Race Matters Episode 3: Political Scientist Mackenzie Israel-Trummel Examines Race, Identity Politics Ahead Of 2016 Election

June 21, 2016

Vote Here, Vote Aqui


Just weeks before voters caucus in Iowa and head to the polls in New Hampshire, who will become the two major parties’ standard-bearers and win the nominations is still anyone’s guess. But race and ethnic identity will likely play a much larger role on the Republican side of the aisle – the field is more crowded, there are several minority candidates, and immigration has become a key campaign issue along both the U.S. southern border and across the Atlantic as hundreds of thousands of displaced migrants and refugees from war-torn areas of the Middle East look to resettle in more stable countries. 

University of Oklahoma political scientist Mackenzie Israel-Trummel told Race Matters it all boils down to identity politics and who is able to successfully tap into voters’ concerns.

“As long as there remains a fundamental difference in the belief that the free market can address people’s concerns, and that difference in belief is structured by race, identity is going to continue to matter,” Israel-Trummel said.

Israel-Trummel and host Merleyn Bell break down identity politics, previous voting patterns of minority groups, and how race changes policy priorities. Israel-Trummel also analyzes the phenomenon behind Donald Trump’s campaign and Republican party establishment concerns.

Merleyn Bell is a former art director at World Literature Today.