A Quick Take on ‘Economic Anxiety’

While it’s clear Democrats will never stop arguing about the 2016 election, a recent op-ed stumbled across what has been obvious for some time now: most Trump supporters are not motivated by ‘economic anxiety’ nor were the January 6 insurrectionists, leading to a loud chorus of ‘DUH!’ While it does remain an open question if economic anxiety cost Clinton victories in extremely close states (it’s a very strong and unsupportable statement to argue that economic anxiety couldn’t have cost her enough votes in really close states; e.g., 0.1% of the total), what motivates the ‘mean’ Trump voter is pretty clear, and it’s not economic anxiety.

Unfortunately, what’s lost in the denigration of the influence of economic anxiety on voting is that it did seem to affect one group: low-attachment Democrats, especially low-attachment minority voters. What did kill Clinton wasn’t the Trump switchers, though they obviously didn’t help, but the Democrats who stayed home. Many of them chose not to vote because they didn’t think Democrats would help them.

There are economically anxious voters, it’s just they’re usually Democrats trying to decide if voting is worth their time.

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