Faculty Forum - Featured Post Posted on Monday, November 07, 2016

Sanford Schram: ‘Low information voters’ are a crucial part of Trump’s support

Sanford Schram, Roosevelt House Faculty Associate, Professor of Political Science and instructor in the Public Policy Program at Roosevelt House, has co-written a new article on “Trump’s Low-Information Voters” for the Washington Post with Richard Fording.  Schram and Fording write:

“Donald Trump’s campaign will be remembered for many reasons, not the least of which is his tenuous relationship to the truth. PolitiFact has repeatedly documented Trump’s unprecedented rate of false claims and in 2015 named him the recipient of the Lie of the Year Award.

Despite this, Trump’s support remains high in many states even as some of the most important Republican leaders have turned their backs on him. This has left many experts puzzled. Why do so many people continue to support Trump in the face of these false claims?

Many commentators have noted what Thomas Edsall has called the “great democratic inversion,” where voters have become more polarized by education — with less-educated voters gravitating to Trump. But focusing only on education obscures another key factor: whether voters have lower levels of knowledge about politics and less interest in using ideas to understand politics. These attributes do not simply reflect voters’ level of formal education.”

Read the rest of the article, here.