counter create hit Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America

Availability: Ready to download

A gripping, in-depth account of the 2016 presidential election that explains Donald Trump's historic victory Donald Trump's election victory stunned the world. How did he pull it off? Was it his appeal to alienated voters in the battleground states? Was it Hillary Clinton and the scandals associated with her long career in politics? Were key factors already in place before A gripping, in-depth account of the 2016 presidential election that explains Donald Trump's historic victory Donald Trump's election victory stunned the world. How did he pull it off? Was it his appeal to alienated voters in the battleground states? Was it Hillary Clinton and the scandals associated with her long career in politics? Were key factors already in place before the nominees were even chosen? Identity Crisis provides a gripping account of the campaign that appeared to break all the political rules--but in fact didn't. Identity Crisis takes readers from the bruising primaries to an election night whose outcome defied the predictions of the pollsters and pundits. The book shows how fundamental characteristics of the nation and its politics--the state of the economy, the Obama presidency, and the demographics of the political parties--combined with the candidates' personalities and rhetoric to produce one of the most unexpected presidencies in history. Early on, the fundamental characteristics predicted an extremely close election. And even though Trump's many controversies helped Clinton maintain a comfortable lead for most of the campaign, the prediction of a close election became reality when Americans cast their votes. Identity Crisis reveals how Trump's victory was foreshadowed by changes in the Democratic and Republican coalitions that were driven by people's racial and ethnic identities. The campaign then reinforced and exacerbated those cleavages as it focused on issues related to race, immigration, and religion. The result was an epic battle not just for the White House but about what America is and should be.


Compare

A gripping, in-depth account of the 2016 presidential election that explains Donald Trump's historic victory Donald Trump's election victory stunned the world. How did he pull it off? Was it his appeal to alienated voters in the battleground states? Was it Hillary Clinton and the scandals associated with her long career in politics? Were key factors already in place before A gripping, in-depth account of the 2016 presidential election that explains Donald Trump's historic victory Donald Trump's election victory stunned the world. How did he pull it off? Was it his appeal to alienated voters in the battleground states? Was it Hillary Clinton and the scandals associated with her long career in politics? Were key factors already in place before the nominees were even chosen? Identity Crisis provides a gripping account of the campaign that appeared to break all the political rules--but in fact didn't. Identity Crisis takes readers from the bruising primaries to an election night whose outcome defied the predictions of the pollsters and pundits. The book shows how fundamental characteristics of the nation and its politics--the state of the economy, the Obama presidency, and the demographics of the political parties--combined with the candidates' personalities and rhetoric to produce one of the most unexpected presidencies in history. Early on, the fundamental characteristics predicted an extremely close election. And even though Trump's many controversies helped Clinton maintain a comfortable lead for most of the campaign, the prediction of a close election became reality when Americans cast their votes. Identity Crisis reveals how Trump's victory was foreshadowed by changes in the Democratic and Republican coalitions that were driven by people's racial and ethnic identities. The campaign then reinforced and exacerbated those cleavages as it focused on issues related to race, immigration, and religion. The result was an epic battle not just for the White House but about what America is and should be.

30 review for Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America

  1. 5 out of 5

    Conor Ahern

    This book summarily puts to bed the canard that the 2016 Election was about "economic anxiety," and pretty convincingly demonstrates that Trump succeeded because of his ability to activate the racist and xenophobic anxieties of people, aided by a bunch of freak factors that mostly aligned in his favor. Never straying too far from the data, the authors show that people were not really motivated by their concerns about their jobs or the state of their retirement accounts, but by their racist and x This book summarily puts to bed the canard that the 2016 Election was about "economic anxiety," and pretty convincingly demonstrates that Trump succeeded because of his ability to activate the racist and xenophobic anxieties of people, aided by a bunch of freak factors that mostly aligned in his favor. Never straying too far from the data, the authors show that people were not really motivated by their concerns about their jobs or the state of their retirement accounts, but by their racist and xenophobic tendencies, as demonstrated by the high correlation between support for Trump and exhibitions of sexism, or beliefs such as "black people could get ahead if they just put in the effort" and "immigrants are a drain on our society." Does a book like this even matter, though? I don't really know. We on the left probably believed this already, anyway, and those on the right are so knee-jerk reactive to charges of racism that they'll either offer bad faith arguments for why the above does not in fact evince racism or why liberals are the REAL racists. No, its findings will not be satisfying in that regard. But it is interesting to consider what it means for politics in a world where media is so important and race anxieties are fair game for major politicians to cultivate. I suppose the good news is that there is a more than sufficient base for opposing the types of folks who are turned on by Trump's appeals, and we have seen that as recently as the 2018 Midterms, which occurred after but were mostly presaged by this book. Here's hoping we learned our important lessons come 2020...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    If you’ve been following polls and news articles and think pieces about 2016, this won’t be news to you. Spoiler: racism and not economic anxiety. Also, sexism. This is more of a play by play of the election with a lot of numbers heavy studies. The end chapter is interesting where it covers shifting identities (i.e. Latino men not voting for Hillary). I had high hopes after hearing them on Ezra Klein’s show but I’m going back to my moratorium on not reading any more about the 2016 election! That If you’ve been following polls and news articles and think pieces about 2016, this won’t be news to you. Spoiler: racism and not economic anxiety. Also, sexism. This is more of a play by play of the election with a lot of numbers heavy studies. The end chapter is interesting where it covers shifting identities (i.e. Latino men not voting for Hillary). I had high hopes after hearing them on Ezra Klein’s show but I’m going back to my moratorium on not reading any more about the 2016 election! That’s it. I’m serious this time.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mara

    Quite dry, but a fascinating read that uses statistical analysis and solid political science to break down some common myths about why things went down the way they did in 2016. Kind of scary, but I choose to see the places of hope where we can grow as a country

  4. 5 out of 5

    Raymond

    "Rather than debate the economy, Trump and Clinton debated American identity" In my opinion this book offers the clearest explanation on how Trump won the 2016 presidential election while losing the popular vote. Sides, Tesler, and Vavreck argue that Trump and Clinton both activated voters' identities and that activation helped Trump more than Clinton. They state that Trump's rhetoric and candidacy activated whites without a college degree who held views on racial, ethnic, and religious minoritie "Rather than debate the economy, Trump and Clinton debated American identity" In my opinion this book offers the clearest explanation on how Trump won the 2016 presidential election while losing the popular vote. Sides, Tesler, and Vavreck argue that Trump and Clinton both activated voters' identities and that activation helped Trump more than Clinton. They state that Trump's rhetoric and candidacy activated whites without a college degree who held views on racial, ethnic, and religious minorities that were in line with Trump's platform. These voters were disproportionately in key battleground states that allowed him to win the Electoral College while losing the popular vote. The authors effectively showed how Clinton and Trump won their respective nominations. They also addressed every issue that could have impacted the final election results: the Access Hollywood tape, Comey letter, Russian interference, Clinton email scandal, etc. Finally I believe they successfully debunk the myth of economic anxiety being the cause of Trump's win and had the clearest explanation about why some Obama voters voted for Trump.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jack Wolfe

    I need to keep a copy of this book in a holster, so I can use it to slap anyone in my vicinity who says, oh... "The 2016 election was about economic anxiety." "Trump offered change to an angry electorate." "Clinton would've won if she hadn't dismissed rural voters." "The Democratic Party needs to do some serious soul-searching before 2020, get out of their bubble, learn how to speak to non-elites again, etc etc etc." We've all heard many narratives of the 2016 Electoral Tragedy, and many are founded I need to keep a copy of this book in a holster, so I can use it to slap anyone in my vicinity who says, oh... "The 2016 election was about economic anxiety." "Trump offered change to an angry electorate." "Clinton would've won if she hadn't dismissed rural voters." "The Democratic Party needs to do some serious soul-searching before 2020, get out of their bubble, learn how to speak to non-elites again, etc etc etc." We've all heard many narratives of the 2016 Electoral Tragedy, and many are founded on ideas like those above. THESE IDEAS ARE FALSE. Armed with more data than an Russian hackbot (there are like three graphs for every two pages here), the authors of "Identity Crisis" tell the real story of Trump's nightmare victory, a story about an ugly white man using ugly white rhetoric to activate the ugly white sensibilities of an ugly white citizenry. Here is concrete evidence of what writers like Ta-Nehisi Coates have known for a while: that white supremacy isn't just something that powerful people do to the powerless, but a whole frame of mind that can be turned on at will by crass, faux-populist strongmen. "Identity Crisis" doesn't make our country look good. It doesn't make me hopeful for the future. I hope a lot of people read it, though. Truth is much more instructive than bullshit.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    THIS is the one book to read about the 2016 election. Thankfully, political scientists have increasingly embraced the idea of writing for larger audiences. And these three authors have written a powerful book. They come across as fair and thorough, and bring in all the relevant data and references necessary to bolster their narrative. People on the right will not care to realize that race was more relevant and helpful to Trump than the stories they like to tell of the working man who is economic THIS is the one book to read about the 2016 election. Thankfully, political scientists have increasingly embraced the idea of writing for larger audiences. And these three authors have written a powerful book. They come across as fair and thorough, and bring in all the relevant data and references necessary to bolster their narrative. People on the right will not care to realize that race was more relevant and helpful to Trump than the stories they like to tell of the working man who is economically aggrieved, and the left has to come to terms with the idea that Trump didn't steal his way to victory - Russia didn't put him over the top. Trump and Clinton both brought the issue of immigration into the 2016 debate, more so than earlier campaigns have done, and the structural underpinnings of 8 years of Dem White House control, with serious unlikability ratings for Clinton, gave Trump just enough votes to win the electoral college, even with a pretty decent popular vote loss. Also, the authors did a great job of showing how the media helped propel Trump into the GOP nomination, and didn't do Hillary Clinton the favors the right would like to imagine they did. Alas, it is what it is.

  7. 5 out of 5

    C

    After the 2016 election I was stunned and angry. I have been reading and learning to understand how Hillary lost. Everyone has opinions and conjectures. But I am the annoying type who keeps questioning, "I understand your conjecture. But is it true?" I find this book very persuasive in its conclusions regarding the 2016 election. It explores practically every relevant explanation of what happens such as "economic anxiety", "partisanship", and uses data from polls, surveys, attitude studies, etc. After the 2016 election I was stunned and angry. I have been reading and learning to understand how Hillary lost. Everyone has opinions and conjectures. But I am the annoying type who keeps questioning, "I understand your conjecture. But is it true?" I find this book very persuasive in its conclusions regarding the 2016 election. It explores practically every relevant explanation of what happens such as "economic anxiety", "partisanship", and uses data from polls, surveys, attitude studies, etc. to form a picture of what made a difference in the election and what didn't. Essentially the book says, this conjecture is right, and the data explains why. It satisfies my need for "Is it true?" So what is true? Trump won because he activated prejudices that have always been there but never made into issues: it's white men vs blacks, white men vs brown immigrants, Christians vs Muslims. If I were a politician, I would consult with these authors and find a way to cross the "diploma divide".

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sasha Mircov

    Ezra Klein was right when is said the book was one of the most anticipated accounts of the 2016 election. The conclusion: it was the crisis of racial and ethnic identity that elected Trump. The thesis is not new. It was put forward by other researchers, including Seth Stephens-Davidowitz in his in-depth analysis of racially charged Google search terms during Obama's presidency and detailed in the book "Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are. Ezra Klein was right when is said the book was one of the most anticipated accounts of the 2016 election. The conclusion: it was the crisis of racial and ethnic identity that elected Trump. The thesis is not new. It was put forward by other researchers, including Seth Stephens-Davidowitz in his in-depth analysis of racially charged Google search terms during Obama's presidency and detailed in the book "Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are." The book does not attempt to predict what it all means for the 2020 race, so I am turning to Francis Fukuyama's latest work "Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment" for help. Any other suggestion where to look guidance?

  9. 4 out of 5

    drowningmermaid

    This one took me a long time to get through... It was quite dry, and steeped in graphs and polls and dense data, enough that I kept wondering-- who is it who takes these polls? Can I trust this info, since I've never taken one of these polls? And, while I liked a lot of the setup, the turn it took-- essentially stated that if you voted for Trump, you're probably a racist, and here's the stats to prove it. And it's true, I don't think we've ever had a president who ran on a platform of whiteness i This one took me a long time to get through... It was quite dry, and steeped in graphs and polls and dense data, enough that I kept wondering-- who is it who takes these polls? Can I trust this info, since I've never taken one of these polls? And, while I liked a lot of the setup, the turn it took-- essentially stated that if you voted for Trump, you're probably a racist, and here's the stats to prove it. And it's true, I don't think we've ever had a president who ran on a platform of whiteness in quite the way the current one did. Still, it strikes me as a very unsubtle understanding of what racism is. To a certain extent, it's a feature of the human brain, and ancestrally-- xenophobia probably saved lives. Other factors, like the rise of outright conspiracy mongering and the joys of following a personality cult, particularly on the right, but also on the left, didn't seem to be credited in the way I think it ought to.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Robert Gustavo

    This really shows that we need a nonfiction form between magazine article and three hundred and fifty page book. There is a really good 150 pager in here, which just needs a good editor to bring it out. But, who is going to buy a 150 page thing? There’s no market for it. And it’s easier to write 350 pages than 150. I got bored. I put the book down. I’m not likely to pick it up again.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Only eye opening if you were someone lost to priviledge and made it through the 2016 cycle blindfolded by "politics as usual." It's a good read if you are unfamiliar with the arena or the long game conservative strategy of default (white) identity politics. Four stars for it being more tolerable than Game Change. Only eye opening if you were someone lost to priviledge and made it through the 2016 cycle blindfolded by "politics as usual." It's a good read if you are unfamiliar with the arena or the long game conservative strategy of default (white) identity politics. Four stars for it being more tolerable than Game Change.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anuradha Pandey

    If you truly want to understand 2016, this is one book you can't miss. This provided the most data driven explanations I've seen for all the trends that fed into the election of trump, and debunks a lot of myths that surround his election and the Democratic primary. If you truly want to understand 2016, this is one book you can't miss. This provided the most data driven explanations I've seen for all the trends that fed into the election of trump, and debunks a lot of myths that surround his election and the Democratic primary.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Cunningham

    I liked this book in many ways, though my feeling is it's a 3.5 star read, not really a 4 star. Reasons: turns out, people who voted for Trump had reservoirs of animus (or at least distrust, doubts, etc.) toward black people, Muslims, and immigrants, especially Latino immigrants. Surprise, surprise. But, in addition, it turns out they were *not* (primarily) motivated by economic concerns. There were two (large) contending theories about Trump's victory, and this book seems to shoot down the "it I liked this book in many ways, though my feeling is it's a 3.5 star read, not really a 4 star. Reasons: turns out, people who voted for Trump had reservoirs of animus (or at least distrust, doubts, etc.) toward black people, Muslims, and immigrants, especially Latino immigrants. Surprise, surprise. But, in addition, it turns out they were *not* (primarily) motivated by economic concerns. There were two (large) contending theories about Trump's victory, and this book seems to shoot down the "it was *really* economic worries/trouble/despair/etc." contender. But given that, it does seem like there are a few shaky points. One is that the book, several times, kind of reverses itself (at least in part, and possibly not at all if/once I reread it.) Case in point, 80% of the book builds up the conclusion that "Its race, stupid," but then the last chapter (and some content elsewhere) points that the partisan loyalty and the entirely predictable party-flip-after-two-terms mechanics also predict Trump's victory (or that, at least, his victory slots right into that, much the same statement.) Perhaps this is due to there being three authors, with different chapters being written by different people (and hence different "voices", different phrasings and points being stressed, etc.) Or, the authors themselves don't quite buy the simple summary they themselves made on at least one podcast where I heard (all of them) interviewed. Another shaky point is assumptions. At an early point in the book, the authors cite a paper that "plausibly" concludes (in their paraphrasing) that since voters didn't vote for more progressive economic policies, that they were not worried about economics. Fine, as far as it goes (and this makes sense with their findings that many Trump voters where economically liberal, conservative voters.) But how many conservatives do you know who, when asked by political scientists, call for more socialist/progressive economic policies? At least in the US, we just got off years of Tea Party activists calling for the opposite (because they believe e.g. less regulation and "free markets" will solve economic problems.) And finally, I worry because of how much some of this all rests on just making calls. (What doesn't, at base, and especially in something as complex as political/social science, right? I know.) Example: a plot is shown with, if I remember correctly, different quartiles (or maybe it was quintiles) and when they recovered from the 2007-2009 economic crash. It shows income (or wealth, I should really find this plot again) the curve of each... quintile. Anyway, the point was that the second highest earning group had recovered something like 12 to 18 months before the election and, because people vote on their recent economic history and not their long-term history, economics was not a part of the election. But that seems crazy to me... and maybe I'm just wrong. But if I'm struggling for say 2007-2008 to 2015, and at 2015 I finally break even and then by 2016 I'm up 0.25% or something... I'm still thinking about it. As weird as it might seem, I'd like to see more data and explanation here. But more sociological and/or anthropological data about this kind of stuff. I feel like political science is working at the edge of its expertise here. Anyway, in some ways, these points are picking around the edges (see 3.5-star comment above, and a 4-star rating, thanks to Goodreads.) But as someone who thinks, "Of course it's about race and ethnicity and culture and religion; the US is an expanding experiment in heterogeneity and everyone seems to keep forgetting that that is WEIRD," and, "Uhh, duh, racists," I didn't come away as convinced as I feel I should have.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wendy (bardsblond)

    This book recounts, painfully, the events leading up to the 2016 Presidential Election, and persuasively disabuses readers that Donald Trump's election can be explained away by "economic anxiety." In essence, Trump's supporters are not particularly poor. Their incomes are average and there is no evidence that they are hard-pressed economically. Rather, it is the perception that their "group" is suffering that led to the outcome of Trump being elected. In essence, Trump exploited the fear of the This book recounts, painfully, the events leading up to the 2016 Presidential Election, and persuasively disabuses readers that Donald Trump's election can be explained away by "economic anxiety." In essence, Trump's supporters are not particularly poor. Their incomes are average and there is no evidence that they are hard-pressed economically. Rather, it is the perception that their "group" is suffering that led to the outcome of Trump being elected. In essence, Trump exploited the fear of the white middle class in ugly ways and his campaign was explicitly racist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic. Identity politics was the crux of his being elected and, despite having a large popular vote victory, HRC went down because these disaffected white middle class voters with particularly noxious views on race and immigration reside in "battleground" states that are crucial to an electoral victory, i.e., Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa, etc. John Sides does a very thorough job explaining what happened during the election. He makes the case that the country has become exceedingly partisan, which each side only increasing its fidelity to its party and increasingly seeing the other side negatively. Yes, Trump was helped by the media who basically capitulated to giving him as much media coverage as possible in order to garner ratings. yes, the Republican establishment did not see him as enough of a threat early on and did not come up with a plan to defeat him. Yes, HRC was historically unpopular and the media treated her unfairly, on an objectively measurable way. Yes, gender is not as strong a basis to build solidarity as race. Yes, Comey threw HRC to the wolves and yes, the Russians interfered. But more than anything, it was identity politics that swayed the election. And as repulsive as it is to read about, there is a significant-enough portion of white voters who found Trump's brand of racist, bigoted sexist tinpot dictator braggadocio appealing enough that they voted for him. This is a great book, very persuasive, and completely appalling to read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Asani

    The book is an analysis of the causes of the 2016 election outcome. It argues that group identity was the main driver of voting preferences and not economic anxiety. To the extent that the latter mattered, it was filtered through group identity. So voters less angry about losing jobs than the perception that they lost jobs to immigrants. The strength of the book is that it is based on data and analysis, and not just the pontifications of so-called experts. The strongest evidence relates to surve The book is an analysis of the causes of the 2016 election outcome. It argues that group identity was the main driver of voting preferences and not economic anxiety. To the extent that the latter mattered, it was filtered through group identity. So voters less angry about losing jobs than the perception that they lost jobs to immigrants. The strength of the book is that it is based on data and analysis, and not just the pontifications of so-called experts. The strongest evidence relates to surveys taken before 2016, say in 2012, regarding voter identification with their groups. Since the survey occurred several years before the election, the answers are unaffected by the actual 2016 campaigns but reflect voters’ intrinsic preferences. The authors show that group identification in 2012 is strongly correlated with voting preferences in 2016. For example, a majority of white voters who identified with their group (e.g. that whites were discriminated against and should act jointly to redress this) voted for Trump. By comparison, a minority of white voters with weak group identification did so. Similar results were found for other groups, such as Hispanics and African Americans. With the caveat that I haven’t read the statistical analysis, the argument for the importance of group identity seems credible. The book’s weakness is that it doesn’t go a step further and consider the intersection of group identity with economic interests. Research quoted by the authors clearly shows that the performance of the economy during the election year is a strong predictor of election outcomes. Thus, it seems plausible that economic factors should be important in determining preferences of individual voters, perhaps filtered through group identity.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alex Golub

    This book uses polling data to explain how Donald Trump was elected in 2016. Many of its findings confirm what most people already know: for instance, that the larges field in the Republican primaries helped Trump. But the authors also come down on contested topics as well: Trump voters were motivated by racial affiliation rather than economic anxiety -- or rather, that they viewed economic issues through the lens of race, creating what the authors call "racialized economics", that Clinton's gen This book uses polling data to explain how Donald Trump was elected in 2016. Many of its findings confirm what most people already know: for instance, that the larges field in the Republican primaries helped Trump. But the authors also come down on contested topics as well: Trump voters were motivated by racial affiliation rather than economic anxiety -- or rather, that they viewed economic issues through the lens of race, creating what the authors call "racialized economics", that Clinton's gender didn't rally female voters and pushed sexist men (of which there are apparently many) away from her, that Russian interference and social media played a relatively small role. The book is very clearly written and expertly organised (the signposting is remarkably clear), which makes it easy to read and allows non-experts to skim through the quantitative evidence (the appendices and notes contain even more data for dedicated readers). However, it's not a political memoir full of dramatic moments, big personalities, and backroom meetings, so don't expect a lot of 'ethnography'. If you want a just-the-facts-ma'am guided tour through 100 graphs of voter opinions, then this is the book for you! And even if you don't, it's very valuable to have a strong quantitative case that Trump has stoked white racial identification to assure his presidency. For me, at least, it's not a pretty picture of American politics, but the authors should be given credit for painting that picture with care and judiciousness. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to dig a bit deeper into the 2016 elections.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ethan Gardner

    If you’re looking to know what was behind the 2016 election, this book is the best resource. It compiles mountains of research and data in a highly readable 220 pages to explain what factors put Trump in the White House. Taking on the debate over whether economic or racial anxiety was the force behind Trump’s support, the authors find a resounding conclusion: Attitudes on racial, ethnic, and religious identity, in addition to partisanship, were the top factors in vote choice in 2016, while the a If you’re looking to know what was behind the 2016 election, this book is the best resource. It compiles mountains of research and data in a highly readable 220 pages to explain what factors put Trump in the White House. Taking on the debate over whether economic or racial anxiety was the force behind Trump’s support, the authors find a resounding conclusion: Attitudes on racial, ethnic, and religious identity, in addition to partisanship, were the top factors in vote choice in 2016, while the authors could find little evidence that “economic anxiety” was a major factor in votes for either candidate. This thesis is buttressed by an insane amount of data, covering the primaries and general election, showing that racialized identity became a powerful force in politics that was not seen in elections over the past decade. Further, the authors detail how a white identity emerged as a force among Trump voters, who were found to have growing resentment against minority groups as America has become more diverse and especially as Trump emphasized racial campaign themes. Other highlights of the book include findings on the importance of media coverage in driving Trump’s rise and the discrepancy between coverage of Clinton’s few scandals to the weekly barrage of scandals that Trump generated. It is by far the best empirical account of the 2016 election that we have to date.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mario

    Sides, Tesler, and Vavreck put together a brilliant and very thorough examination of the 2016 election, and make a very convincing case that the election brought identity-based issues to the forefront of the campaign, and that those issues became the most decisive factor in the election's outcome. The three authors make their case by putting forth, then debunking, alternative explanations for Trump's victory. In doing so, they dispel several commonly-held "truths" about the election (including a Sides, Tesler, and Vavreck put together a brilliant and very thorough examination of the 2016 election, and make a very convincing case that the election brought identity-based issues to the forefront of the campaign, and that those issues became the most decisive factor in the election's outcome. The three authors make their case by putting forth, then debunking, alternative explanations for Trump's victory. In doing so, they dispel several commonly-held "truths" about the election (including a few I held). Through a wealth of empirical data, they show that Trump won by activating dormant attitudes about race and gender in a way that his Republican rivals were unwilling or unable to imitate, while Clinton's campaign, while highly successful, was unable to replicate the coalition of voters that had propelled Obama to victory in 2008 and 2012. Further, this study points out that Clinton's efforts at coalition-building came with a trade-off: her efforts to reach out to some groups of voters cost her votes from other segments of the voting population. (Although I think the book mentions it, I don't recall if this trade-off was significant enough to change the election's outcome.) All in all, a must-read for anyone looking to understand what drove the outcome of the 2016 election, and what it could mean for future elections.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Friscia

    The tl;dr of this book is that Trump won in 2016 with mostly the same people who typically vote Republican plus more racists. The longer version is, Trump managed to invigorate the racist tendencies among many voters, especially on the right, and did so enough in a few key places, that he was able to squeak out an electoral win despite losing the popular vote. There was no ‘economic anxiety’ among his voters, except through the lens of racial identity. Many of the people that voted for him were a The tl;dr of this book is that Trump won in 2016 with mostly the same people who typically vote Republican plus more racists. The longer version is, Trump managed to invigorate the racist tendencies among many voters, especially on the right, and did so enough in a few key places, that he was able to squeak out an electoral win despite losing the popular vote. There was no ‘economic anxiety’ among his voters, except through the lens of racial identity. Many of the people that voted for him were anxious that an immigrant or brown person was going to get more than them, not about economic inequality more broadly. This was combined with a media that was particularly eager to cover Trump. Interesting, many self-identified Republicans are actually economically liberal, and don’t support the typical R talking points of lowering taxes on the rich and cutting entitlement programs. These are the social issue voters, and the main social issue that Trump was able to cash in on was animosity toward immigrant and other ‘others’. The book itself is phenomenally well-researched - the appendices and references make up almost half of the book. The authors pull in other’s research and do much of their own to make their points, while still keeping it a lively and quick read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Whitaker

    I understand this to be the best "political science" study of the 2016 election, and it felt that way while reading. Certainly an academic-feeling book but it wasn't too dry. Three things I learned: 1. The two defining trends of the 2016 election: a) the long-term trend of increasing party loyalty (and especially hostility toward the other party); and b) the short-term trend of increasing partisan sorting by racial attitudes (started earlier but accelerated in the Obama years, then reinforced by T I understand this to be the best "political science" study of the 2016 election, and it felt that way while reading. Certainly an academic-feeling book but it wasn't too dry. Three things I learned: 1. The two defining trends of the 2016 election: a) the long-term trend of increasing party loyalty (and especially hostility toward the other party); and b) the short-term trend of increasing partisan sorting by racial attitudes (started earlier but accelerated in the Obama years, then reinforced by Trump's campaign messages) 2. "Momentum" in primaries is often-discussed but poorly understood: the actual mechanism is not just a pure momentum effect, but it is concentrated among people with a similar view of the issues -- in other words more media coverage reveals to a certain set of voters that the candidate is "their type" 3. During the general election, a greater share of Clinton's coverage than Trump's focused on controversies

  21. 5 out of 5

    Vikram X

    The toxic partisan vitriol unleashed in 2016 campaign now threatens to fracture one of the greatest nations ; how the people were coerced to view every issue through a racial prism of hate , “us vs them” view ; not just by the candidates but also by the media , driving the national discourse to a new low of anti - intellectualism never seen before on such a platform . This is one of the best books on this subject which tries to reconcile with the conclusion using multiple polling research data to The toxic partisan vitriol unleashed in 2016 campaign now threatens to fracture one of the greatest nations ; how the people were coerced to view every issue through a racial prism of hate , “us vs them” view ; not just by the candidates but also by the media , driving the national discourse to a new low of anti - intellectualism never seen before on such a platform . This is one of the best books on this subject which tries to reconcile with the conclusion using multiple polling research data to rationalize one of the most bizarre spectacles in modern day politics , not so surprising this playbook is now being used in other multi-cultural / multi-ethnic counties ie. India & EU which is going through a similar ideological crisis . As Senator Lindsey Graham sums it up best “ America is an idea ; not a race “.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Sykes

    I cannot imagine anyone writing a more comprehensive, persuasive, or definitive account of the 2016 election. While some of the social science presented herein fit my preconceived notions (Trump activated racial preference in whites, many of whom viewed Muslims negatively and thought whites were targets of discrimination), other information was new and revelatory (Clinton's ground game in swing states didn't cost her the election, Russia didn't swing things, and the Comey letter's effect was neg I cannot imagine anyone writing a more comprehensive, persuasive, or definitive account of the 2016 election. While some of the social science presented herein fit my preconceived notions (Trump activated racial preference in whites, many of whom viewed Muslims negatively and thought whites were targets of discrimination), other information was new and revelatory (Clinton's ground game in swing states didn't cost her the election, Russia didn't swing things, and the Comey letter's effect was negligible). This is so well done. I hope the authors collaborate again after the 2020 election.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    This is an excellent careful work on why Trump won. It is data driven, and yet well written. It makes a powerful argument that for all the dismissal of identity politics by the GOP, they actually are playing a very skillful game of identity politics. It's just invisible to many observers because it is white identity that is at stake. This is fine political science with vivid real world applicability. This is an excellent careful work on why Trump won. It is data driven, and yet well written. It makes a powerful argument that for all the dismissal of identity politics by the GOP, they actually are playing a very skillful game of identity politics. It's just invisible to many observers because it is white identity that is at stake. This is fine political science with vivid real world applicability.

  24. 5 out of 5

    James Sheaves

    All the best, most rigorous takes on the currents and forces underlying the 2016 election are contained herein. At this point, three years later, it's highly likely that most political junkies will have already absorbed most of these takes, making the book of marginal novelty, but in the event that one isn't fully up to speed, or needs disabusing of some of the more pernicious myths of 2016 (economic anxiety!) then this book is a one stop shop in a class of its own. All the best, most rigorous takes on the currents and forces underlying the 2016 election are contained herein. At this point, three years later, it's highly likely that most political junkies will have already absorbed most of these takes, making the book of marginal novelty, but in the event that one isn't fully up to speed, or needs disabusing of some of the more pernicious myths of 2016 (economic anxiety!) then this book is a one stop shop in a class of its own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    A remarkably good, insightful book. Well written, well documented, not nearly as dry as you would expect from a statistically-based book but with the analytical chops those statistics bring to support the authors’ conclusions. Well worth reading if you are at all interested not just about what happened in 2016, but in some ways even more importantly...what may happen next.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andrew York

    (Audiobook)- Good postmortem of the 2016 election. Uses a lot of data to argue what what news coverage has already seems to indicate- that the primary drive converting white, working class voters without a college degree was race and immigration. Really interesting (and concerning) book, but starts an important conversation

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shirl Kennedy

    Nothing groundbreaking here, but a good synthesis of socioeconomic-political research on how and why the country became so polarized. Authors maintain that the 2016 election was all about "identity," and those with less favorable attitudes toward race and immigration became a potent voting block. Depressing somewhat. About half of the book is a minutely detailed appendix. Nothing groundbreaking here, but a good synthesis of socioeconomic-political research on how and why the country became so polarized. Authors maintain that the 2016 election was all about "identity," and those with less favorable attitudes toward race and immigration became a potent voting block. Depressing somewhat. About half of the book is a minutely detailed appendix.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Informative (if dry) explanation of the factors that led to Trump’s victory. They’re skeptical of the argument that Trump voters were motivated by economic anxieties. Rather, anxieties over race, ethnicity, and religion were far more salient factors. Also, tribal loyalties led traditional Republicans to support him despite their personal distaste.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Mitchell

    A deep data-driven look into an election that most of us have strong feelings about, many of which are actually contradictory. Highly recommended to see what issues really moved the needle and how far.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bob Buice

    Well researched and highly informative, but difficult to read. Too much statistical data. However, it might give you an idea how a mysoginistic, narcissistic, dishonest, raving lunatic such as Donald Trump became president.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.