Following America’s 2016 presidential election, political commentators scrambled to explain Donald Trump’s surprise victory. Was racism the catalyst? While political scientists Fredrick C. Harris and Robert C. Lieberman concede that overt racism motivated some voters, they also point out how the candidate spoke to the growing socioeconomic despair felt among working-class whites. By illustrating how a variety of complex factors affected the election, Harris and Lieberman underscore the many difficulties involved in rooting out systemic racism.
In this summary, you will learn
- How white supremacist ideals featured in Donald Trump’s election campaign; and
- How socioeconomic, racial, and political trends contributed to Donald Trump’s surprise electoral victory.
About the Authors
Fredrick C. Harris is a Political Science Professor and Director of the Center on African American Politics and Society at Columbia University. Robert C. Lieberman is a Political Science Professor at Johns Hopkins University.