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Obama's Missed Landslide: A Racial Cost?

  • Michael S. Lewis-Beck (a1), Charles Tien (a2) and Richard Nadeau (a3)

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.

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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
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