This study uses pooled NES and state-level turnout data from 1988 through 2004 to assess whether a participation gap is emerging in the United States between the residents of battleground and non-battleground states in presidential elections. The analysis finds that Electoral College (EC) participatory disparities are more likely to occur in voting and meeting attendance than in donating and political discussion. Moreover, it suggests that such disparities are more likely to occur when presidential elections are nationally competitive. The study also demonstrates that when participatory gaps do occur they are the result of a surge in participation among battleground state residents—not of citizen withdrawal in safe states, as many EC critics contend.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 29, 2008
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