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Socioeconomic Class Bias in Turnout, 1964–1988: The Voters Remain the Same

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2013

Jan E. Leighley
Texas A&M University
Jonathan Nagler
University of California, Riverside


We address the question of whether class bias in the American electorate has increased since 1964. We analyze the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey and the National Election Studies for seven consecutive presidential elections, 1964–88. Our results show that conclusions regarding changes in class bias are sensitive to which measure of socioeconomic class is used—income, education, or occupation. We argue that income is the appropriate measure since government policies that discriminate based on socioeconomic class are most likely to do so based on income and there are measurement problems associated with using either education or occupation over time. Our analysis shows that there has been almost no change in class bias in the electorate since 1964.

Research Notes
Copyright © American Political Science Association 1992

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