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Demographic Gaps in American Political Behavior

Book Description

Demographic Gaps in American Political Behavior examines the political behavior of various groups in the United States in an effort to demonstrate how demographic backgrounds and socialization affect political behavior. Media coverage has disproportionately focused on the red state versus blue state divide, leaving the impression that American political behavior is determined solely by place of residence. This, however, ignores the numerous other political divides that exist in the United States today. In order to better conceptualize the landscape of American political behavior, Patrick Fisher analyzes the political gaps in six different demographics—income, religion, gender, race, age, and geography—and examines the effect these political gaps have on public opinion, policy, and party positioning. Written in an accessible fashion, Demographic Gaps in American Political Behavior uses contemporary examples and data from the 2008 and 2012 elections to help readers understand how and why demographic background has the potential to greatly influence political opinions and behavior.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. Preface
  6. Illustrations
  7. Chapter 1: Introduction to Gapology
    1. The Concept of “Gapology”
    2. The United States in Red and Blue
    3. A Culture War?
    4. The Gapology of American Politics
  8. Chapter 2: The Income Gap
    1. Income and American Political Behavior
    2. The Income Gap in the 2008 and 2012 Elections
    3. Income and Public Policy Preferences
    4. The Education Gap
    5. The Significance of the Income Gap
  9. Chapter 3: The Religion Gap
    1. Religion and American Political Behavior
    2. The Religion Gap in the 2008 and 2012 Elections
    3. Religion and Public Policy Preferences
    4. Religion and the Cultural Divide
    5. The Changing Dynamic of the Religion Gap
    6. The Significance of the Religion Gap
  10. Chapter 4: The Gender Gap
    1. Gender and American Political Behavior
    2. The Gender Gap in the 2008 and 2012 Elections
    3. Gender and Public Policy Preferences
    4. The Marriage Gap
    5. The Significance of the Gender Gap
  11. Chapter 5: The Race Gap
    1. Race and American Political Behavior
    2. The Race Gap in the 2008 and 2012 Elections
    3. Race and Public Policy Preferences
    4. The Significance of the Race Gap
  12. Chapter 6: The Age Gap
    1. Age and American Political Behavior
    2. The Age Gap in the 2008 and 2012 Elections
    3. Age and Public Policy Preferences
    4. The Significance of the Age Gap
  13. Chapter 7: The Geography Gap
    1. Geography and American Political Behavior
    2. Geography and Public Policy Preferences
    3. The Significance of the Geography Gap
  14. Chapter 8: The Implications of Gapology
    1. The Gaps and Vote Choice
    2. The Gaps and Public Policy Preferences
    3. The Significance of Gapology
  15. Appendix: Exit Polls, 1980–2012
  16. Discussion Questions
  17. Index