Identity Politics In Presidential Elections

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Let’s start this paper by defining what identity politics are. Identity politics are political arguments that focus on the interests and perspectives of groups with which people identify, meaning people who vote or don’t vote based on their similarity or lack of similarity with the candidate. Examples of this includes the religion, race, gender or social class of the person who is nominated for the election.

As we will see in the next few pages, identity politics play a big part in the results of a presidential election, a big example of this is the never before seen percentage of black voters who voted for a candidate, a whopping 96% of black voters voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 elections, there hasn’t been a single candidate who’s ever even come close to those numbers with only
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It’s been like this since the mid-1970’s, in fact during the 2008 elections Barack had 43% of the white voters which was the highest a democrat’s ever had since Jimmy Carter in 1976. This is where identity politics come in.

With this I am in no way saying that Obama’s race had anything to do with victory he obtained in 2008, but, it might’ve. I’ll borrow this small paragraph from the wall street journal’s website written by Carl Bialik to better explain:

“How did president-elect Barack Obama win the election? Not by transcending race, but because of his race, according to an article published by a pair of Massachusetts Institute of Technology political scientists in the Boston Review. Using exit-poll numbers, Stephen Ansolabehere and Charles Stewart III build an argument that “Obama won because of race — because of his particular appeal among black voters, because of the changing political allegiances of Hispanics, and because he did not provoke a backlash among white
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