Dog-Whistle politics refers to code words that mean one thing to the general population, but have an additional, different, or special resonance for a targeted subgroup.

alleged code words in the United States is claimed to appeal to racism of the intended audience. The phrase "states' rights", although literally referring to powers of individual state governments in the United States, was described by David Greenberg in Slate as "code words" for institutionalized segregation and racism. In 1981, former Republican Party strategist Lee Atwater when giving an anonymous interview discussing the GOP's Southern Strategy

The claims of dog-whistle politics aren't exclusive to the 1960s though, David A. Love contends that Republican support for Voter ID is an extension of those

In the late 1960s, however, t*he Republicans began employing a "southern strategy" to capitalize on white resentment of civil rights*. [...] The more recent Tea Party takeover of the GOP – with the attendant hatred of a black president, Latino immigrants, civil rights and multicultural diversity – represents a natural consequence of that strategy. And the exclusively rightwing Republican fixation with voter fraud and voter ID reflects this new reality.

If statements innocuous as cutting spending, a candidates name, or states rights were capable of drawing racially resentful whites into the Republican Party, you would expect that the Republican Party would have a greater share of racially resentful whites and that those people would display greater discrimination toward African-Americans.

Have any studies found that Republicans exhibit a greater amount of discrimination towards African-Americans than Democrats?

Have any studies found that Republicans positions on political issues like spending cuts, social welfare, or Voter ID laws are correlated with their racial views more than Democrats?

marked as duplicate by Sam I am Jan 9 '14 at 15:12

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

  • let us continue this discussion in chat – user1873 Jan 8 '14 at 5:06
  • While we continue that discussion in chat, you still haven't answered the question I asked about your question: are you only interested in the correlation between views of individual Republican voters and their racial attitudes, or are you also interested in whether the views espoused by the Republican Party itself were formed by race? – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 8 '14 at 5:41
  • @KeshavSrinivasan, the question is about members of the Party, not the Party platform. – user1873 Jan 8 '14 at 5:58

No studies do not indicate that Republicans positions on political issues, such as Voter ID, relief aid, nor voting for a particular candidate are affected by race more than Democrats.

In one study, a correlation was found between racial resentment towards African Americans and support for VoterID laws. Non-black Democrats with high racial resentment supported VoterID, while Non-Black Democrats with low racial resentment did not support VoterID. With regard to Republicans, no such correlation was found. The Margin of Error was less than 4%, and when examining the difference between low and high racial resentment and support for VoterID, Democrats gained 20% points (from 47%-77%). This gain was significant at 5 times the margin of error.

This study isn't alone in finding similar results. Republicans tend to be more principled with respect to race than Democrats. In the study, race wasn't a factor for Republicans when extending aid to Katrina victims.

Are Republicans stingy but principled while Democrats are generous but racist?

"I wouldn't put it quite so starkly," said Stanford University professor Shanto Iyengar. He would prefer to call Democrats "less principled" rather than bigoted ... , the study found that people were less likely to give extended aid to black Hurricane Katrina victims than to white ones. The race penalty, on average, totaled about $1,000 per black victim. ... for Democrats, race mattered -- and in a disturbing way. Overall, Democrats were willing to give whites about $1,500 more than they chose to give to a black or other minority. (Even with this race penalty, Democrats still were willing to give more to blacks than those principled Republicans.) "Republicans are likely to be more stringent, both in terms of money and time, Iyengar said. "However, their position is 'principled' in the sense that it stems from a strong belief in individualism (as opposed to handouts).

Iyengar said he's not surprised by the latest findings: "This pattern of results matches perfectly an earlier study I did on race and crime" with Franklin D. Gilliam Jr. of UCLA. "Republicans supported tough treatment of criminals no matter what they encountered in the news. Others were more elastic in their position, coming to support more harsh measures when the criminal suspect they encountered was non-white."

Republican are also less affected in their voting patterns, says Ebonya Washington of Yale University in a forthcoming article in the Quarterly Journal of Economics.

In fact, white Republicans nationally are 25 percentage points more likely on average to vote for the Democratic senatorial candidate when the GOP hopeful is black ...

In House races, white Democrats are 38 percentage points less likely to vote Democratic if their candidate is black.

  • @SamIam, weak to conclude a correlation between Republicans racial resentment (RR) and support for VoterID, not weak to conclude a correlation between Democrats RR and support for VoterID. While you make think a 1.5x increase in support for VoterID is significant, a scientific journal would not. A 5x increase is significant. For example, would you disregard the Dem&RR conclusion just because the sex/income/education of the person polled all had a <2x the MoE correlation? (no, you would not expect every difference to have a significant impact on the results.) – user1873 Jan 9 '14 at 22:32
  • @user1873 No, it's not irrelevant, because you're comparing Republican voter ID support with racial resentment to Republican voter iD support without racial resentment. So what matters is the confidence interval of the difference, not the confidence interval of each of those two numbers. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 9 '14 at 22:40
  • @KeshavSrinivansan, Lets assume you are right, then what is the "confidence interval of the difference?" (and what difference are you measuring, the difference of what from what) – user1873 Jan 9 '14 at 22:47
  • I was doing some arethmetic regarding the size of the "high resentment" and "low resentment" bucket, and I was getting some numbers that didn't make sense. I realized that it was because the percent of republicans who oppose voter ID laws, seem to be bigger than both republicans with low resentment and republicans with high resentment. – Sam I am Jan 9 '14 at 22:55
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    @user1873 the study is weak to conclude much of anything about republicans. It's really only a single data-point. So they've picked an issue where the republicans are homogenous and the democrats are not. The democrats were already more or less divided on the issue. There was a lot more room for a correlation one way or the other. The republicans were homogenous. Even if race was their single biggest deciding factor on the issue, you would only have seen a 14% change – Sam I am Jan 9 '14 at 23:15

This doesn't directly answer your question, which is about studies and statistical correlations, but here is some evidence that at least some of the views of the Republican Party, which a lot of Republican voters hold as well, can be traced back to positions adopted by the GOP as part of the Southern Strategy to appeal to Southern whites using coded racial appeals.

It's a quote by Republican strategist Lee Atwater, discussing how the Wallace voters (Southern whites who had voted for segregationist Presidential candidate George Wallace) had come to be a part of the Republican coalition (listen to the audio here):

"You start out in 1954 by saying, "[n-word], [n-word], [n-word]." By 1968 you can't say "[n-word]" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "[n-word], [n-word].""

Note that saying that a lot of the positions that Republican voters hold are ultimately due to reasons related to racial attitudes is not the same as saying they're due to those voters' own racial attitudes. Also, even among Wallace voters who may have joined the GOP because those positions appealed to their racial attitudes, those attitudes may have mellowed over the years, and some of those voters may have died out. So even if there were a historical correlation in the 1960's between the views of some members of the GOP and their racial attitudes, that correlation may have dissipated over the ensuing decades.

(I should add that personally, I'm not entirely convinced by Atwater's account suffices as an explanation of why Southern whites moved from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, which is why I asked this question.)

  • " This doesn't directly answer your question", which is why it should be deleted. Perhaps you can post it in your southern strategy history question? – user1873 Jan 9 '14 at 3:13
  • @user1873 Well, it doesn't directly address what you're asking, but it does address some of the points you made in your post. For instance, you said "If statements innocuous as cutting spending, a candidates name, or states rights were capable of drawing racially resentful whites into the Republican Party", so I'm giving evidence that suggests that that "if" clause is indeed correct. (That doesn't mean that it is necessarily correct, but it is a data point.) – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 9 '14 at 3:24
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    you need to continue your quote of me, "... you would expect that the Republican Party would have a greater share of racially resentful whites and that those people would display greater discrimination toward African-Americans."(does your answer demonstrate a > share?) Also, if you read the bolded questions, this question is exclusively about measuring party affiliation and the effects of racial resentment with members of those parties. The only point of data in your answer isn't quantified, "some of the views of the Republican Party, which a lot of Republican voters hold as well" – user1873 Jan 9 '14 at 3:35
  • This question is about numbers. – user1873 Jan 9 '14 at 3:38
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    @user1873 Before you go accusing the moderators of deleting based on point of view, I want to point out that the answer that you've posted on this question has been duplicated twice, and it's actually somewhat of a moderation faux pas that I haven't deleted it. – Sam I am Jan 9 '14 at 23:32

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