Trump supporters and authoritarianism

“Political pollsters have missed this key component of Trump’s support because they simply don’t include questions about authoritarianism in their polls. In addition to the typical battery of demographic, horse race, thermometer-scale and policy questions, my poll asked a set of four simple survey questions that political scientists have employed since 1992 to measure inclination toward authoritarianism. These questions pertain to child-rearing: whether it is more important for the voter to have a child who is :

1. respectful or independent;

2. obedient or self-reliant;

3. well-behaved or considerate; and

4. well-mannered or curious.

Respondents who pick the first option in each of these questions are strongly authoritarian.

Based on these questions, Trump was the only candidate—Republican or Democrat—whose support among authoritarians was statistically significant.” (Mathew Macwilliams, Politico)

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  • Owen Bell

    The causes of authoritarian populism in both the US and the EU is the subject of my dissertation. I’ll put the key findings of it in a future blog post. The MacWilliams study was what made me choose the subject in the first place.