Many people around the world right now are participating in the peaceful demonstrations regarding the death of George Floyd, the unarmed man who was killed by police officer Derek Chauvin on the 25th of May. Unfortunately, pockets of the demonstrations have turned into violent riots, displays of looting, and property damage.
A 2015 report from the New York Mag’s Intelligencer touched on the effects of rioting on voters, in which it argued that while riots often lead to change in social norms and political policies, sometimes, they have the opposite effect.
Since the demonstrations and riots kicked off, celebrities and entertainers have been urging people to vote against Donald Trump in November, arguing that much of his rhetoric has only amplified the protests and made things much worse.
According to the New York Mag’s Intelligencer, Omar Wasow, an assistant professor at the Department of Politics at Princeton University, argued that riots, on the whole, tend to create a very strong right-wing response.
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If you watch Fake News @CNN or MSDNC, you would think that the killers, terrorists, arsonists, anarchists, thugs, hoodlums, looters, ANTIFA & others, would be the nicest, kindest most wonderful people in the Whole Wide World. No, they are what they are – very bad for our Country!
In his paper, Wasow used a county-by-county comparison, in which he pointed out that in areas where there were violent black-led protests, voters turned to the Republicans rather than the Democrats at the ballot station that year.
On the other hand, he argued, non-violent protests led to a “statistically significant positive relationship with county-level Democratic vote-share in the same period.” Put simply, Wasow discovered that the non-violent protests did not trigger a backlash, but the violent ones did, at least in terms of voting that year.
Currently, it’s unclear how the riots and protests are going to affect the 2020 November election, however, some political pundits have said that the George Floyd protests will lead to a win for the Democrats, more specifically, for Joe Biden.
But if Wasow’s paper proves correct, it looks as though the rioting, looting, and violence around the country, may actually lead to an increase in voting for Republicans and Trump. As it was previously reported, Trump reportedly said that the violent looters would be met with the full “unlimited” power of the US government.