Student Research

College Students' Attitudes Towards Donald Trump

Race/ethnicity was a central theme in the 2016 election. Many believe that Donald Trump's success resulted from backlash against Obama having been the first African American president. Some European Americans expressed feeling marginalized and ignored during the Obama administration. Therefore, the current study explores how race and ethnicity impacted attitudes toward Donald Trump. Through qualitative research, we found different ways that these events may have culturally, socially, and psychologically impacted college students. Focus groups were separated into ethnic groups. Previous research assessed the impact of Donald Trump's presidency, but do not focus on how these demographic characteristics influence voting behavior and support for various candidates or policies. The results will allow us to gain knowledge regarding how these attitudes interact with participants' demographic characteristics such as gender, age, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. We found that African Americans spoke freely compared to other groups about their dislike for Donald Trump. Although there was widespread negative feelings towards Donald Trump, there was a lack of knowledge about his policies. Topics on abortions and gun control were mentioned across all groups, while topics on fear and anger, were only present in African American, and Latino groups. Non muslim Asian Americans mentioned having little effect due to the access to their home countries. European Americans mentioned the church, and Hillary Clinton more frequently than most groups. Many European Americans voted due to the influence of their parents. Disagreement within generational beliefs was brought up among European Americans, and all mentioned racist parents.