Collective Descriptive Representation and Black Voter Mobilization in 2008

Collective Descriptive Representation and Black Voter Mobilization in 2008 Although record turnout in the 2008 election is primarily credited to Obama’s candidacy, did the presence of black elected officials in the state legislature play a role in mobilizing black voters? Did patterns of mobilization differ among black voters? Using the 2008 American National Election Study that I merged with contextual data, I find that disengaged black voters in states with a greater number of black state legislators, or what I refer to as collective descriptive representation, were more likely to be contacted, and as a result, were more likely to vote. On the other hand, neither collective descriptive representation nor being contacted influenced the political behavior of engaged black voters. This suggests that in 2008, descriptive representation and experiencing contact mattered more for mobilizing disengaged black voters than for mobilizing engaged black voters. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Collective Descriptive Representation and Black Voter Mobilization in 2008

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Social Sciences, general; Political Science, general; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-013-9237-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Although record turnout in the 2008 election is primarily credited to Obama’s candidacy, did the presence of black elected officials in the state legislature play a role in mobilizing black voters? Did patterns of mobilization differ among black voters? Using the 2008 American National Election Study that I merged with contextual data, I find that disengaged black voters in states with a greater number of black state legislators, or what I refer to as collective descriptive representation, were more likely to be contacted, and as a result, were more likely to vote. On the other hand, neither collective descriptive representation nor being contacted influenced the political behavior of engaged black voters. This suggests that in 2008, descriptive representation and experiencing contact mattered more for mobilizing disengaged black voters than for mobilizing engaged black voters.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 21, 2013

References

  • Turnout as habit
    Aldrich, JH; Montgomery, JM; Wood, Wendy

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