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The impact of COVID-19 on Trump’s electoral demise - Anja Neundorf

3:30pm - 5:00pm / Thursday 18th March 2021
Type: Seminar / Category: Department
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Did the Covid-19 crisis have a significant effect on Trump’s electoral demise? We present survey experimental evidence on two substantial effects of the pandemic. First, the unprecedented economic downturn significantly depressed Trump’s popular support across all partisan groups, and especially among middle-low and low-income respondents. Second, the poor public health record of the Trump administration reduced its electoral prospects in 25 percentage points among citizens aged between 55 and 70 years old. By contrast, populist attitudes proved to have a negligible effect on the outcome. We conclude that the 2020 election was a normal contest compatible with theories of economic voting and political competence. Our results cast doubts on the role of populism as a major and permanent electoral driver of Trump’s base, and suggest that democratic accountability is a powerful determinant of the fate of political outsiders once in power.

Bio: Anja Neundorf is a professor of Politics and Research Methods at the University of Glasgow. Before joining Glasgow, she worked as an Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham (2013-2019) and a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford (2010-2012). She received her PhD from the University of Essex. Anja Neundorf's research interests lie at the intersection of political behaviour, research methods, and comparative politics. Her research has appeared in the Journal of Politics, the British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies and Public Opinion Quarterly, among others.