The protests that have spread to cities across the country in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory have reached levels not seen after elections in recent memory, experts said.
And though they have been bigger in scope than prior protests — most of which surrounded the 2000 election where the winner was not determined for weeks after the vote — the demonstrations have largely been confined to cities in states that Hillary Clinton won.
“The nation is highly polarized and even more than it had been in 2000. Differences are greater and, therefore, the stakes are higher, emotions run stronger, and losses felt more deeply,” said James Campbell, a political science professor at the University at Buffalo in New York.
Campbell, whose book “Polarized: Making Sense of a Divided America” was published this summer, said that the stark differences that were shown in these election results are likely contributing to the fervor.
“We are so polarized that many Americans had not really come into contact with others who have opposite views. Because of this, it becomes unthinkable to those on either side that other side could win the election. This was expressed in the claims about the election being possibly rigged,” Campbell said.
Campbell said other contributing factors include the age of many of the protesters — and this being their first presidential loss — and the general trend that “protests are much more commonplace on the left than on the right.”
The locations of the protests fit with Democratic strongholds, though that comes as little surprise to Georgetown University associate professor Hans Noel.
“In general, Democrats are strong in cities and in areas with larger non-white populations,” Noel told ABC News.