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Kenny J Whitby, "Impact of organizational vitality on Black voter turnout in the South" Party Politics, 21 (March 2015), 234-245. [Available at]

First paragraph:

One of the major functions of political organizations in a democratic society is to ‘serve as channels for involving people in politics’ (Lipset, 1960: 26). From the perspective of voter participation, vibrant organizations should be able to increase voter turnout levels by reducing some of the perceived costs of citizen participation to the point at which the perceived costs of voting no longer outweigh the perceived benefits. If this conception of voter turnout is correct, then strong political organizations with ties to the Black community should be able to mitigate the costs of voting for Black citizens and thereby increase their turnout levels.

Figures and Table

Table 1: NAACP units in countries (2005)
Table 2: Democratic party organizational strength at the country level (2004-2005)
Table 3: Model of the effect of organizational presence on county-level Black voter turnout in November 2004 elections
Table 4: Models of the effect of organizational presence on county-level Black voter turnout in November 2004 by two levels of urbanization in counties
Table 5: Models of the effect of organizational presence and party strength on county-level Black voter turnout in the November 2004 elections by urbanization levels
Table 6: Descriptive statistics for county-level data in Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina

Last Paragraph:

This study, of course, focuses on a small subset of county party organizations located in the South; some caution should be exercised in making generalizations based on the findings. Even so, there are reasons to believe that the results of the analysis presented here might extend to other regions of the Union. Black political behaviour does not differ significantly from region to region, despite the existence of distinctive political cultures in the South and non-South. Blacks are a cohesive voting bloc, and they are loyal supporters of the Democratic Party at this juncture. Hence, one strongly suspects that the organizational presence of the NAACP and the campaign activities of the party organization will be influential regardless of region, having controlled for other political dynamics and demographic factors. Nonetheless, future research on the topic will pay dividends if the investigation is expanded to include the non-South and the voting behaviours of other demographic groups.

Last updated March 2015