Party affiliation has been identified as the most powerful factor explaining citizens' political attitudes and voting decisions. However, history provides several examples of Black Democratic candidates who failed to garner votes from White Democrats during biracial elections. Focusing on perceived concern about Black favoritism and political ambivalence, this study investigates why White citizens' party affiliation loses its influence on candidate evaluation and vote choice in biracial political contests. Relying on the 2008 National Presidential Election between Barack Obama and John McCain as an analytic case study, this research provides evidence that White citizens' concern about Black favoritism in biracial political contests is a consequential factor in (a) reducing favorability toward a Black political candidate among White Democrats and Independents, (b) creating political ambivalence toward the presidential candidate among White Democrats, and thereby (c) increasing the probability of cross-party voting and nonvoting among White Democrats.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science