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  • Cited by 2
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Grose, Christian R. and Husser, Jason 2014. Communication and Language Analysis in the Public Sphere.

    Grose, Christian R. Husser, Jason and Yoshinaka, Antoine 2010. Plus ça Change: Race, Gender, and Issue Retrospections in the 2008 US Presidential Election. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, Vol. 20, Issue. 2, p. 187.


Cues, Endorsements, and Heresthetic in a High-profile Election: Racial Polarization in Durham, North Carolina?

  • Christian R. Grose (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 April 2007

Did voters in Durham, North Carolina divide along racial lines in the high-profile May 2, 2006, primary election for Durham district attorney? The results of an analysis of the primary vote by race suggest there were not major racial divisions: winner Mike Nifong received about the same percentage of support from African-American voters as from voters who are not African American. However, it seems likely, and I argue here, that Nifong used the high-profile prosecution of the Duke lacrosse rape case to win over some African-American and White voters in what otherwise might have been a low-key, low-information local election. This case and its allegations are sordid and appalling, and have garnered substantial national media attention. I contend that Nifong aggressively pursued prosecution as a way of representing what he perceived was his constituents' interests in justice for the alleged victim (though some have subsequently questioned his prosecution of the case); this aggressive prosecution's public nature likely had electoral ramifications. Further, supporting recent work on race and electoral politics, I show that traditional racial cues were critically important in other concurrently held Durham elections, though not in Nifong's race for district attorney. Nifong, a White candidate, defeated another White candidate and an African-American candidate in a county that is 51% White and 40% African-American (based on those identifying as only one race in the 2000 census).

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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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