This is better (i.e. less “political”) than others so far, which were way too overt in their political biases. I think the labels that Abramowitz et al use are a bit unfortunate, but they don’t extrapolate too much from these labels, to their credit.
The point is not dramatically different from others: Trump’s supporters tend to be suspicious of foreigners–illegal immigrants and Muslims, specifically (this is rated as “nativism”), are suspicious of the current political insiders but are hoping for a magical superman to come in and set things right single handedly (“authoritarianism”) and are supportive of government programs, higher taxes, and higher minimum wages (“economic liberalism.”) All these characteristics, in turn, are highly correlated with income–the lower income you have, the more likely that you’d be rated highly on these measures. Since very few poor minorities are likely to be Republican, it is impossible to tell whether the hypothetical poor minority Republicans are to share these characteristics.
The important contrast this illustrates that the other studies that obsess with Trump do not is that the wealthier Republicans rate very low on all these dimensions: they are less suspicious of foreigners, they trust the current political insiders or, at least, are more distrusting of political outsiders, and are hostile to government programs. And they also dislike Trump. These are the people, of course, from whom the insiders themselves are drawn from, on whose behalf the political institutions are rigged. In this sense, I am not sure if “authoritarianism” as defined here is a meaningful measure rather than the recognition of the reality. It does again illustrate that, given the state of disjunction and the emergence of a focal point (i.e. Trump), the marginal voters being mobilized to upset the present institutional status quo and being foisted with an agenda not of their choosing.
The suspicion of the foreigners, most likely, keeps the Trump supporters out of the Democratic ranks–although it is not clear how of a roadblock this is. A chunk of Trump supporters do not appear to be particularly nativist, for example (as per Table 2, but how much of the data is actually in the appropriate quadrants in the first place?). I am curious how the Democrats would break down between Sanders and Clinton supporters based on these measures. The Washington Post article provides a clue, but with somewhat mushy definitions: is anti-elitism of this study analogous to Abramowitz et al’s definition of “authoritarianism”? (Their definition of authoritarianism is definitely different.) “Trust of experts” and “anti-elitism,” paired together for Sanders supporters, seems a bit contradictory–would they be happy with an “expert superman” to come in and clear the mess, as per Trump’s “authoritarian” supporters?
Of course, this begs yet another question: how many people are there who would accept both Trump and Sanders as their top choices? Anecdotally, there seem to be many of them. It is not at all clear if anyone has sought to look for their defining psychosocial characteristics….