Discriminating the Vote in the 2016 Presidential Election

  •  Eric Lindgren    
  •  Priscilla Southwell    


This research identifies the most important factors that influenced how voters actually cast their votes in the 2016 presidential election. We conducted a canonical linear discriminant analysis of ANES data. Our findings suggest that Obama job approval and evaluations of whether the country was on the “right” or “wrong” track were the strongest determinants of voter choice. Specifically Clinton voters were more likely to approve of Obama and feel that the country was on the right track. In addition, Clinton voters were more supportive of the Affordable Care Act, to oppose the building of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, to believe that the economy has improved since 2008. Clinton voters also were slightly younger, better educated, and more likely to be non-white.

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