Graph depicting What Trump Supporters Think About Women, Immigrants and Minorities
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Trump Supporters Consistently Express Hostility Towards Women, Immigrants and Minorities

Description: This graph shows the degree to which supporters of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton agree or disagree with various statements. The bar graphs below each statement show that level of agreement or disagreement. Bars that stretch to the left of the center indicate the level of disagreement and bars that stretch to the right indicate the level of support for the statement. These results are based on polling data.

Sources: Pew   PPP   PPRI

Data: Excel

Last updated: May 19, 2016

Discussion: If pollsters simply ask "do you feel hostility towards [insert group here]," people have been conditioned to say no. So, instead, sociologists and pollsters explore these feelings by testing the respondent's level support for statements that are a bit more circumspect. These statements are designed to assess the degree to which the respondent is hostile towards minorities, Muslims, women and immigrants.

Trump supporters consistently give the "hostile" response against each group. 55% of Trump supporters feel that the government should pay less attention to the problems of minorities. 64% think Muslims should be more aggressively monitored. 68% believe that the country is becoming "too feminine." And, 69% believe that immigrants are a burden on the country... (Which burden is apparently borne by the Native Americans?) The level of support for these statements from Trump supporters indicates that, in each case, a majority of Trump supporters harbor fairly strong hostility towards the applicable group.

On the other hand, Clinton supporters overwhelmingly disagree with each of the statements. 83% reject the idea that immigrants are a burden. 69% reject the idea that society is becoming "too feminine." 87% reject a higher level of scrutiny of Muslims and 78% disagree that the government pays "too much attention" to the "problems of minorities."

The statement regarding President Obama being a Muslim is particularly interesting. It is simply a factual question with a right answer and a wrong answer. President Obama is in fact not Muslim. 65% of Trump supporters got that one wrong. It seems implausible that almost 2/3 of Trump supporters actually do not know what religion the President of the United States is, so there must be more to that story. Perhaps they see President Obama as "not one of us" due to his race or politics, and they use "Muslim" as code to indicate that he is outside of their group. Or, maybe they see "Muslim" as an insult and get satisfaction from insulting Obama. Or, maybe in their view, the only explanation they can come up with for Obama's refusal to display bigotry against Muslims is that he must be one. In any case, that response seems to indicate a high level of bigotry of one sort of another.

To some extent, these same tendencies show up if you split respondents between Democrats and Republicans rather than between Clinton supporters and Trump supporters. However, the prevalence of these feelings are significantly stronger among Trump supporters than among other Republicans. For example, a study recently found that Republicans who oppose Trump are 20% more likely to have positive feelings about Muslims and 15% more likely to have positive feelings about Hispanics as Trump supporters are.

None of this should be particularly surprising given the constant focus Trump has placed on expressing hostility towards these groups. His campaign has centered around calling Mexicans "rapists," proposing a ban on Muslim immigration to the U.S., demeaning women in various ways, birtherism and so forth. However, it is nonetheless alarming to see how many Americans hold these types of feelings.

See more graphs about: Diversity   Polls  

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