Event Title

Why the Right? Explaining Vote Choice in Rural America

Faculty Advisor

Greg Shaw

Graduation Year

2018

Location

Room E103, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

21-4-2018 11:00 AM

End Date

21-4-2018 12:00 PM

Description

Typically, scholars think about vote choice as a decision based on economic interests; conventional wisdom would suggest that individuals base their vote choice on their perceptions of their economic status in relation to the general economy. In reality, however, this model of pocket book voting does not fit the vote-choice patterns of many rural Americans. As such, this research seeks to identify indicators of vote choice within rural American populations. Using American National Election Study (ANES) data from the 2016 Time Series, national-level trends were established, evidencing a gap in both attitudes and vote choice for rural, white, voting Americans. Following the “left behind” theory popularized by Hochschild, an ethnographic study of the rural village of Arthur, Illinois, was conducted to understand the way individuals think about politics, economics, and voting. This study finds that instead of economic interests being paramount, many rural Americans view their economic standing as just one piece of the puzzle; There are other issues that play a role in vote choice including perceptions of cultural declinism, partisanship, and feelings of political resentment.

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Apr 21st, 11:00 AM Apr 21st, 12:00 PM

Why the Right? Explaining Vote Choice in Rural America

Room E103, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Typically, scholars think about vote choice as a decision based on economic interests; conventional wisdom would suggest that individuals base their vote choice on their perceptions of their economic status in relation to the general economy. In reality, however, this model of pocket book voting does not fit the vote-choice patterns of many rural Americans. As such, this research seeks to identify indicators of vote choice within rural American populations. Using American National Election Study (ANES) data from the 2016 Time Series, national-level trends were established, evidencing a gap in both attitudes and vote choice for rural, white, voting Americans. Following the “left behind” theory popularized by Hochschild, an ethnographic study of the rural village of Arthur, Illinois, was conducted to understand the way individuals think about politics, economics, and voting. This study finds that instead of economic interests being paramount, many rural Americans view their economic standing as just one piece of the puzzle; There are other issues that play a role in vote choice including perceptions of cultural declinism, partisanship, and feelings of political resentment.