Harry Potter readers more likely to dislike Donald Trump, according to study
Donald Trump won’t be accio-ing many votes from Harry Potter readers, according to a new study.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Donald,” a study by University of Pennsylvania political science Professor Diana Mutz for PS: Political Science and Politics, revealed an interesting trend among Potter fans. The more a reader was exposed to J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world, the more likely they were to have a negative opinion of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“Because Trump’s political views are widely viewed as opposed to the values espoused in the Harry Potter series, exposure to the Potter series may play an influential role in influencing how Americans respond to Donald Trump,” Mutz wrote.
In her study, Mutz focused on three key values imbued in Rowling’s heroes: respect and tolerance for others, objections to violence, and criticism of authoritarianism. She polled over 1,000 Americans across political parties in 2014 and 2016 about their Harry Potter readership and opinions on hot topic issues – waterboarding, discrimination of minorities, and now, Donald Trump.
Mutz found that the more Harry Potter a respondent had read, the lower they evaluated Trump on a 100-point scale. She also polled people about their viewership of the Harry Potter films, but found that because of the condensed nature of the films’ narratives – which didn’t delve quite as deep into the nuance of certain themes and characters – seeing the films was not a major factor in opposition to Trump. Still, there was no denying the correlation between readers and their dislike of Trump.
“It may simply be too difficult for Harry Potter readers to ignore the similarities between Trump and the power-hungry Voldemort,” Mutz wrote, a sentiment J.K. Rowling shares.
Despite readers living in a world without magic, Mutz outlines an important message of hope from the Harry Potter series, writing, “Throughout the series, love and kindness consistently triumph over aggression and prejudice. It’s a powerful positive theme, and thus not surprising that readers understand the underlying message of this storyline, and are moved by it. Harry Potter‘s popularity worldwide stands to make a difference not just in the U.S. election, but in elections across Europe that involve aggressive and domineering candidates worldwide.”