Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. John Clark

Second Advisor

Dr. Peter Wielhouwer

Third Advisor

Dr. J. Kevin Corder

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


The purpose of this study is to determine whether traditional models of political participation can explain racial group turnout for the 2004 presidential election. While the majority of political participation research analyzes only two or occasionally three racial groups this study includes: Anglo-Whites, African Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Data from the 2006 and 2008 General Social Survey is employed using cross-tabulations and bivariate measures of association. This study finds that traditional variables from classic political participation literature largely explain Anglo-White and African American participation for 2004, while these variables are less applicable to other racial groups. Only strength of partisanship is found to significantly influence turnout for all racial groups for the 2004 election. Latino American participation was influenced by family income, education, party identification, and union membership; Asian American by education, party identification, and gender; while American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian turnout was influenced by religious attendance and party identification.

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