Mendelberg Talks to CBS News about Trump: Most Demagogic Candidate?

Dec. 11, 2015

Tali Mendelberg, Professor of Politics and CSDP Faculty Associate, was quoted by CBS News when they asked the question, is Donald Trump the Most Demagogic Candidate in Recent History?

"Trump-style rhetoric about any minority group is very rare," she said. "Some candidates do make racial appeals but they are much more subtle and implicit."

Mendelberg predicts that Trump is about to "lose big" because he's gone too far, for public figures and voters.

"Americans have a strong norm of racial and ethnic equality when it comes to public speech," she said. "The norm has probably weakened over the past couple of decades with the rise of talk radio and social media. People feel more free now to make explicit derogatory comments. But the norm still holds for public figures. Trump is weakening that norm, but now that he has gone so far, even right-wing Republican leaders are excoriating him."