Elections are at the heart of the American political system, but in 1976 only 54 percent of the voting age population went to the polls. The question of who votes matters greatly to everyone involved in politics and to all those concerned about the current and future state of American democracy. Based on data from the 1972 and 1974 Census Bureau surveys, Wolfinger and Rosenstone are able to identify for the first time those social and economic groups that are most likely to vote and to explain sensibly and convincingly those factors that influence voter turnout.
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absentee registration aggregate blacks blue-collar workers Census Chicanos closing date coefficient college graduates compared controlled costs of voting Current Population Survey Democratic demographic characteristics demographic variables deputy registrars difference in turnout educa effect on turnout election day election day registration electoral ence equation farmers findings government employees groups held constant high school higher turnout increase in turnout individual living low turnout lower machine politics marital status mass media Milbrath and Goel National Election Study North Dakota occupation one's participation patronage percent less percentage points political culture polls presidential election probability of voting probit analysis probit estimate Puerto Ricans registration laws registration offices registration provisions related to turnout relationship reported residency requirements social South Southern spouse standard error subsample survey samples tion Turnout in 1972 turnout rate U.S. Bureau variations in turnout Verba voter turnout voting population voting rates voting-age population women young