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New article published in Journal of Experimental Political Science

Bruno Castanho Silva with Fabian Guy Neuner and Christopher Wratil on "Populism and Candidate Support in the US: The Effects of “Thin” and “Host” Ideology"


Castanho Silva, B., Neuner, F., & Wratil, C. (2022). Populism and Candidate Support in the US: The Effects of “Thin” and “Host” Ideology. Journal of Experimental Political Science, 1-10. doi:


Much of the contemporary literature on populism focuses on its status as a “thin” ideology comprising three key components: people-centrism, anti-elitism, and anti-pluralism. Populist politicians pair this “thin” ideology with extreme positions on policy issues such as immigration or taxation (referred to as “host” or “thick” ideologies). A recent study using German samples leveraged conjoint experiments to disentangle the effects of these appeals on vote choice. The results not only showed that extreme host-ideological positions mattered more than so-called “thin” populist appeals, but also that effects of populist appeals were nearly identical among populist and non-populist voters. Our replication in the US context reaffirms both the importance of host-ideological positions and the lack of heterogeneous effects by voters’ “thin” populist attitudes. Furthermore, by uncovering some divergence from the German case (e.g. anti-elite appeals trumping people-centric appeals), we highlight the need to experimentally examine the effects of populism’s constituent components across contexts.