How Racial Threat Motivates Partisan Differences in Anti-Democratic Attitudes

21 January 2021, Version 1
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


A great deal of concern has been raised recently about anti-democratic support among the American public. Across two surveys on large samples of Americans, I find that Republicans are, in orders of magnitude, more supportive of anti-democratic norms and practices, such as violence against political opposition, than Democrats and Independents. Second, I find that racial threat primarily motivates these attitudes only among Republicans. Lastly, taking a parsimonious approach to threat, I find that these anti-democratic sentiments among Republicans are temporally driven. Future senses of minority threat are the only predictors of their anti-democratic attitudes. Overall, I confirm that a main current which underpins partisan politics is the changing demographic landscape of the United States.


racial threat
political behavior


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