The Trump Election: The Role of Voter Suppression

by William Minter, Editor, AfricaFocus Bulletin

Page text last updated: February 27 2017 (date each entry added to database can be found in database).

Of all the explanations cited to explain Donald Trump's unexpected victory in the presidential election in 2016, despite his loss of the popular vote by almost 3 million, one of the best documented and least discussed in the public debate is voter suppression. This is also arguably the one with the most immediate and substantial implications for progressive strategy in the next two years before the 2018 mid-term elections.

Since the week after the election, I have been tracking and archiving in a simple database articles, books, and monographs for 21 "intersecting explanations" for the election outcome. As David Leonhardt noted in a New York Times op-ed, "One of the sillier aspects of postelection analysis is the notion that any one factor determined the result." I argue that instead, there are many factors that acted intersectionally to produce the outcome. In analyzing which were more important, how they interacted, and what implications there are for strategy, that complex intersectionality must be taken into account.

For an overview of the database, and links to sources on other specific explanations, visit

For a 4-minute video by one of the leading investigative reporters who has covered this issue, see

For sources on voter suppression see below.

The other more general explanation most closely intertwined with this one is white racism.


Books and Working Papers

This page is part of the No Easy Victories website.