Department of Economics

Trump appealed to less internet-connected Republicans than past candidates, Shapiro and others find

Jesse Shapiro

An article published in the journal PLOS-ONE on July 18 is drawing media attention. In the article, Brown's Jesse Shapiro and Stanford University co-authors Levi Boxell and Matthew Gentzkow, present an analysis of voters in the 2016 presidential election in which they develop several lines of evidence that the internet may have been less important in driving voters to cast ballots for Donald Trump than many have suggested.

Specifically, they find that the proportion of internet users who are Trump voters was lower than had been the case for previous Republican candidates Mitt Romney and John McCain, and that Trump's appeal was as great or greater among those least connected to online information sources.  Read writer Will Oremus's discussion of the article in the July 24 issue of Slate magazine.