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Black Political Participation in the 1984 and 1988 Presidential Elections

Katherine Tate
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 85, No. 4 (Dec., 1991), pp. 1159-1176
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1963940
Page Count: 18
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Black Political Participation in the 1984 and 1988 Presidential Elections
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Abstract

Using data from a longitudinal telephone study of voting-eligible black Americans I explore the political context of black voter turnout in the 1984 and 1988 presidential elections and reexamine the attitudinal and demographic variables associated with black electoral participation. Jesse Jackson supporters were more likely to vote in the 1984 presidential election, while black opposition to Reagan was also linked to black voter turnout in 1984. Nonetheless, blacks who preferred Jackson to other primary contenders in the 1988 nominating contest were less likely to vote in the presidential election. Finally, while education, political interest, partisanship, and age were generally associated with black voter participation, race identification had a less consistent effect. Instead, church membership and involvement in black political organizations serve as alternative, community-based resources that promote black participation. This research underscores the importance of both political context and group-based political resources in stimulating the black vote.

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