(Not) Fake News? Navigating Competing Claims Regarding Status Threat and Trump Support

Jon Green, Sean McElwee, Meredith Conroy, and Colin McAuliffe 

In this research note, we analyze a recent critique of Mutz (2018). In her article, Mutz finds “status threat” to predict support for Trump in 2016. The criticism argues that “status threat” is ill- defined and -measured and that Mutz mis-specified her models. We explore each claim in turn. To view this research note as a PDF, visit here

Summary Of Findings

  • The choice to include immigration, trade, China, terrorism, and isolationism attitudes as status threat, not a material interest, as is done in Mutz (2018) is defensible. Morgan (2018) does not provide sufficient reasons for rejecting this categorization.
  • The modeling choices made in (Mutz 2018) are defensible.
  • Morgan’s concerns regarding causality are also defensible.
  • Attitudes about immigration were a key determinant in the 2016 election outcome.

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