Impact of Racial Resentment on Public Opinion of Voter ID Laws

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Date

2017-05-04

Authors

Jensen, Izzy

Advisors

Jardina, Ashley E

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Abstract

Voter identification laws in the United States are a controversial and often misunderstood issue. Previous research has found that public opinion of voter identification laws is influenced by views of race and racial framing. This paper builds off this research and tests whether support for voter ID laws among White voters with higher levels of racial resentment increases when such policies are framed in racial terms. Using an experiment embedded in an original survey, I find that when White voters with strong levels of racial resentment are informed that voter ID laws disproportionately impact Black voters, their levels of support for such laws increase significantly. These Whites also become more likely to report that voter fraud is a problem, and more likely to report favorable evaluations of Donald Trump, who has repeatedly suggested that voter fraud was a problem in the 2016 presidential election. These findings support the hypothesis that although voter ID laws are ostensibly race-neutral, the public perceives them as racialized. This suggests important considerations for the way such laws are framed and discussed.

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Citation

Jensen, Izzy (2017). Impact of Racial Resentment on Public Opinion of Voter ID Laws. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/14253.


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