American Populism, Political Information, and Trade Opinion

dc.contributor.advisorGimpel, James G.en_US
dc.contributor.authorCampana, Robert David Louisen_US
dc.contributor.departmentGovernment and Politicsen_US
dc.contributor.publisherDigital Repository at the University of Marylanden_US
dc.contributor.publisherUniversity of Maryland (College Park, Md.)en_US
dc.description.abstractTrade policy is a complex issue that involves economics and international politics. Traditionally, Americans have not often expressed opinions on trade policy due to its high issue complexity and because Democrats and Republican politicians since the later part of the 20th century have been inconsistent in their support for neoliberalism or protectionism. Despite this, populist candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have repeatedly used their support for protectionist policies to differentiate themselves from more mainstream candidates. Using multiple public opinion surveys and survey experiments, this project explores how populism, anti-expert sentiment, anti-capitalism, diversity anxiety, and ethnonationalism influence American’s views on free trade policy and shows that all these factors are associated with greater support for protectionist policies. Additionally, this project examines and adjusts for the unusually high level of non-response regarding questions about trade policy.This project also analyzes what causes Americans to think trade policy (specifically, the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership) is more important. This project finds that Americans who believe themselves to be strangers in their own country are more likely to believe the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific partnership is important. Meanwhile, Americans who believe the United States is less respected than in the past are less likely to believe the Trans-Pacific Partnership is important. Two survey experiments are conducted to see how the presence of “don’t know” responses in trade opinion questions and patriotic framing shift attitudes on trade policy. In both cases, issue framing does not significantly shift opinion on trade policy. This project carries out a longitudinal study to see how the same group of Americans shift their attitudes on trade policy over a multi-year time frame. Generally, these shifts are very small; however, Americans with differing views on regulation displayed the greatest attitudinal shift. Initially, Americans who wanted more government regulation were the most protectionist while Americans who wanted less government regulation were the least protectionist. Over the multi-year period, this association became significantly less visible. Finally, this project analyzes how economic attitudes, immigration attitudes, economic identity, immigrant identity, local immigrant populations, and local economic data influence views on trade policy. The study finds that immigration attitudes are closely aligned with views of trade policy.en_US
dc.subject.pqcontrolledPolitical scienceen_US
dc.titleAmerican Populism, Political Information, and Trade Opinionen_US


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