voting gap paper - Significant voting differences occur...

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Significant voting differences occur between people of different races, sex, ages and relationships. Belonging to a specific demographic group (determined by age, race, or socio-economic class) often times determines one’s partisanship or identification with a political party. Voting gaps explain how these diverse groups tend to vote. Patterns of different groups help explain and predict an election’s outcome, but becomes more complex when they overlap. The most prominent voting gap is the race gap, where blacks and Latinos tend to vote for Democrats, and whites are more likely to vote for Republicans. The polarization may be a result of different ethnic backgrounds. For example, McClerking states in his chapter that, “as long as African Americans’ life chances are powerfully shaped by their race, it is efficient for individual African Americans to use their perceptions of the interest of African Americans as a group, as a proxy for their own interest.” (Green, p. 18) This gap even holds true when conflict arises between one’s individual interests and the group’s interests. McClerking confirms this by stating, “Blacks whose individual economic interests might be better served by the Republican Party will nevertheless support the Democratic Party because they prioritize Blacks’ group needs over their individual self-interest.” (Green, p. 19) African Americans have strongly supported the Democratic Party since the 1960’s, during the civil rights movement. This group identification with the Democratic Party remains strong today. Many Latinos tend to follow blacks in supporting the Democratic Party. They are able to identify with blacks by the oppression they face as a minority group in America. However, they don’t consistently vote for the Democratic Party as much as blacks, and
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this may be due to identification with a higher socio-economic status. In opposition to African Americans, wealthier Latinos may identify stronger with individual economic interests than their racial identity. This percentage of Latinos who don’t vote Democratic
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This note was uploaded on 01/05/2012 for the course POLSCI 111 taught by Professor Kollman during the Winter '10 term at University of Michigan.

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voting gap paper - Significant voting differences occur...

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