CRF Blog

The Ways That the 2016 Election Was Perfectly Normal

by David De La Torre

Writing in The Upshot section of the New York Times, UCLA professor of political science Lynn Vavreck explains The Ways That the 2016 Election Was Perfectly Normal.

But just because the outcome was as close as the fundamental conditions predicted it would be doesn’t mean that many of the articles about how Mr. Trump won are wrong. Could it be true that misogyny played a role, as Hillary Clinton suggested a few weeks ago? Yes. What about the ascent of white voters without college degrees in the Rust Belt? Or the increasing rates of drug-related deaths and the increasing polarization around race, religion and ethnocentrism? With an election that turns on roughly 75,000 votes in three states, a lot of things can be pivotal.

Good work is being done trying to figure out who was in the 9 percent of the electorate that moved from Barack Obama in 2012 to Mr. Trump in 2016 (and the smaller share that moved from Mitt Romney to Mrs. Clinton).

Yet we also need to look at the 90 percent of the electorate that was necessary — if not sufficient — to produce the outcome … [more]