Award Date

12-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Political Science

Department

Political Science

First Committee Member

Kenneth Fernandez, Chair

Second Committee Member

Ted Jelen

Third Committee Member

David Damore

Graduate Faculty Representative

Anne Lukemeyer

Number of Pages

123

Abstract

The following study will present an examination of factors that impact levels of voting activity among American citizens from 1972 through 2004. The subject of voter turnout has been thoroughly examined by political scientists over the years, as have aspects of youth voting and the influence of education. Many of the same variables presented by scholars in recent years will be employed in this study. However, these earlier studies tend to look only at individual level variables in explaining voter turnout. This study will contribute to a more complete understanding of voting through the analysis of individual, regional, and temporal variables using interactive logit models and hierarchical linear models. The application of multiple levels of information will help provide additional insights into the complexity of what drives voter turnout within the American electorate. Special emphasis will be placed on the role of education, political knowledge, and age in spurring voter turnout and how education and political knowledge may interact with other important individual and contextual level factors.

Keywords

Contextual voting; Educational attainment; Multi-level voting model; Political participation; United States; Voter turnout; Voting research; Youth – Political activity; Youth vote

Disciplines

American Politics | Demography, Population, and Ecology | Models and Methods | Politics and Social Change

Language

English


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