Reading the ‘Harry Potter’ books lowers Americans’ opinion of Donald Trump, says study

Professor Diana Mutz says readers may spot similarities between Trump and Lord Voldemort

Reading J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels causes Americans to form a lower opinion of Donald Trump, a new study has found.

The study by Professor Diana Mutz of the University of Pennsylvania found that Americans’ opinion of Trump deteriorates by roughly 2-3 points on a 100-point scale for each Harry Potter novel they read.

“This may seem small,” Mutz writes in her study, “but for someone who has read all seven books, the total impact could lower their estimation of Trump by 18 points out of 100. The size of this effect is on par with the impact of party identification on attitudes toward gays and Muslims.”

Seeking to explain the results of her study, which polled a “nationally representative sample of 1,142 Americans” in 2014 and again in 2016, Mutz writes: “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.”

She also suggests that readers may spot similarities between Harry Potter’s megalomaniac nemesis, Lord Voldemort, and businessman-turned-politician Trump, who this week has accepted the Republican Party nomination to run for President.

“It may simply be too difficult for Harry Potter readers to ignore the similarities between Trump and the power-hungry Voldemort,” she writes in her study, which is set to be published in a special 2016 election issue of an academic journal called PS: Political Science and Politics.