Mobilization and the Strategy of Populism - Theory and Evidence from the United States


This paper proposes a mobilization theory of the adoption of populist strategies and provides evidence from US elections – the presidential elections in 2016 and the 2018 midterm elections. A populist electoral campaign attracts disillusioned voters but may de-mobilize core partisans. A populist strategy is more tempting for outsiders in districts with low trust in traditional politics (also caused by economic insecurity) and where the election is close.

CEPR Discussion Paper DP15686
Gloria Gennaro
Assistant Professor

Political Economy, Comparative Politics, Text as Data.