The Turnout Gap: Race, Ethnicity, and Political Inequality in a Diversifying America

The Turnout Gap: Race, Ethnicity, and Political Inequality in a Diversifying America

by Bernard L. Fraga


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In The Turnout Gap, Bernard L. Fraga offers the most comprehensive analysis to date of the causes and consequences of racial and ethnic disparities in voter turnout. Examining voting for Whites, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans from the 1800s to the present, Fraga documents persistent gaps in turnout and shows that elections are increasingly unrepresentative of the wishes of all Americans. These gaps persist not because of socioeconomics or voter suppression, but because minority voters have limited influence in shaping election outcomes. As Fraga demonstrates, voters turn out at higher rates when their votes matter; despite demographic change, in most elections and most places, minorities are less electorally relevant than Whites. The Turnout Gap shows that when politicians engage the minority electorate, the power of the vote can win. However, demography is not destiny. It is up to politicians, parties, and citizens themselves to mobilize the potential of all Americans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108465922
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 11/01/2018
Pages: 286
Sales rank: 625,182
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Bernard L. Fraga is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Indiana University. His research has been published in leading scholarly journals including the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and the Stanford Law Review; and he is the recipient of the Midwest Political Science Association Lucius Barker Award and Latina/o Caucus Early Career Award. Findings from his work on race and elections have featured in various media outlets including the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Race and turnout in historical context; 3. Are sociodemographic factors the answer?; 4. Electoral influence and the turnout gap; 5. The political geography of the turnout gap; 6. How electoral districts shape turnout rates; 7. Do modern election policies exacerbate the gap?; 8. Demographic change and the future of minority turnout; Appendix.

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