Graduation Year

2017

Date of Submission

4-2017

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Government

Second Department

Psychology

Reader 1

Andrew Busch

Reader 2

Shana Levin

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2017 Jeb H Head

Abstract

This two part analysis looks at forecasting models in the United States' 2016 presidential election and breaks down the elections fundamental and contingency factors. This paper argues that political science forecasting models could be improved through a more localized approach and by utilizing additional contingency factors.

The psychology study of this analysis explores the already established relationship between political conservatism and favorability ratings, as well as the relationship between perceived similarity between voter personality and candidate personality, referred to as personality mirroring, and favorability ratings. The study uses past research to suggest that these relationships for the 2016 presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, can be explained through mediating variables: leader effectiveness and trust. The study used participants recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk for data, all adults who voted in the 2016 US presidential election. The study found that there was a full mediation of leadership effectiveness for Donald Trump and significant partial mediation for the other three explored relationships.

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