Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-5-2018

Faculty Advisor(s)

Ann Gordon


Race is a prevalent variable to understanding the gap between party identification and party ideology in the United States. The polarization of party identity can be traced back to the 1964 election in which the Democratic and Republican parties took opposing positions on civil rights. Since this election, both parties have held their position on matters of race and civil rights. Party identification and political ideology are both political and racial concepts, and it is demonstrated that Americans rely on racial categorization when identifying with a political party, but do not rely on that categorization for political ideology. While some scholars argue that strongly opposing party positions on racial issues affect party identification some scholars state that it is the positions on other issues that create the noted cleavages. This paper will explore three variables that demonstrate stark differences between party identification and ideology for black American voters. The independent variables compared were party identification and ideology self-placement. The dependent variables studied were thoughts on equality, traditional family values, and how the voter feels about newer lifestyles. The results of data analysis from the ANES 2016 studies conclude that the majority of black voters think of themselves as a Democrat but identify ideologically as moderate. Data also shows that black voters want to talk about equality, think there should be more emphasis on traditional family values, and are split on if newer lifestyles are breaking down society. When analyzed, all of these independent variables were shown to be statistically significant, contributing to the notion of cleavages between party identification and political ideology.


Presented at the Fall 2018 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.