Trump's Playbook of Electoral Manipulation: An Interplay of Manipulation Tactics in a Longstanding Democracy


  • Maria Lindén Tampere University



autocratization, elections, electoral manipulation, political parties, United States


The attempt by former President Donald Trump to manipulate the United States’ 2020 presidential elections is a salient example of how electoral manipulation has changed to adapt to the new political and societal context that marks present-day elections. This highlights the need for a novel approach to help us better understand electoral manipulation, which is becoming increasingly common all over the world. This article addresses this need by presenting a novel framework for examining electoral manipulation in the United States in the 2020s. A novel feature of the framework is a focus on the interplay between different manipulation tactics. It identifies nine electoral manipulation tactics that interact with and reinforce each other: breaking democratic norms, disinformation, gerrymandering, voter suppression, hacking and leaking, collusion with foreign states, intraparty pressure, intimidation and violence, and corrupting state and government institutions.

Author Biography

Maria Lindén, Tampere University

Maria Lindén is a Research Fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs and a PhD Candidate at Tampere University. Her recent academic work focuses on electoral manipulation in the United States in the 2020s, and it is supported by Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation.


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How to Cite

Lindén, M. (2024). Trump’s Playbook of Electoral Manipulation: An Interplay of Manipulation Tactics in a Longstanding Democracy. American Studies in Scandinavia, 56(1).