'If He Wins, I’m Moving to Canada”: Ideological Migration Threats Following the 2012 US Presidential Election
24 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2013 Last revised: 10 Oct 2013
Date Written: September 4, 2013
Every four years, partisan Americans threaten to migrate to Canada (or some other country) if their preferred candidate loses the Presidential election. This phenomenon has yet to undergo an empirical test. In the present experiment, 308 Obama voters and 142 Romney voters following the 2012 election responded to one of two writing prompts that led them to think about how the US was becoming more liberal or conservative. Regardless of the writing prompt condition, Romney voters endorsed migration expressions more than Obama voters. Furthermore, Romney voters, compared to Obama voters, expressed a reduced sense of belonging in the US. The relationship between voting for Romney and migration expressions was fully mediated by sense of belonging. Together, these findings support the ideological migration hypothesis and suggest that threatening to move to Canada following an undesirable election outcome may be driven by voters’ belonging needs.
Keywords: migration, residential mobility, ideology, ideological migration, Obama, Romney, election, political psychology
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