The Political Consequences of Nativism: The Impact of Nativist Sentiment on Party Support Academic Article uri icon


  • ObjectiveScholars have noted the increase in nativist sentiment in political debates in both the United States and across Europe. However, how these changes have affected voting behavior and political party support is less clear. In this article, we ask how relevant nativist attitudes are when making voting decisions across party systems in the United States and Europe. Are these sentiments pushing out other drivers of vote choice, and if so, what are the ramifications for democratic governance?MethodWe present hypotheses about the impact of nativist sentiments that follow logically from the theories on spatial models of politics and political economy models of politics. We use a series of multinomial logit models on survey data from Great Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, and the United States to estimate the impact of nativist sentiments on support for political parties in 2016.ResultsWe find support for all three of our hypotheses. Not surprisingly, there is a strong positive relationship between nativist sentiments and support for nativist parties. There is some variation, however, in terms of whether this increase in support for nativist parties comes at the expense of ideologically adjacent parties (as expected from spatial models of politics) or from parties of the left (as expected from political economy models of politics).ConclusionsNativist sentiments were major drivers of support for political parties in 2016. Although more nativist sentiments drive voters in all cases examined toward nativist political parties, there is substantial variation across nations in terms of which parties lose support. The latter findings should be the focus of future studies.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 192.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Davis, N. T., Goidel, K., Lipsmeyer, C. S., Whitten, G. D., & Young, C.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Davis, Nicholas T||Goidel, Kirby||Lipsmeyer, Christine S||Whitten, Guy D||Young, Clifford

publication date

  • April 2019