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Elections

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LSU Master's Theses

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Threat, Violence, And Voters: Race And Context In The 2008 Presidential Election, Matthew Fowler Jan 2011

Threat, Violence, And Voters: Race And Context In The 2008 Presidential Election, Matthew Fowler

LSU Master's Theses

The 2008 Presidential Election brought into office the first African-American president in U.S. history. This paper analyzes variations in White support for Barack Obama based on a number of county-level contextual factors, which are hypothesized to influence aggregate White voter support for the Democratic candidate. Based on the well-known racial threat theory, this paper will explore how racial composition and income inequality effect White support for Barack Obama. Another key explanatory variable, violence, is thought to influence White voter support because of the preconceptions some of these voters hold about African-Americans. Violence helps shape the stereotypes White voters hold ...