Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
As research begins and continues to examine the historic nature of the 2016 presidential election, this study aims to understand the political motivations of a specific group of voters – Christian women in two Wisconsin counties that flipped from voting for a Democrat in 2012 to a Republican in 2016. Long-form, qualitative interviews were used to obtain an understanding of the participants’ faith, their view on politics, and their thoughts on the 2016 election and President Trump’s first year in office. Grounded theory was used as a theoretical framework for this study, and the constant comparative method of analysis was used to interpret the transcribed interview texts. After analyzing the texts for common themes, the following concepts emerged: the role of churches in influencing political attitudes and voting decisions, the participants’ general views on current politics, and their thoughts on Trump’s election and his first year in office. Notable findings include the distinction made between Trump’s personality and his politics, the strengthening of views regarding Trump (whether positive or negative) since the election, and the idea that churches act as social institutions that strengthen political views.