Local demographic changes and US presidential voting, 2012 to 2016.
ABSTRACT: Immigration and demographic change have become highly salient in American politics, partly because of the 2016 campaign of Donald Trump. Previous research indicates that local influxes of immigrants or unfamiliar ethnic groups can generate threatened responses, but has either focused on nonelectoral outcomes or analyzed elections in large geographic units, such as counties. Here, we examine whether demographic changes at low levels of aggregation were associated with vote shifts toward an anti-immigration presidential candidate between 2012 and 2016. To do so, we compile a precinct-level dataset of election results and demographic measures for almost 32,000 precincts in the states of Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington. We employ regression analyses varying model specifications and measures of demographic change. Our estimates uncover little evidence that influxes of Hispanics or noncitizen immigrants benefited Trump relative to past Republicans, instead consistently showing that such changes were associated with shifts to Trump's opponent.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Since the 2016 presidential election, reports have suggested that President Trump's rhetoric and his administration's proposed policies could be exacerbating barriers to accessing health care for undocumented as well as lawfully present immigrants and their families in the United States. However, very little empirical work has analyzed this possibility or detailed how these reports and rhetoric have altered the health seeking behavior of mixed immigration status families.<h4>Methods</h4>Using a series of focus groups throughout Texas in both English and Spanish, this qualitative study analyzes changes to health access for immigrants. We consulted Community Health Workers to better understand the barriers encountered by their otherwise hard-to-reach undocumented clients and their families as they interface with the health system, revealing key insights about the changing nature of barriers to access under the Trump administration.<h4>Results</h4>We identify four key themes about the changing nature of immigrant health access in the United States: growing fear of interacting with health and social services; that social networks are paradoxically limiting health access in the current political climate; that the administration's rhetoric and proposed policies are impeding health seeking behavior; and that children are encountering new barriers to social program participation.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The Trump administration, its proposed immigration policies, and his rhetoric are posing new and significant barriers to health access for immigrants and their families.
Project description:In the United States, there is concern that recent state laws restricting undocumented immigrants' rights could threaten access to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for citizen children of immigrant parents. Of particular concern are omnibus immigration laws, state laws that include multiple provisions increasing immigration enforcement and restricting rights for undocumented immigrants. These laws could limit Medicaid/CHIP access for citizen children in immigrant families by creating misinformation about their eligibility and fostering fear and mistrust of government among immigrant parents. This study uses nationally-representative data from the National Health Interview Survey (2005-2014; n = 70,187) and comparative interrupted time series methods to assess whether passage of state omnibus immigration laws reduced access to Medicaid/CHIP for US citizen Latino children. We found that law passage did not reduce enrollment for children with noncitizen parents and actually resulted in temporary increases in coverage among Latino children with at least one citizen parent. These findings are surprising in light of prior research. We offer potential explanations for this finding and conclude with a call for future research to be expanded in three ways: 1) examine whether policy effects vary for children of undocumented parents, compared to children whose noncitizen parents are legally present; 2) examine the joint effects of immigration-related policies at different levels, from the city or county to the state to the federal; and 3) draw on the large social movements and political mobilization literature that describes when and how Latinos and immigrants push back against restrictive immigration laws.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To explore health literacy as a marker of voter confusion in order to understand the basis for public opposition to community water fluoridation. DESIGN:A cross-sectional study. SETTING:Conducted in three large US cities of San Antonio, Texas (602 voting precincts); Wichita, Kansas (171 voting precincts); and Portland, Oregon (132 voting precincts). Precinct-level voting data were compiled from community water fluoridation referendums conducted in San Antonio in 2002, Wichita in 2012 and Portland in 2013. PARTICIPANTS:Voter turnout expressed as a percentage of registered voters was 38% in San Antonio (n=2?92?811), 47% in Wichita (n=129?199) and 38% in Portland (n=164?301). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:The dependent variable was the percentage of votes in favour of fluoridating drinking water. Precinct-level voting data were mapped to precinct scores of health literacy, and to US Census and American Community Survey characteristics of race/ethnicity, age, income and educational attainment. Multilevel regression with post-stratification predicted the precinct mean health literacy scores, with weights generated from the National Association of Adult Literacy health literacy survey, with item response theory computed scoring for health literacy. Predictive models on voter support of community water fluoridation were compared using robust linear regression to determine how precinct-level characteristics influenced voter support in order to determine whether health literacy explained more variance in voting preference than sociodemographic characteristics. RESULTS:Precinct-level health literacy was positively associated with voter turnout, although sociodemographic characteristics were better predictors of turnout. Approximately 60% of voters opposed community water fluoridation in Wichita and Portland, whereas in San Antonio, a small majority (53%) voted in favour of it. Models suggest that a one SD increase in health literacy scores predicted a 12 percentage point increase support for community water fluoridation. CONCLUSION:Educational attainment and health literacy are modifiable characteristics associated with voting precincts' support for community water fluoridation.
Project description:Twitter was an integral part of Donald Trump's communication platform during his 2016 campaign. Although its topical content has been examined by researchers and the media, we know relatively little about the style of the language used on the account or how this style changed over time. In this study, we present the first detailed description of stylistic variation on the Trump Twitter account based on a multivariate analysis of grammatical co-occurrence patterns in tweets posted between 2009 and 2018. We identify four general patterns of stylistic variation, which we interpret as representing the degree of conversational, campaigning, engaged, and advisory discourse. We then track how the use of these four styles changed over time, focusing on the period around the campaign, showing that the style of tweets shifts systematically depending on the communicative goals of Trump and his team. Based on these results, we propose a series of hypotheses about how the Trump campaign used social media during the 2016 elections.
Project description:In the 'post-truth era', political fact-checking has become an issue of considerable significance. A recent study in the context of the 2016 US election found that fact-checks of statements by Donald Trump changed participants' beliefs about those statements-regardless of whether participants supported Trump-but not their feelings towards Trump or voting intentions. However, the study balanced corrections of inaccurate statements with an equal number of affirmations of accurate statements. Therefore, the null effect of fact-checks on participants' voting intentions and feelings may have arisen because of this artificially created balance. Moreover, Trump's statements were not contrasted with statements from an opposing politician, and Trump's perceived veracity was not measured. The present study (N = 370) examined the issue further, manipulating the ratio of corrections to affirmations, and using Australian politicians (and Australian participants) from both sides of the political spectrum. We hypothesized that fact-checks would correct beliefs and that fact-checks would affect voters' support (i.e. voting intentions, feelings and perceptions of veracity), but only when corrections outnumbered affirmations. Both hypotheses were supported, suggesting that a politician's veracity does sometimes matter to voters. The effects of fact-checking were similar on both sides of the political spectrum, suggesting little motivated reasoning in the processing of fact-checks.
Project description:From many perspectives, the election of Donald Trump was seen as a departure from long-standing political norms. An analysis of Trump's word use in the presidential debates and speeches indicated that he was exceptionally informal but at the same time, spoke with a sense of certainty. Indeed, he is lower in analytic thinking and higher in confidence than almost any previous American president. Closer analyses of linguistic trends of presidential language indicate that Trump's language is consistent with long-term linear trends, demonstrating that he is not as much an outlier as he initially seems. Across multiple corpora from the American presidents, non-US leaders, and legislative bodies spanning decades, there has been a general decline in analytic thinking and a rise in confidence in most political contexts, with the largest and most consistent changes found in the American presidency. The results suggest that certain aspects of the language style of Donald Trump and other recent leaders reflect long-evolving political trends. Implications of the changing nature of popular elections and the role of media are discussed.
Project description:Statements about building walls, deportation and denying services to undocumented immigrants made during President Trump's presidential campaign and presidency may induce fear in Latino populations and create barriers to their health care access. To assess how these statements relate to undocumented Latino immigrants' (UDLI) and Latino legal residents/citizens' (LLRC) perceptions of safety and their presentations for emergency care, we conducted surveys of adult patients at three county emergency departments (EDs) in California from June 2017 to December 2018. Of 1,684 patients approached, 1,337 (79.4%) agreed to participate: 34.3% UDLI, 36.9% LLRC, and 29.8% non-Latino legal residents/citizens (NLRC). The vast majority of UDLI (95%), LLRC (94%) and NLRC (85%) had heard statements about immigrants. Most UDLI (89%), LLRC (88%) and NLRC (87%) either thought that these measures were being enacted now or will be enacted in the future. Most UDLI and half of LLRC reported that these statements made them feel unsafe living in the US, 75% (95% CI 70-80%) and 51% (95% CI 47-56%), respectively. More UDLI reported that these statements made them afraid to come to the ED (24%, 95% CI 20-28%) vs LLRC (4.4%, 95% CI 3-7%) and NLRC (3.5%, 95% CI 2-6%); 55% of UDLI with this fear stated it caused them to delay coming to the ED (median delay 2-3 days). The vast majority of patients in our California EDs have heard statements during the 2016 presidential campaign or from President Trump about measures against undocumented immigrants, which have induced worry and safety concerns in both UDLI and LLRC patients. Exposure to these statements was also associated with fear of accessing emergency care in some UDLIs. Given California's sanctuary state status, these safety concerns and ED access fears may be greater in a nationwide population of Latinos.
Project description:Social media has arguably shifted political agenda-setting power away from mainstream media onto politicians. Current U.S. President Trump's reliance on Twitter is unprecedented, but the underlying implications for agenda setting are poorly understood. Using the president as a case study, we present evidence suggesting that President Trump's use of Twitter diverts crucial media (The New York Times and ABC News) from topics that are potentially harmful to him. We find that increased media coverage of the Mueller investigation is immediately followed by Trump tweeting increasingly about unrelated issues. This increased activity, in turn, is followed by a reduction in coverage of the Mueller investigation-a finding that is consistent with the hypothesis that President Trump's tweets may also successfully divert the media from topics that he considers threatening. The pattern is absent in placebo analyses involving Brexit coverage and several other topics that do not present a political risk to the president. Our results are robust to the inclusion of numerous control variables and examination of several alternative explanations, although the generality of the successful diversion must be established by further investigation.
Project description:The COVID-19 pandemic likely had an effect on the outcome of the 2020 US presidential election. Was it responsible for the defeat of incumbent President Donald Trump? The present study makes an initial attempt at, and provides a model for, understanding the pandemic's influence on Trump support. The study employed a mixed experimental and correlational design and surveyed separate samples of adults (N = 1,763) in six waves beginning March 23, 2020 and ending June 1, 2020. Participants were randomly assigned to report their Trump support either before or after being reminded of the pandemic with a series of questions gauging their level of concern about it. Results revealed complex and dynamic effects that changed over time. Depending on survey wave, the pandemic seems to have lowered Trump support among Democrats, while (marginally) raising it among independents. Republicans' reactions also changed over time; of particular note, Republicans who were more concerned about the pandemic reported higher Trump support after being reminded of the pandemic in its early stages, but this effect reversed by the time the economy began reopening (coinciding with a dip in Trump's approval ratings). Although the correlational results in the present study did not converge neatly with the experimental results, the combined experimental and correlational approach has the potential to increase researchers' confidence in the causal effects of salient national and international events on political attitudes.
Project description:This study extends the current body of work on dehumanization by evaluating the social, psychological, and demographic correlates of blatant disregard for immigrants. Participants (n = 468) were randomly assigned to read a scenario where 1) an immigrant or 2) an immigrant and their child were caught illegally crossing the southern border of the United States, and then rated how long they should spend in jail if convicted. Participants reported that they would sentence the immigrant to more jail time than the immigrant and child. Those who sent immigrants to jail for more time also viewed them as socially distant and less human, described immigration in impersonal terms, and endorsed other social harms unrelated to immigration (e.g., the death penalty for convicted murderers). Crucially, endorsed social harms accounted for explained variance beyond simply holding conservative views. We position these data within the current literature on dehumanization theory and immigration issues.