Journal of African American Studies

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 109–124 | Cite as

Negative Black Stereotypes, Support for Excessive Use of Force by Police, and Voter Preference for Donald Trump During the 2016 Presidential Primary Election Cycle

  • Randall D. SwainEmail author


This study examines the relationship between support for excessive use of force by the police and support for Trump during the 2016 primary election cycle. Findings suggest that White Americans’ support for Trump among primary voters is partly explained by negative racial stereotypes of Black Americans and support for excessive use of force by the police in their dealings with members of the Black community.


Negative racial stereotypes Excessive force by the police Minimization of racialized policing Donald Trump 2016 presidential election Voter behavior 


  1. American National Election Studies, Stanford University, and University of Michigan. American National Election Study (2016). Pilot Study. ICPSR36390-v1. Ann Arbor: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-03-16. 10.3886/ICPSR36390.v1.Google Scholar
  2. Barlow, M. H. (1998). Race and the problem of crime in ‘Time’ and ‘Newsweek’ cover stories, 1946 to 1995. Social Justice, 25(2), 149–183.Google Scholar
  3. Bobo, L. D., & Johnson, D. (2004). A taste for punishment: Black and White Americans’ views on the death penalty and the war on drugs. Dubois Review: Social Science Research on Race, 1, 151–180.Google Scholar
  4. Campbell, A., Converse, P. E., Miller, W. E., & Stokes, D. E. (1960). The American Voter. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  5. Delgado, R., & Stefancic, J. (2012). Critical race theory: an introduction (2nd ed.). New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Entman, R. M. (1992). Blacks in the news: television, modern racism, and cultural change. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 69(2), 341–361.Google Scholar
  7. Entman, R. M., & Rojecki, A. (2000). The Black image in the White mind: media and race in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  8. Flanigan, W. H., & Zingale, N. H. (2006). Political behavior of the American electorate (11th ed.). Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.Google Scholar
  9. Freeman, D. (2011) Teaching Obama: History, critical race theory and social work education. Patterns of Prejudice, 45, 177–197Google Scholar
  10. Gabbidon, S. L., & Jordan, K. L. (2013). Public opinion on the killing of Trayvon Martin: a test of the racial gradient thesis. Journal of Crime and Justice, 36(3), 283–298. Scholar
  11. Gillborn, D. (2005). Education policy as an act of White supremacy: whiteness, critical race theory, and education reform. Journal of Education Policy, 20(4), 485–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Highton, B. (2011). Prejudice rivals partisanship and ideology when explaining the 2008 presidential vote across the states. PS Political Science and Politics, 44, 530–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hurwitz, J., & Peffley, M. (1997). Public perceptions of race and crime: the role of racial stereotypes. American Journal of Political Science, 41, 375–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hurwitz, J., & Peffley, M. (2005). Explaining the great racial divide: perceptions of fairness in the U.S. criminal justice system. The Journal of Politics, 67(3), 762–783.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jamieson, K. H. (1992). Dirty politics: deception, distraction, and democracy. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Johnson, D. (2008). Racial prejudice perceived injustice and the Black-White gap in punitive attitudes. Journal of Criminal Justice, 36, 198–2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Johnson, D., & Kuhns, J. B. (2009). Striking out: race and support for police use of force. Justice Quarterly, 26, 592–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jones, D. M. (2014). ‘He’s a Black male … something is wrong with him!’: the role of race in the stand your ground debate. University of Miami Law Review, 68, 1025–1050.Google Scholar
  19. Kam, C. D., & Kinder, D. R. (2012). Ethnocentrism as a short-term influence in the 2008 election. American Journal of Political Science, 56(2), 326–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kinder, D. R., & Sanders, L. M. (1996). Divided by color: racial politics and democratic ideals. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  21. McDaniel, E. L., & Ellison, C. G. (2008). God’s party: race, religion, and partisanship over time. Political Research Quarterly, 61(2), 180–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. McKee, S. C., & Springer, M. J. (2015). A tale of ‘two souths’: White voting behavior in contemporary southern elections. Social Science Quarterly, 96(2), 588–607 Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Menard, S. (2002). Applied logistic regression analysis (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Myrdal, G. (1962). An American dilemma: the Negro problem and American democracy. New York: Harper & Row 20th Anniversary edition, 1962.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nadeau, R., & Lewis-Beck, M. S. (2001). National Economic Voting in U.S. presidential elections. In R. G. Niemi & H. F. Weisberg (Eds.), Controversies in voting behavior (pp. 200–220). Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.Google Scholar
  26. Peffley, M., & Hurwitz, J. (1988). Whites’ stereotypes of Blacks: sources and political consequences. In Perception and prejudice: race and politics in the United States (pp. 58–99). New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Power, B. (2009). The unexamined whiteness of teaching: how White teachers maintain and enact dominant racial ideologies. Race Ethnicity and Education, 12(2), 197–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ralph, L., & Chance, K. (2014). Legacies of fear: from Rodney King to Trayvon Martin. Transition, 113, 137–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Seltzer, L. F. (2016). Outrage meets outrageousness: the populist logic behind Trump’s surprising popularity. Journal of PsychoHistory, 44(1), 73–84.Google Scholar
  30. Sigelman, L., & Welch, S. (1991). Black Americans’ views of racial inequality: the dream deferred. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Sigelman, L., Welch, S., Bledsoe, T., & Combs, M. (1997). Police brutality and public perceptions of racial discrimination: a tale of two beatings. Political Research Quarterly, 50(4), 777–791.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Solomon, R. P., Portelli, J. P., Daniel, B.-J., & Campbell, A. (2005). The discourse of racial denial: how White teacher candidates construct race, racism, and White privilege. Race Ethnicity and Education, 8(2), 147–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sommers, S. R., Apfelbaum, E. P., Dukes, K. N., Toosi, N., & Wang, E. J. (2006). Race and media coverage of hurricane Katrina: analysis, implications, and future research questions. Analyses of Social Issues & Public Policy, 6, 39–55 Academic Search Complete EBSCOhost.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sparks, A. (2009). Minstrel politics or ‘he speaks too well:’ rhetoric, race, and resistance in the 2008 presidential campaign. Argumentation and Advocacy, 46, 21–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tesler, M. (2013). The return of old-fashioned racism to White Americans’ partisan preferences in the early Obama era. Journal of Politics, 75(1), 110–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tillery, A. B. (2009). Tocqueville as critical race theorist: whiteness as property, interest convergence, and the limits of Jacksonian democracy. Political Research Quarterly, 62(4), 639–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Treviño, A. J., Harris, M. A., & Wallace, D. (2008). What’s so critical about critical race theory? Contemporary Justice Review, 11(1), 7–10 Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Unnever, J. T., & Cullen, F. T. (2007). Reassessing the racial divide in support for capital punishment: the continuing significance of race. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency., 44, 124–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Verba, S., & Nie, N. (1972). Participation in America: political democracy and social equality. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  40. Verba, S., Schlozman, K. L., & Brady, H. E. (1995). Voice and equality: civic voluntarism in American politics. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Eastern Kentucky UniversityRichmondUSA

Personalised recommendations