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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 17, 2017

Is America More Divided by Race or Class? Race, Income, and Attitudes among Whites, African Americans, and Latinos

  • Jesse H. Rhodes , Brian F. Schaffner EMAIL logo and Sean McElwee EMAIL logo
From the journal The Forum


Scholars have long been interested in examining how race and class each shape citizens’ political attitudes. To date, however, there have been few efforts to untangle how race and class intersect to shape Americans’ political identities and attitudes about public policies. We argue that it is important to investigate attitudes inter-sectionally. Pooling the 2012 and 2014 Cooperative Congressional Election Studies to obtain large numbers of observations of non-whites and individuals with high incomes, we observe patterns of partisan identity, beliefs about racial prejudice, and attitudes about public policies. Our results suggest that race and class intersect in different ways for different groups in society. Increasing income erodes differences in attitudes between Latinos and whites, but has no effect on the large gap in attitudes between African Americans and whites.

Corresponding authors: Jesse H. Rhodes, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Brian F. Schaffner, Professor, Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Co-Principal Investigator of the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, and Founding Director of UMass Poll


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Published Online: 2017-5-17
Published in Print: 2017-4-25

©2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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