Faculty Mentor Primary Department
Department of Political Science
Year of Presentation
Project Abstract, Summary, or Creative Statement
Since the 1970s, deindustrialization has changed the economic landscape in many American communities. Factory closures and loss of manufacturing jobs to automation, outsourcing, and other factors had a profound impact on various social factors including poverty (Larik,2019). The Midwestern region has been particularly affected by deindustrialization, and the term Rust Belt States refers to the loss of factories in this region. One state that has been particularly affected is Ohio (Selko, 2008).
This study examines how deindustrialization influenced voting behavior in selected Ohio counties. I explore how factory closures in the 2000s affected vote choice, via the deterioration of social conditions such as unemployment, poverty, and population change. I expect these changes in social conditions to have an impact on voting choice because poverty, unemployment, and stagnant population lead to decreases in life quality. Individuals who see their standard of living get worse are likely to cast a protest vote in support of “change,” specifically for candidates who promise to “bring back” economic opportunities. I use time series data from the early 1990s to present and conduct two-means tests to evaluate changes in voting choice prior to and following the factory closings. My data sources include; My data sources include: “County Intercensal Tables: 2000-2010,” “County Population by Characteristics: 2010-2018,” "U.S. Representative Official Tabulation,” “Ohio's Job Losses in 2000s Worst Since Great Depression,” “Rubbermaid to Close Ohio Plastics Factory,” “Factory Closings Rock the Region as Other States Gain from Our Pain,” “'Goodbye, GM': Remembering the Moraine Plant's Last Day, Almost 10 Years Later,” Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opioid Epidemic, The Ohio Poverty Report, and Fred Economic Data.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Deindustrialization, social indicators, poverty, Ohio, congressional and presidential elections
Deindustrialization and Voting Behavior in Ohio Rust Belt Counties