Nationalist populism has become a major force in European politics. But while such populism has long been thought to have its roots in economic anxiety, a new analysis of Pew Research Center survey data suggests there are additional factors at play.
Those who have a favorable opinion of populist parties in Germany and Sweden, for example, are only slightly less likely than those with unfavorable views to be upbeat about the economy. Roughly three-quarters (77%) of those who have a favorable opinion of the populist Alternative for Germany party (AfD) say their country's economic situation is good; that compares with 87% among other Germans. Similarly, three-quarters of those with a positive view of the populist Sweden Democrats party say their country's economic situation is good, compared with 91% among other Swedes.