The Populism Propensity Score (PPS) predicted support for populist candidates and parties in seven out of eight regression models estimated from survey data from France, Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands (base and full models for each country). In Germany, PPS was statistically and substantively significant in both models estimating those Germans who say they will strongly support or somewhat support the AfD in the federal election. A standard survey measure of populism (SSMP), tested in the full model in Germany, was not significant. SSMP was also not a statistically significant predictor of support for populist candidates or parties in any of the full models developed for the four survey countries.
The key drivers of support for AfD in the fully specified model include: PPS, ideology, gender, lack of trust in government, concern that immigrants pose a threat to public safety, and antipathy toward the European Union (EU integration has gone too far).
In the base model, the higher a German voter’s PPS, the more likely the voter was to strongly or somewhat support AfD. Variables estimated in this model include ideology and PPS, as well as a wide range of demographic variables including age, gender, education marital status, religiosity, employment status, pride in being German, the number of generations a respondent’s family have lived in Germany, whether the respondent was born in Germany, and an East/West German variable. Only PPS, ideology, sex, and pride in being German were significant factors predicting support for AfD.
In the full German model, PPS once again predicted strong or somewhat strong support for AfD. A standard survey measure of populism (SSMP) included in this model did not. Variables estimated in this model included ideology and PPS, as well as several other variables that proved to be important drivers of the outcome of the German federal election. These variables were PPS, ideology, gender, lack of trust in government, concern that immigrants pose a threat to public safety, and antipathy toward the European Union (EU integration has gone too far). The R-square of the full model – a measure of how well an observed vote for AfD is represented by the model --- was .911 with an adjusted count of .464, indicating a very strong fit.