Europaeer What is your opinion on Trump

21.11.2018 15:49

How Donald Trump welds conservative Europeans together

Katharina Vorwerk Press and public relations
Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg

Study shows "Trump effect" in the right-wing conservative electorate

The European Union has received more popular support following the Trump election as President of the United States. After taking office, Europeans see the EU more positively; especially those who are right-of-center in the political spectrum. With the political center and the left, the support of the EU has also increased slightly, but still in the statistical range of chance.
This is the result of a study that, with the participation of the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, examined whether and how support for the European Union in Europe has changed under Donald Trump. The research results have just been published for the first time in the US magazine Perspectives on Politics.
The sociologists Lara Minkus (University of Bremen), Emanuel Deutschmann (European University Institute Florence) and Prof. Jan Delhey (University of Magdeburg) used the fact that Trump was elected in the middle of a Eurobarometer survey in 2016 to investigate this effect. The EU Commission has been using the Eurobarometers to regularly investigate public opinion among EU citizens since 1973. The scientists conducted around half of the interviews before the Trump election, the other half afterwards.
"The election of Donald Trump as 45th President in November 2016 was a big surprise for most political observers, voters in the USA, but also in Europe," said Prof. Jan Delhey from the Chair of General Sociology / Macrosociology University of Magdeburg. “Since the interviewees were assigned to an interview date before or after the election purely by chance, ie it did not depend on the respective political preferences of the people, this circumstance comes very close to a so-called natural experiment - a change in support for the EU after the presidential election must therefore be a 'Trump effect' ”, says Delhey.
In theory, various effects would have been possible in Europe, continues the sociologist, from a “moving closer” of Europeans to a fatalistic decline in EU support.
The authors can only speculate about why the election of the US president had such an impact on the opinion-forming of right-wing conservative Europeans. “It is most plausible,” says Delhey, “that the Trump election has nourished the hope in these political circles that the EU will develop more towards a Europe of Nations, which is more isolated from the outside world and pursues a more protectionist power politics. “Whether this“ Trump effect ”in the right spectrum is only temporary or permanent, the next European elections in May next year would show.

Scientific contact:

Prof. Dr. Jan Delhey, Sociology Department of the Faculty of Human Sciences, University of Magdeburg, Tel .: +49 391 67-56537, E-Mail: [email protected]

Original publication:

Minkus, L., E. Deutschmann & J. Delhey, 2018: A Trump Effect on the EU’s Popularity? The U.S. Presidential Election as a Natural Experiment. Perspectives on Politics: 1-18.

Features of this press release:
Society, politics, psychology
Research results, scientific publications