....If ethnic minority populations are segregated and those voters without day-to-day contact continue to react negatively against the minority group, then even a local positive correlation between diversity and liberal politics may not lead to long-term harmony for a society...if increasing diversity affects political outcomes, the relationship can point in two consequentially different directions: toward increased diversity liberalizing politics or toward increased diversity causing a reactionary backlash.From Hill et al.:
In recent years, advanced industrial democracies have grown more ethnically and racially diverse. This increasing diversity has the potential to reshape voting behavior in those countries, in part because majority groups may react by shifting support toward anti-immigration candidates and parties. This paper considers whether local demographic changes in the United States were associated with pro-Republican shifts between 2012 and 2016, when the Republican presidential candidate was especially outspoken in opposition to immigration. By showing that demographic changes were not associated with shifts toward the Republican, this research indicates that local demographic changes are not on their own increasing support for anti-immigration candidates.Abstract
Immigration and demographic change have become highly salient in American politics, partly because of the 2016 campaign of Donald Trump. Previous research indicates that local influxes of immigrants or unfamiliar ethnic groups can generate threatened responses, but has either focused on nonelectoral outcomes or analyzed elections in large geographic units, such as counties. Here, we examine whether demographic changes at low levels of aggregation were associated with vote shifts toward an anti-immigration presidential candidate between 2012 and 2016. To do so, we compile a precinct-level dataset of election results and demographic measures for almost 32,000 precincts in the states of Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington. We employ regression analyses varying model specifications and measures of demographic change. Our estimates uncover little evidence that influxes of Hispanics or noncitizen immigrants benefited Trump relative to past Republicans, instead consistently showing that such changes were associated with shifts to Trump’s opponent.
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