Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type


First Advisor

Catherine Berheide

Second Advisor

Andrew Lindner


Is support for Donald Trump correlated with hate? This state-analysis examines the relationship between Donald Trump’s White supremacist rhetoric and rates of racially-motivated hate crimes. This study argues that Trump’s rhetoric was connected to his votes and that those who voted for him agree with and adopted this rhetoric. Further, this study hypothesizes that the increase in support for White Supremacist rhetoric leads to an increase of racially-motivated hate crimes. Using the 2016 U.S. Presidential election results, the FBI’s 2017 Annual Report of Hate Crime Statistics, and the 2017 American Community Survey (N = 50), this study proposes that the higher a state’s percentage of votes for Trump in 2016, the higher a state’s rate of racially motivated hate crimes per capita. The results of the data support the opposite—that is, higher levels of support for Trump correlate to lower levels of hate crime rates. This study ends by discussing the effects of reporting and underreporting on these data, and proposes that what this study found is not that Trump states have less racially-motivated hate crimes, but rather that Trump states are underreporting hate crimes overall.