FRIENDS OR FOES IN YOUR PRECINCT? THE IMPACT OF NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICAL CONTEXT ON VOTER TURNOUT
This thesis asks two questions in regard to voter turnout in the United States: 1) Does political heterogeneity within a community increase or decrease voter turnout? and 2) What is the impact of political homogeneity on voter turnout? To construct a variable that measures the politically heterogeneity or homogeneity of a community, data is used from past presidential elections on the margins of victory by the winning parties. If the margins of victory are persistently large, the community is considered politically homogenous. If the margins of victory are persistently narrow, the community is considered politically heterogeneous. To investigate the relationship between political composition and voter turnout at the community level, an ordinary least-squares regression model is employed testing the following model: Voter turnout = a + political heterogeneity index + county characteristics + region + ¼. The data employed is county-level voter-turnout for all U.S. counties. This thesis finds that counties on either end of the political heterogeneity-homogeneity spectrum are associated with higher voter turnout than counties that are of average political composition.
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Larson, Karen (2004-04-16)This study investigates the effect of the Internet on political participation, specifically if Internet use is associated with increased likelihood of voter turnout and campaign donating. There are well documented ...