Race, Republicans, and the Return of the Party of Lincoln

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University of Michigan Press, Dec 22, 2009 - Political Science - 224 pages

Whether their slogan is “compassionate conservatism” or “hawkish liberalism,” political parties have always sought to expand their electoral coalitions by making minor adjustments to their public image. How do voters respond to these, often short-term, campaign appeals? Race, Republicans, and the Return of the Party of Lincoln is Tasha Philpot’s insightful study of how parties use racial images to shape and reshape the way citizens perceive them.

“Philpot has produced a timely, provocative, and nuanced analysis of political party image change, using the Republican Party’s attempts to recast itself as a party sensitive to issues of race with its 2000, and later 2004, national conventions as case examples. Using a mixture of experiments, focus groups, national surveys, and analyses of major national and black newspaper articles, Philpot finds that if race-related issues are important to individuals, such as blacks, the ability of the party to change its image without changing its political positions is far more difficult than it is among individuals who do not consider race-related issues important, e.g., whites. This book makes a major contribution

to our understanding of party image in general, and political parties’ use of race in particular. Bravo!”

—Paula D. McClain, Duke University

“This book does an excellent job of illuminating the linkages between racial images and partisan support. By highlighting Republican efforts to ‘play against type’ Philpot emphasizes the limits of successfully altering partisan images. That she accomplishes this in the controversial, yet salient, domain of race is no small feat. In short, by focusing on a topical issue, and by adopting a novel theoretical approach, Philpot is poised to make a significant contribution to the literatures on race and party images.”

—Vincent Hutchings, University of Michigan

Tasha S. Philpot is Assistant Professor of Government and African and African American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

 

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Contents

Inclusion or Illusion?
1
1 Toward a Theory of Party Image Change
10
2 Party Politics and the Racial Divide
31
3 Party Image over Time Contemporary Party Images and the Prospects for Change
62
4 A Different Spin The Medias Framing of the 2000 Republican National Convention
84
5 Seeing Is Believing? Reactions to the 2000 Republican National Convention
103
The Compassionate Conservative versus the Florida Recount
123
7 The Second Time Around Race and the 2004 Republican National Convention
136
8 Working in Reverse Reshaping the Democratic Party
143
9 The Final Tally Race Party Image and the American Voter
158
Appendix
171
References
195
Index
205
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About the author (2009)

Tasha S. Philpot is Assistant Professor of Government and African and African American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

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