Skip to main content
×
×
Home
The Turnout Gap

Book description

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.

Reviews

Advance praise:‘Fraga wrestles with one of the core political puzzles of our time: why does voter turnout lag among non-whites relative to whites? He offers a theoretically compelling explanation and tests it with the best available data and the most sophisticated analytical tools. The Turnout Gap represents a major contribution to our understanding of American political behavior.'

Vincent L. Hutchings - University of Michigan

Advance praise:‘Fraga's analysis is full of striking findings. He shows that the gap in turnout between whites and non-whites is larger than we thought; that running a non-white candidate does not really close the gap; and that voter identification laws have not consistently widened it. His ultimate explanation for this gap shows us why white voters remain dominant even in an increasingly diverse United States. This is a book that scholars, journalists, politicians, and the Supreme Court definitely need to read.'

John Sides - George Washington University

Advance praise:‘Fraga's work is deeply situated in both the historical and contemporary politics of race, his evidence reflecting the advanced analytical tools and diverse data sources that distinguish the modern study of voter turnout. His conclusions suggest that there are no easy or simple political or policy ‘fixes' to the problem of racial/ethnic inequality in turnout (and therefore political representation more broadly), but also underscore the critical importance and potential of electoral politics for narrowing the turnout gap.'

Jan Leighley - American University, Washington DC

Advance praise:‘This is a very important book that takes a holistic approach to voting and race in the twenty-first century to explain the age-old question in political science of who votes, who doesn't vote, and why? Fraga expertly weighs into this rich literature by incorporating historic data, contemporary data, geographic variation, and a close examination of blacks, whites, Latinos, and Asian Americans. This book is not just a data-rich resource on voter turnout; it provides a powerful theoretical explanation for the turnout gap beyond the resource model. This book is a must-read for anyone studying voting patterns in America today.'

Matt A. Barreto - University of California, Los Angeles

Advance praise:‘The American citizenry grows more racially diverse every year, and yet communities of color continue to lag behind whites in political power and representation. Bernard L. Fraga offers a compelling theory for why this is the case. He finds little evidence that these gaps are due to formal voting barriers such as felon disenfranchisement and voter identification requirements. He argues instead that investments in voter mobilization and a greater sense of political empowerment benefit groups that already have high electoral influence, which, in most states and Congressional districts, still means non-Hispanic whites. Thus, advantage breeds advantage, making it difficult for marginalized communities to gain influence even as they grow in numerical size. Fraga's analysis is a sobering reminder that ‘demography is not destiny', and that parties and civic organizations need to make massive investments in outreach to disenfranchised communities in order to make American politics more representative.'

Karthick Ramakrishnan - University of California, Riverside

Refine List
Actions for selected content:
Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to Dropbox
  • Send to Google Drive
  • Send content to

    To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to .

    To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

    Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

    Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

    Please be advised that item(s) you selected are not available.
    You are about to send
    ×

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed