Date of Degree

6-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Political Science

Advisor

Michael Fortner

Subject Categories

Political Science

Keywords

authoritarianism, election, 2020

Abstract

The rise of authoritarianism in the United States has frequently been touted as an impossibility in the face of long-standing democratic institutions and processes. Yet recent trends in American political behavior suggest that this is not the case, that authoritarian behaviors can in fact be facilitated through these means. This study is concerned with measuring the prevalence of authoritarian attitudes among Americans, asking the key question, “Did authoritarianism play a role in the 2020 election?”, followed by an investigation into the extent of this effect. Logistic regression using 2020 ANES data is employed to predict 2020 presidential vote choice among white respondents, with particular focus on the sociopolitical conditions surrounding the election and the issues with which authoritarianism has been consistently associated.

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