Ralph Bunche Journal of Public Affairs


- 3 - The Impact of Politicized Churches and Party Contact on African American Voter Turnout Randolph Burnside Southern Illinois University Carbondale Stephanie A. Pink-Harper Southern Illinois University Carbondale The African American community has faced a myriad of challenges regarding their quest for social equity and social justice in America. Among the challenges is the fight for their right to vote. Researchers document numerous factors that have impacted the voting behavior of African Americans. Underexplored, however, is the historical role and impact that the African American church has had on this process. This article examines the impact of politicized churches and party contact on African American voter turnout. The extant literature suggests that both party contact and politicized churches have an impact on African American political participation. In this article which utilizes data from the 1996 National Black Election Study we find that to hold true. However, we also find that politicized churches have more impact on turnout than do party contact. Further, we find that while linked fate does not have a significant relationship to turnout, African Americans’ group efficacy along with age and education play a significant role in who votes.



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