chapter  2
14 Pages

Racial and Ethnic Gaps

ByHarwood K. McClerking

In this chapter, I embark on a journey through the social science literature tounderstand why there are such sizable racial and ethnic electoral gaps in the United States today. This journey takes us through a short intellectual history of the study of groups in politics, an assessment of why groups matter in politics, and a specific look at African Americans’ distinctive partisanship and voting behavior as an exemplar of the power of group politics. Using the African-American example, I hone in on how group-based dynamics affect electoral politics in the United States.