Populist Conspiracy Theories and Candidate Preference in the U.S.
The onset of the “post-truth” era, characterized by the accretion of conspiracy theories and “fake news”, has generally coincided with a rise in populist radical right politicians and groups who are often the receptors and propagators of such conspiracy theories. This study focuses on the consequences of conspiracism in populist candidates, arguing that conspiratorial ideation is not simply a tendency of populism but also holds instrumental value which can result in electoral benefits. Given the lack of detailed data concerning adherence to certain conspiracy theories, I incorporate data from Google Trends concerning interest in certain conspiratorial topics to overcome this lacuna. Taking the case of the 2016 presidential election in the United States,