of personality. It has nothing to do with political beliefs per se. "Indeed, it turns out that your views on raising children better predict whether you support Trump than just about anything else about you."

Matthew MacWilliams, a doctoral candidate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, conducted a poll that the Post describes in detail. He asked Republicans four questions about child-rearing. With each question, respondents were asked which of two traits were more important in children:

  • independence or respect for their elders;
  • curiosity or good manners;
  • self-reliance or obedience;
  • being considerate or being well-behaved.

What he and other researchers are finding is that those who favor Trump tend to appreciate what is known as 'authoritarian' values: order, hierarchy, obedience. You can reach the rest of the story here.


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One of the great mysteries in recent political polling history - perhaps in all of polling history - is how Donald Trump has seemingly come out of nowhere to turn the presidential race on its head. Experts ranging from top political pundits like NBC's Chuck Todd to polling...
donald, trump, authoritarian, values, research
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2016-48-27
Sunday, 27 Mar 2016 09:48 AM
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