Tag Archives | Class Politics

The White Working Class and Voter Turnout in U.S. Presidential Elections, 2004 to 2016

Stephen L. Morgan, Jiwon Lee

Sociological Science, November 20, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a27

Through an analysis of the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 Current Population Surveys as well as the 2004 through 2016 General Social Surveys, this article investigates class differences and patterns of voter turnout for the last four U.S. presidential elections. After developing some support for the claim that a surge of white, working-class voters emerged in competitive states in 2016, a portrait of class differences on political matters among white, non-Hispanic, eligible voters between 2004 and 2016 is offered to assess the electoral consequences of this surge. These latter results are consistent with the claim that racial prejudice, anti-immigrant sentiment, concerns about economic security, and frustration with government responsiveness may have led many white, working-class voters to support an outsider candidate who campaigned on these themes. However, these same results give no support to the related claim that the white working class changed its positions on these matters in response to the 2016 primary election campaign or in the months just before the general election.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Stephen L. Morgan: Department of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University
Email: stephen.morgan@jhu.edu

Jiwon Lee: Department of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University
Email: jiwonlee@jhu.edu

Acknowledgements: We thank the editors for their incisive suggestions for revisions.

  • Citation: Morgan, Stephen L., and Jiwon Lee. 2017. “The White Working Class and Voter Turnout in U.S. Presidential Elections, 2004 to 2016.” Sociological Science 4: 656-685.
  • Received: October 2, 2017
  • Accepted: October 12, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Delia Baldassarri
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a27
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Social Class and Party Identification During the Clinton, Bush, and Obama Presidencies

Stephen L. Morgan, Jiwon Lee

Sociological Science, August 3, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a16

Through an analysis of the 1994 through 2016 General Social Surveys, this article demonstrates that a substantial proportion of eligible voters within the working class turned away from solid identification with either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party during the Obama presidency. Even before the 2016 election cycle commenced, conditions were uncharacteristically propitious for a Republican candidate who could appeal to prospective voters in the working class, especially those who had not voted in recent presidential elections but could be mobilized to vote. These findings support the contested position that variation in party identification is a genuine leading indicator of electoral outcomes and perhaps also, in this case, of party realignment.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Stephen L. Morgan: Department of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University
Email: stephen.morgan@jhu.edu

Jiwon Lee: Department of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University
Email: jiwonlee@jhu.edu

Acknowledgements: We thank Danny Schlozman for a helpful orienting discussion of these topics as well as Andy Cherlin, Mike Hout, Jennifer Silva, and Tom Smith for comments on the penultimate draft.

  • Citation: Morgan, Stephen L., and Jiwon Lee. 2017. “Social Class and Party Identification During the Clinton, Bush, and Obama Presidencies.” Sociological Science 4: 394-423.
  • Received: June 12, 2017
  • Accepted: June 25, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a16
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