The primary purpose of this study is to generate opportunity for new insight into the grievances and motives of individuals who voted for Republican candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 United States presidential election, while having supported prominent Democrats during previous elections. To this end, it examines the responses of Trump supporters who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 to questions presented by them by the 2016 American National Elections Study (ANES) Time Series survey. Additionally, it contrasts the answers provided by members of this group with those of respondents who voted for the Democratic presidential ticket in both elections. The ANES questions considered in this study are distinct from the others in that they have been identified as expressing political, social, and economic deprivation. These three categories of questions are analyzed separately, and the implications of their respective sets of responses are used to draw distinct conclusions regarding the importance of deprivation in having shaped the decisions of voters in 2016. The hypothesis tested hereㅡpositing that the perceived economic, social, or political deprivation of Obama-Trump voters was greater than that of Obama-Clinton votersㅡis ultimately found to be valid with regard to all three forms of deprivation, and consistent with other literature finding a link between perceived marginalization and support for anti-establishment causes.


van Doorn, Bas


Political Science


American Politics

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2018 Jack Hyman