2016 Election Reflection Series: Hiding in Plain Sight: White Women Vote Republican

Prior to the 2016 election, APSA’s Diversity and Inclusion Programs Office issued a call for scholarly reflections, original research notes, and classroom exercises that shed light upon diversity, political behavior, public opinion and the 2016 Campaign and Election. What resulted is an eight part series, 2016 Election Reflections, covering a range of election related topics and research methods.    


Hiding in Plain Sight: White Women Vote Republican

By Jane Junn, Professor of Political Science, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

 Tell us about an original research project, article, or finding that you are working on, which sheds light upon political behavior and/or public opinion and the 2016 Campaign and Election.

My work in the dynamics of electoral politics in the United States has focused recently on the significance of racial and ethnic group identity to political behavior. My most recent book with Natalie Masuoka, The Politics of Belonging: Race, Public Opinion, and Immigration (University of Chicago Press, 2013) focused on the important role racial group identity plays in political attitudes on immigration, with a higher sense of linked fate among whites predicting more restrictive policy positions and in contrast stronger racial group identity among African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans associated with more progressive positions on immigration. The 2016 election provides another opportunity to assess the degree to which racial group identity – and in particular, white identity among the majority population in the U.S. – influences voting. The article linked to below is a brief explication of the pattern of white female voting in U.S. Presidential elections, and documents a longstanding but often disregarded finding of stronger and consistent support for Republican Party candidates among white women. This trend continued in 2016, where 53% of white female voters supporting Trump versus 43% support for Clinton.

Hiding in Plain Sight: White Women Vote Republican

This piece was originally published in the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics (JREP) Blog entitled Politics of Color, on November 13, 2016. JREP is a Cambridge University title and is an APSA Organized Section Journal.

Jane Junn is Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern California. She is the author of five books on political participation and public opinion in the United States. Her most recent book The Politics of Belonging: Race, Immigration, and Public Opinion (with Natalie Masuoka), was published in 2013 by the University of Chicago Press. 


The views expressed in this series are those of the authors and contributors alone and do not represent the views of the APSA. To learn more, visit 2016 Election Reflections.

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