Mobilizing institutions and class bias in U.S. electoral politics, 1964 to 2004

Jan E. Leighley, Jonathan Nagler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Most systematic evidence regarding elite mobilization of voter turnout focuses specifically on mobilization by political parties and fails to account for the diverse set of political elites who typically seek to mobilize voter turnout. In addition, a few studies have documented changes in the nature of these mobilization patterns over time. We expand on the traditional "party-centered" approach and assess the extent to which income determines whom party and nonparty organizations mobilize, and whether income has become more important as a predictor of being mobilized over the past forty years. Data are drawn from the American National Election Study Cumulative Data File for 1964 through 2004. Our results indicate that although contacting by parties is significantly more class-biased than is contacting of nonparty organizations, partisan mobilization has not become more class-biased over the past several decades. We conclude that the potential for broadening electoral mobilization to include lower-income citizens likely rests on the vigor of nonparty organizational efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDesigning Democratic Government
Subtitle of host publicationMaking Institutions Work
PublisherRussell Sage Foundation
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781610443500
ISBN (Print)9780871545183
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Mobilizing institutions and class bias in U.S. electoral politics, 1964 to 2004'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this