A Study of Race as a Factor on Voter Turnout

Does voter turnout amongst various races stem from a lack of resources or JLlSI plain laziness? The determining factors have been studied and pondered in the minds of many for years. The effect of race on voter turnout is often hypothesized and associated with lower levels of voter mobilization. weaker mobilizing institutions, and higher barriers to voter participation. Furthermore, America has seen several trends and fluctuations in the turnout of minority voter throughout history. Unfortunately, minority voters have not been known to forcefully turnout.

but rather express a sense of apathy toward elections. Throughout this analysis I Will address these issues and provide various opinions and theories regarding the demographic factor of race on voter turnout. Additionally, voter behavior among races in the most recent presidential election Will be included.

Lastly, I will take a look at the impact of gender Within the demographic factor of race. The information and analyses regarding race and voter turnout are most often based upon ones own theories.

In 1949. an author by the name of Hilligoss 2 V. 0. Key brought forth one of the most prominent scholarships on this particular topic. He described Southern politics as driven by whites obsession with blacks. According to Key, the political strategies used to maintain control in the black belts from the late 19th century through the immediate post World War II period were one-party rule and the adoption of Various suffrage restrictions. set the tone of the so»called Southern politics. Moreover. because these features of the electoral system did not discriminate in their consequences for voter turnout.

Get quality help now
Doctor Jennifer

Proficient in: Elections

5 (893)

“ Thank you so much for accepting my assignment the night before it was due. I look forward to working with you moving forward ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

both whites and blacks in the South displayed lower levels of turnout than their counterparts in the rest of the nation.

Although subsequent scholarship has assumed that Keys observations were relevant only to the South, we take exception to this. Historical research offers ample evidence that Keys claims of the centrality of race to electoral politics are broadly applicable to American politics, even though the specific linkage of race to electoral politics has taken different forms in different eras. Race has also been linked to various ways to the system of 1896. Some feel that the system of 1396 created the fourth party system, set in motion a host of demobiliztng forces nationwide, and destroyed the positive linkages of ethnic groups to the political parties that existed in the third party system. According to W. D. Burnham, the significance of race is most evident at Hilligoss 3 the state and local levels, because the political system is more likely to reflect the geographic concentration of minority groups there.

In addition to, he feels that the 20th century demobilization patterns (some occurring in the system of 1896 and others much later) reflect this assertion. In elections, predictors are often used to explain turnout. It has been found that for both elections in the 1950s, and for the presidential elections of 1980 and 1992, racial diversity is the most, or one of the most, potent predictors of turnout. Moreover, the effects of racial diversity in the South are stronger in the early periods (19505), and by the 1990s this difference was nearly eliminated. As a result, despite regional differences in the earlier periods. racial diversity is associated with lower voter turnout nationwide and not Just in the Southern states. On another note, Wolfinger and Rosenstone document the lower voter turnout among Blacks and Hispanics, but attribute this lower rate of voter turnout to lower educational ievels and higher proportions of young and poor among minorities.

Others are still quick to point out the importance of residential mobility on voter registration and voting behavior. It has been found that movers resemble stayers on motivational factors related to voting and that this effect remains net of other socioeconomic and demographic factors. Therefore, it has been concluded that the requirement that citizens must register anew after each Hilligoss 4 change in residence constitutes a key stumbling block in the path of a trip to the polls. Because voter turnout among different races is often hypothesized or theorized. problems with accuracy often arise in the studies, One particular problem With voting studies, such as the ones I previously mentioned, involves the issue of representation. Furthermore, studies may not always be nationally representative of the voting population. Another frequent problem invoicing analyzing turnout rates among various races is that the studies are somewhat outdated.

Too often. studies are based upon data collected in the 19805. Unfortunately, through all the theories and observations of race and voter turnout, there really is no systematic eVIdence on whether certain historical patterns continue to structure electoral politics. In recent years, the African American race has been defying the trend of plunging voter turnout. It is stressed that African Americans have been the only race or ethnic group to defy the trend of declining voter participation in (congressional) elections. increasing their presence at the polls from 37 percent in 1994 to 40 percent in 1998, according to a report released by the Commerce Departments Census Bureau. In addition to, the most notable increase in African American participation was seen in the South, where the rate grew by 4 percentage points to 39 percent, according to Avalaura Gaither, co-author of Hilligoss 5 Voting and Registration in the Election of November 1998.

Also, turnout among Hispanics remained at 20 percent. while Asian and Pacific Islander turnout fell from 22 percent to 19 percent in 1998, Congressional turnout by whites declined from 50 percent to 47 percent from 1994 to 1998. while turnout also declined across all age groups and for men and women. For example, 35 percent of 25 to 44 yearrolds cast ballots in 1998, down from 39 percent in 1994. According to the Federal Election Commission in the 1998 general election, only 47.4 of the 69.3 percent white registered voters actually voted. Also, 63.7 percent of African Americans, 55.2 percent of Hispanics, and 49.1 percentAsian and Pacmc Islander were all registered to vote. Moreover, of the minority percentages of registered voters, 41.9 percent, 32.8 percent, and 32.3 percent voted respectively. Now, as we look back upon the 2000 presidential election, we see that it ended up being a very close race.

It was practically 50/50 up until the very end, with Gore and Bush running head-to»head in the polls. According to David Bositis, senior political analyst at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C., in the 2000 presidential election, most of the swing states had significant black populations. He feared, along with many others that the voter turnout, in general, would be pathetic, mainly because during the previous presidential election it reached a 727year low. Recently, it is being stressed that in a too-close-to-call election, minority turnout could be more important than ever, especially in the last presidential election, For example, Jesse Jackson was out campaigning for presidential candidate and former VicerPresidentAl Gore in the last days of the campaign. Up until the evening of Election Day, Jackson was urging black Philadelphians, as well as women and all Democrats, to Get their souls to the polls and stay out of the bushes. In important states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, the minority vote may have lent considerably to Vice President Gore Winning those states electoral votes.

Also, across the nation, minority voters undoubtedly helped the Vice President to Win a majority of the popular vote, Pennsylvania, a state that was split until the last moments of the campaign, went to Gore, possibly as a result of Jesse Jacksons last minute stumping and high African-American voter turnout in that state. In New Mexico. experts gave credit for the Gore win to the high Hispanic voter turnout (Race Relations). In this past election, analysts estimated that of the black voters, who got to the polls in oven/vhelming numbers. 95 percent voted for Al Gore with 5 percent casting their votes for George W. Bush. The unusually high turnout rates among minority voters during the last presidential election, is largely due to the efforts of many minority activtst groups getting out the vote among their interest groups. It is also felt that the minority support of Al Gore was encouraged by Gores support of affirmative action and hate crimes legislation. This particular instance indicates how the Hilligoss 7 effect of race on voter turnout may be influenced by strong feelings towards specific issues a candidate is for or against.

By this, I mean that voters of a different race may feel compelled to vote because they hope a certain issue will be addressed or dealt with On the otherhand, some minority voters may still hold the opinion that their vote is not going to make a difference. According to political smentist Dr. Ron Walters, it is up to the candidates to prove to black voters that there is a difference in the platforms, to show black voters that they have a chalce, If they are not successful in doing that, it is likely that black voters will stay home. Because the 2000 presidential election was neck»to-neck, both parties were making strong efforts towards the black vote. For example. the Republicans had Brian McKnight perform the opening at the Republican National convention in Philadelphia, and had constant camera shots of every African American delegate in attendance taken. Whereas, the Democratic campaign Committee targeted black radio stations and newspapers.

Alvin Williams, executive director of the conservative Black Americas Political Action Committee, feels that how the unprecedented attention will impact African Americans depends on us. He also stated: How the Republican Party deals with us depends on how we engage them, which is why we must be involved With both parties. There will have to be a spirit of openness and inclusiveness on both sides. We have to make sure we are part of all the teams. be more objective and open»minded. and make Hilligoss 8 decisions based on issues as opposed to parties. Now, lets take a look at the issue of gender on voter turnout, as well as gender factors within race. According to the Federal Election Commission, In the 1998 general election, 68.4 percent of females were registered to vote, whereas 65.7 percent of males were registered to vote, Of those percentages, 45.7 percent of females voted and 44.9 percent of males voted in 1998.

The gender gap the difference between a candidates votes from men and his votes from women, was first noted in 1980, when men were 8 percentage points (men 54% and women 46%) more likely to support Ronald Reagan than Women were. Since then, the gender gap has ranged from 4 to 7 points in magnitude. In the 1996 election, there was an 117point gap among Mr. Clintons voters. A gender gap is seen in all age groups, from 17 points between men and women under 30, to 8 points for those aged 45 to 59. Moreover, the gender gap persisted even among black voters, who supported Mr. Clinton very strongly over all (Connelly). Gender gaps are evident to convey the idea that a womans vote does exist in American politics. Also, the gender gap conceals important political differences between women. In the 1996 presidential election, there was a substantial gender gap, with women casting their votes for Clinton.

In significantly greater numbers than men (women 54% and men 43%), However, some argue that it is certain groups of women that drive the gender gap, rather than women as a group. These partisan differences between women stem from the interaction of class, race, and values, which creates different sets of experiences, interests, and preferences linked to voting behaVIor. More specifically, economically vulnerable and minority women form the base of Democratic voting, while upscale women tend to support the Republicans. However, values mute economic interests, as socially conservative downscale women and secular professional women constitute the most solid partisans of the two parties. Furthermore, in the 1996 election, the Working class, secular, and minority women formed the core of Clintons support and upscale and religious women leaned toward Dole.

Republican pollster Bill McInturff has argued that Republican philosophy is out of touch With women because it does not address the issues women care about: We talk about taxes, crime, welfare, and the economy. These issues register much more With men. If you look at women, it is Medicare, health care, education, or the environment. Women have a very different issue agenda . Because there are always going to be stereotypes about Women and voting, as well as assumptions concerning the gender gap, some women feel that the gender gap should be driven by particular groups of women. Furthermore, exploring what kinds of women are more likely to support Republicans and those who would be more likely to support Democrats. After all, 46 percent of Hilligoss 10 women in the electorate did not support Clinton in the 1996 election, which rises to 52 percent among white women. In 1998, it was reponed that women (46 percent) were slightly more likely than men (45 percent) to vote, which continued a trend that began in 1986.

According to the United States Census Bureau these percentages as well as results have shown that women are more likely to register and vote than men. Alter analyzing numerous arguments, theories, and statistics of a variety of scholars, it is increasingly eVIdent that race and gender are fundamental cleavages in American politics and the turnout rates of elections. Of course, no one Will really ever know for sure the definite answers regarding the main determining factors of voter turnout and race. Throughout all of America’s trends and fluctuations in voter turnout, the effect of race on turnout will always be associated such stereotypes as: a lack of education‘ money. and the issue of mobilization On the brightside, our country is beginning to notice a slight increase in some minority voting, such as African Americans. In addition to‘ the effect of race in turnout is not just a political problem restricted to the South, but rather an issue affecting the country as a whole. Overall, racial diversity Is a central and enduring feature of electoral politics that constrains both voter turnout and mobilizing institutions.

Cite this page

A Study of Race as a Factor on Voter Turnout. (2023, May 14). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-study-of-race-as-a-factor-on-voter-turnout/

Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7