A new British Journal of Sociology article explains that Donald Trump's victory was less about the candidate himself and more about a rejection of the Democratic Party by white and black working-class voters across the Rust Belt.
The article draws attention to a key question: why did this revolt happen in the upper Midwest and why did it happen in 2016? "It is the death of institutions like labor unions and civic associations that connected these voters to the Democratic Party that is necessary to explain their availability for mobilization by the Trump campaign in 2016," said author Dr. Michael McQuarrie of the London School of Economics. "We usually use demographic categories to understand voting behavior, but it is really the specific character of the region and the institutions that connected it to national politics that explains unusual voting behavior in 2016."
The article is part of a special issue of the British Journal of Sociology that asks how can we understand the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States and what sense sociologists in particular can make of the political events that are now shaping political and social life in the US, the UK, and elsewhere.