Abstract

In this study, I examine the voting behavior of Southerners, non-Southerners, Evangelicals, and non-Evangelicals in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Using data from the ANES 2016 Time Series Study, I compare the proportions of Trump, Clinton, and other voters between Southerners and non-Southerners, Evangelicals and non-Evangelicals, and Southern and non-Southern Evangelicals. Both Southerners and Evangelicals were more likely to support the Republican candidate and less likely to support the Democratic candidate than non-Southerners and non-Evangelicals. An unexpected and unique difference between third-party and independent candidate support between Evangelicals and non-Evangelicals suggests that some factor prevents Evangelicals for supporting candidates outside off the two-party duopoly. While the data shows that Southern Evangelicals were more likely to support the Republican candidate that non-Southern Evangelicals, the data failed to show a significant difference in support for the Democratic candidate. When comparing Southern Evangelicals to all Southerners and all Evangelicals, I found that Southern Evangelicals appear to behave as a unique group of Southerners, and less as a unique group of Evangelicals. These findings, though not entirely supportive of the idea that Southern and non-Southern Evangelicals are completely unique, suggest that differences between the two groups do exist, and worth further study. The idea that Southern Evangelicals behave as a unique group of Southerners may have wider implications for how political strategists and candidates, both Republican and Democratic, form election platforms and campaign in the South.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2021

Mentor

Dr. Anne Cizmar

Mentor Department Affiliation

Government and Economics

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level

Bachelors

Department

Government and Economics

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