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Affirmative Action as a Wedge Issue: Prop 209 and The 1996 Presidential Election

  • Author(s): Cain, Bruce E.
  • Mac Donald, Karin
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 3.0 license
Abstract

This paper analyzes the "wedge issue" strategy from both a geopolitical and survey based perspective relying on the GIS mapping of the Statewide Database and a preelection survey that oversampled minorities in different types of neighborhood contexts. We find that although white voters overwhelmingly supported Prop 209, including independent and moderate Democrats, the issue failed to swing their vote from Clinton to Dole because it was less important than other more traditional Presidential issues such as the economy. Nonwhite and the loyal Republicans were more concerned about Prop 209 than others, but their Presidential votes were not in question.

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