The Journal of Politics

Research Notes

Race, Referendums, and Roll-Off

James M. Vanderleeuwa1 and Richard L. Engstroma1

a1 University of New Orleans

Political scientists have devoted an enormous amount of attention to the various correlates of voter turnout in the United States. Among the most venerable of generalizations to result from this work is that black Americans are less likely to vote than white Americans. While the independent effect of this racial variable is a matter of dispute (see especially Abramson and Claggett, 1984, 1986), its empirical association with this measure of political participation is seldom questioned. The fact that the voting public has consistently been found to be disproportionately white has been, for many years, one of the more disturbing features of American electoral politics.

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