"When a country is facing urgent threats from the outside, citizens want a head of state who can take immediate action. Citizens under direct threat want a leader who can and will guarantee their security," explained Steven V. Miller in the Washington Post.
The professor examined the high levels of support enjoyed by President Putin, who has a 90 percent approval rating in Russia, and by Trump, who is leading the Republican primaries with an approval rating more than twice that of Ted Cruz in second place.
"All that support, for both Putin in Russia and Trump in the US, implies that citizens are seeking what I call 'strong leaders,' or state leaders who will take bold action without concern for checks and balances."
In Russia, citizens are worried by instability in Ukraine, given its close proximity and links with Russia, writes Miller. In the US, he identified terrorism, migration, and a worsening economic situation as the fears which drive voters to seek a strong leader.