Beyond Red State and Blue State: Electoral Gaps in the 21st Century American Electorate

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-02-18
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Beyond Red State and Blue State: Electoral Gaps in the 21st Century American Electorate explores the many demographic gaps that exist within the American electorate. This book is designed to explore the most important voting gaps in American politics today. It shows that twenty-first-century Americans are divided on a wide range of political fronts that go far beyond the somewhat simplistic "red state, blue state" rubric that has become so popular in American political discourse. Reality is far more complex. The authors capture and explain this complexity through a collection of chapters by leading scholars of a range of voting gaps, including racial/ethnic gaps, the marriage gap, the worship attendance gap, the income/class gap, the rural/urban gap, the gender gap, and the generation gap. Also included is a chapter by a leading political pollster and strategist, Anna Greenberg, on how campaigns use information about voting gaps.

Author Biography

Laura R. Olson is professor of political science at Clemson University.  Her research focuses on contemporary religion, civic engagement, and American politics, with special emphasis on the political attitudes and behaviors of clergy.  She is the author, coauthor, or coeditor of seven books, including Religion and Politics in America: Faith, Culture, and Strategic Choices (Westview, 2004) and many scholarly articles and book chapters.


John C. Green is Distinguished Professor of political science at the University of Akron and the director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics. He has done extensive research on American political parties, campaign finance, and religion and politics. An author and editor of numerous books, his most recent publications include The Faith Factor (Praeger, 2007) and The State of the Parties (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006).

Table of Contents

Prefacep. viii
About the Contributorsp. ix
"Gapology" and the 2004 Presidential Votep. 1
"Gapology" and the 2004 Presidential Votep. 2
Piecing the Gaps Togetherp. 6
The Plan of the Bookp. 8
Notesp. 9
Racial and Ethnic Gapsp. 10
Group Identification and Group-Based Heuristicsp. 12
A History of Groups in Politicsp. 13
The Significance of Groups in Politics: The Case of African Americansp. 16
Group-Based Heuristics and African-American Politicsp. 18
Making Sense of Heuristicsp. 19
Expectations on the Future of Racial/Ethnic Electoral Gapsp. 20
Notesp. 21
The Marriage Gapp. 24
The Different Political Worlds of Married and Unmarried Americap. 25
The Rise of Unmarried America and the Changing American Familyp. 28
A Tale of Two Cohortsp. 31
Causes of the Marriage Gapp. 31
Political Mobilizationp. 34
The Future of the Marriage Gap and Related Researchp. 37
Notesp. 38
The Worship Attendance Gapp. 40
The Sociological Roots of the Worship Attendance Gapp. 41
The Political Roots of the Worship Attendance Gapp. 43
The Emergence of the Worship Attendance Gapp. 44
The Worship Attendance Gap in 2004p. 46
Will the Worship Attendance Gap Persist in the Future?p. 49
Notesp. 50
The Class Gapp. 53
The Development of Class Analysesp. 55
The Evidence on Class Divisionsp. 56
Class Divisions in American Politicsp. 59
Constraints on Class Divisionsp. 62
Culture Wars and Class Divisionsp. 63
Income and Abortion Viewsp. 65
Conclusionp. 68
Notesp. 69
The Rural-Urban Gapp. 74
Urban Voters and Democratic Loyaltyp. 78
Rural Voters and Republican Loyaltyp. 79
Sources of Urban-Rural Division in Place-Based Stereotypesp. 80
Economic Change and the Experience of Economic Changep. 82
Entrepreneurial Self-Images and Private Propertyp. 83
Weeding Out the Failures: Labor Market Migrationp. 87
Conclusionp. 89
Notesp. 90
The Gender Gapp. 92
The History of the Modern Gender Gap: 1952 to 2004p. 93
What Causes the Gender Gap?p. 94
Gender Differences in Political Attitudesp. 95
What Women and Men Really Care Aboutp. 97
The Gender Gap in 2004p. 97
Was It the Security Moms?p. 100
Conclusionp. 106
Notesp. 107
The Generation Gapp. 109
Age Groups, Socialization, and the Study of Generationsp. 109
The Generation Gap in the Presidential Votep. 114
The Generation Gap in 2004p. 116
Explaining the Generation Gap in 2004p. 118
Conclusionp. 125
Notesp. 126
Appendixp. 127
Targeting and Electoral Gapsp. 129
Targeting Base Supporters and Persuadable Votersp. 130
Defining Votersp. 135
Using Targeting Informationp. 139
Micro-Targetingp. 140
Conclusionp. 141
Notesp. 142
Indexp. 143
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