Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-b2xwp Total loading time: 0.281 Render date: 2022-10-05T08:29:51.940Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

Obama's Missed Landslide: A Racial Cost?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 January 2010

Michael S. Lewis-Beck
Affiliation:
University of Iowa
Charles Tien
Affiliation:
Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY
Richard Nadeau
Affiliation:
University of Montreal

Abstract

Barack Obama was denied a landslide victory in the 2008 presidential election. In the face of economic and political woe without precedent in the post-World War II period, the expectation of an overwhelming win was not unreasonable. He did win, but with just a 52.9 percentage point share of the total popular vote. We argue a landslide was taken from Obama because of race prejudice. In our article, we first quantify the extent of the actual Obama margin. Then we make a case for why it should have been larger. After reviewing evidence of racial bias in voter attitudes and behavior, we conclude that, in a racially blind society, Obama would likely have achieved a landslide.

Type
Features
Copyright
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2010

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Abramowitz, Alan. 2008. “Forecasting the 2008 Presidential Election with the Time-for-Change Model.” PS: Political Science and Politics 41 (4): 691–96.Google Scholar
Aistrup, Joseph A., Kisangani, Emizet, and Piri, Roxanne L.. 2009. “Race and the 2008 Presidential Elections in the South.” Paper presented at the Southern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, January 7–10.Google Scholar
Ansolabehere, Stephen, and Stewart, Charles III. 2009. “Amazing Race.” Boston Review (January/February).Google Scholar
Campbell, James E. 2008. “An Exceptional Election: Performance, Values, and Crisis in the 2008 Presidential Election.” The Forum 6 (4): Article 7.Google Scholar
Ceaser, James W., and DiSalvo, Daniel. 2008. “The Magnitude of the 2008 Democratic Victory: By the Numbers.” The Forum 6 (4): Article 8.Google Scholar
Craemer, Thomas, Shaw, Todd, Edwards, Courtney, and Jefferson, Hakeem. 2009. “Implicit Racial Attitudes and Support for Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential Election.” Paper presented at the Southern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, January 7–10.Google Scholar
Dixon, Jeffrey. 2006. “The Ties That Bind and Those That Don't: Toward Reconciling Group Threat and Contact theories of Prejudice.” Social Forces 84: 2179–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Greene, William H. 1997. Econometric Analysis. 3rd ed. Prentice-Hall: New Jersey.Google Scholar
Grose, Christian R., and Russell, Carrie A.. 2008. “Avoiding the Vote: A Theory and Field Experiment of the Social Costs of Public Political Participation.” Paper presented at the Annual Meetings of the American Political Science Association, Boston, August 28–31.Google Scholar
Heerwig, Jennifer A., and McCabe, Brian J.. 2007. “Social Desirability Bias in Estimated Support for a Black Presidential Candidate.” http://homepages.nyu.edu/~jah321/sdb_black_pres.pdf.Google Scholar
Holbrook, Thomas M. 2008. “Incumbency, National Conditions, and the 2008 Presidential Election.” PS: Political Science and Politics 41 (4): 709–13.Google Scholar
Johnston, J. 1972. Econometric Methods. 2nd ed. McGraw-Hill: New York.Google Scholar
Key, V.O. 1966. The Responsible Electorate: Rationality in Presidential Voting 1936–1960. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Klarner, Carl. 2008 “The Racial Threat Hypothesis in the 2008 Presidential Election.” Unpublished paper.Google Scholar
Krysan, Maria. 1998. “Privacy and the Expression of White Racial Attitudes: A Comparison across Three Contexts.” Public Opinion Quarterly 62: 506–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krysan, Maria. 2000. “Prejudice, Politics, and Public Opinion: Understanding the Sources of Racial Policy Attitudes.” Annual Review of Sociology 26: 135–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lewis-Beck, Michael S. 2008. “2008 Presidential Election Forecasts.” Panel session at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C., October 27.Google Scholar
Lewis-Beck, Michael S., Jacoby, William, Norpoth, Helmut, and Weisberg, Herbert. 2008. The American Voter Revisited. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lewis-Beck, Michael S., and Nadeau, Richard. 2009. “Obama and the Economy in 2008.” PS: Political Science and Politics 42 (3): 479–83.Google Scholar
Lewis-Beck, Michael S., and Stegmaier, Mary. 2009. “Macroeconomics and the 2008 Election.” The Political Economist 11 (1): 1114.Google Scholar
Lewis-Beck, Michael S., and Tien, Charles. 2008. “The Job of the President and the Jobs Model Forecast: Obama for '08.” PS: Political Science and Politics 41 (4): 687–90.Google Scholar
Lewis-Beck, Michael S., and Tien, Charles. 2009. “Race Blunts the Economic Effect? The 2008 Obama Forecast.” PS: Political Science and Politics 42 (1): 2122.Google Scholar
Lockerbie, Brad. 2008. “Election Forecasting: The Future of the Presidency and the House.” PS: Political Science and Politics 41 (4): 713–16.Google Scholar
Martinez, Michael D. 2009. “Battleground Voters: Issues, Race and Retrospective Evaluations in Florida 2008. Paper presented at the Southern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, January 8–10.Google Scholar
Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1983. Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. Merriam-Webster: Springfield, MA.Google Scholar
Persily, Nathaniel, Ansolabehere, Stephen, and Stewart, Charles III. 2009. “Brief for Nathaniel Persily, Stephen Ansolabehere, and Charles Stewart III as Amici Curiae on Behalf of Neither Party.” Amicus brief for neither party in North Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Eric H. Holder, Attorney General of the United States of America, et al., No. 08-322. http://www.law.columbia.edu/null/download?&exclusive=filemgr.download&file_id=161368.Google Scholar
Sniderman, Paul M., and Stiglitz, Edward H.. 2008. “Race and the Moral Character of the Modern American Experience.” The Forum 6 (4): Article 1.Google Scholar
Streb, Matthew, Burrell, Barbara, Frederick, Brian, and Genovese, Michael A.. 2008. “Social Desirability Effects and Support for a Female American President.” Public Opinion Quarterly 72: 7689.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Taylor, Marylee C. 1998. “How White Attitudes Vary with the Racial Composition of Local Populations: Numbers Count.” American Sociological Review 63: 512–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
27
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@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 saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved 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.

Obama's Missed Landslide: A Racial Cost?
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Obama's Missed Landslide: A Racial Cost?
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Obama's Missed Landslide: A Racial Cost?
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *