What drives opposition to immigration? In-group favoritism, out-group hostility, and Donald Trump

Source: Niskanen Center
by Will Wilkinson

“Trump is the most overtly xenophobic and ethnocentric major-party presidential nominee in living memory. His transparent hostility to Mexican immigrants and Muslim refugees set him apart from the crowded field in the Republican primaries, which he won decisively. And it would seem that Trump could not have claimed victory over Clinton in an extremely tight election had his blatant bigotry turned off Republicans who had opposed him in the primaries. But it clearly didn’t bother them enough to cross party lines or stay home on Election Day. Friedman agrees that Trump’s success was due in large measure to his oppositional stance on immigration. But he argues that xenophobia doesn’t drive opposition to immigration, nationalism does. And that’s why he concludes that the xenophobia theory of Trump’s success is false.” (09/06/17)