In 2016, Trump capitalized on hostility to immigrants and minorities. Tom Wood, a political scientist at Ohio State, examined the General Social Survey data and found a noticeable, albeit modest, increase in social and cultural tolerance in 2018 among all voters. That a rise in tolerance is a negative for Republicans speaks for itself.
“Quite contrary to popular concerns,” Wood wrote in an email, “it seems that the American public has only grown more tolerant and inclusive over recent decades,” before adding, “There’s been meaningful improvement, or stability, in each of these measures of tolerance since the early 1990s.”
The General Social Survey found, for example, growing numbers in favor of federal spending for the poor. Among all those surveyed, the percentage saying that too little is spent on the poor rose from 70 percent in 2014 to 86 percent in 2018 among Democrats and from 38 to 56 percent among Republicans.