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

Jan E. Leighley, Jonathan Nagler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-736
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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