Philip Klinkner

In the last two weeks, as the media has focused on reasons behind the election outcome, Government Professor Philip Klinkner has been fielding multiple requests for his explanation. Beginning on election night, he has been quoted in The Atlantic, The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, Vox, TIME, Deutsche Welle, fivethirtyeight.com, McClatchy newspapers and The Guardian and has been interviewed on Al Jazeera.

As Clinton’s loss was becoming apparent late in the evening on Nov. 8, Klinkner, the James S. Sherman Professor of Government, was interviewed on Al Jazeera broadcasting in England. The following day, the McClatchy news service published Many minorities see Trump’s win as a victory for white supremacy. The article included a reference to Klinkner’s research, first published by Vox, that found “Trump was favored over Clinton by ‘those who express more resentment toward African-Americans, those who think the word ‘violent’ describes Muslims well and those who believe President Obama is a Muslim.’”

On the same day, The Atlantic published After Trump, a Call for Political Correctness From the Right - Downplaying the racist views of Trump supporters is an evasion of the facts.    Highlighting another aspect of his research, this essay also quoted research originally released by Vox. “You can ask just one simple question to find out whether someone likes Donald Trump more than Hillary Clinton: Is Barack Obama a Muslim? If they are white and the answer is yes, 89 percent of the time that person will have a higher opinion of Trump than Clinton.That’s more accurate than asking people if it’s harder to move up the income ladder than it was for their parents (54 percent), whether they oppose trade deals (66 percent), or if they think the economy is worse now than last year (81 percent). It’s even more accurate than asking them if they are Republican (87 percent).”

Vox returned to Klinkner’s research in seeking to explain Clinton’s loss in an article titled Donald Trump’s victory is part of a global white backlash - Analysis of why Trump won . The publication summarized his findings: “…a political scientist at New York’s Hamilton College, found that factors like economic pessimism and income were statistically insignificant to Trump’s support. Instead, his research found that the leading driver was party identification, followed closely by racial resentment.”

As a Muslim, how do I tell my child the new president doesn’t like us?, an essay in The Guardian asked many other questions beyond its title including, “How do I explain to her that the best way to identify a Trump supporter in the US, according to a recent study by Hamilton College political scientist Philip Klinkner, is to ask: ‘Just one simple question: is Barack Obama a Muslim?’ Because ‘if they are white and the answer is yes,’ says Klinkner, ‘89 per cent of the time that person will have a higher opinion of Trump than Clinton.’”

Klinkner’s own co-authored Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog Trump’s election is actually a return to normal racial politics. claims that “classical liberal values have often not predominated in the United States” and “for much of American history, these illiberal values held sway.” In a discussion of possible outcomes in the next four years, he pointed out that “U.S. voting patterns have become even more racially polarized” and “race has become one of the best predictors of partisan preferences.” The blog was also featured on TIME magazine’s history site.

Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster, also interviewed Klinkner about his research in an article titled Trump’s election is evidence of the retrenchment of liberal values. And the well-known blog fivethirtyeight.com pointed Klinkner’s book, The Losing Parties, in a discussion of what the Democrats might do to reorganize in the next four years.

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