Monday, October 22, 2018

Foreclosures and Voting, Race and Class in the 2016 election

I have here a recently completed study, "Foreclosure’s Fallout: Economic Adversity and Voter Turnout," from Shah and Wichowsky in Wisconsin. The study examines data from Milwaukee, evaluating the likelihood of voting in 2012 depending on whether or not a household was foreclosed on. I will let the authors speak for themselves:
We conclude that homeowners facing foreclosure were less likely to vote in the 2012 presidential election. […] As the wave of foreclosures caught millions of Americans in its wake, it appears that troubled homeowners responded with political quiescence. […] Our results suggest that political elites may have faced less pressure to address the shortcoming and failures of the policies and programs implemented during the foreclosure crisis. [Ellipses are mine.]
Did this quiescence extend to 2016? If so, it likely contributed to Trump's victory. Multiple studies have shown that Trump supporters were motivated by racism. Perhaps there is a second part of the story, where foreclosures and long-term unemployment discouraged other voters.

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