CT Professor Weighs in on the Role of Race in the 2020 Election

A Wesleyan University professor in Middletown studies the role that race and race relations play in voter's choice.

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Race has been a big topic of discussion ahead of this year's presidential election.

"I think there’s been kind of a widening acceptance that race is one of the central organizing features in politics," said Wesleyan University Assistant Professor of Government Steven Moore.

Moore has been studying the role that race and race relations play in voters' choices.

"I would say the three most pressing issues are the economy, coronavirus and probably racial justice," said Moore.

He shares how he estimates how Black voters, in particular, might be approaching this race relative to 2012 and 2016.

"My expectation is that given Biden’s connection to Obama and the strong performance with Black voters in the primary and stronger mobilization effort on behalf of the long Democratic Party, I would expect them to look closer to 2008 and 2012 than 2016," Moore continued.

But voting isn't just straight down the ticket - the allegiance to candidates becomes more complex when gender comes into play.

"We basically see this among every racial group that men in many cases are more likely to support a conservative candidate. Trump, he appeals to masculinity in a way that people notice he always tries to project strength, that doesn’t appeal to some men across racial lines," said Moore.

"Voting with Black people's best interest in mind is my motivation for voting in this election," said Alice Swan, senior in government and East Asian studies at Wesleyan.

She fears that people don't understand what the electoral college means to this election. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than two million votes. President Trump won the electoral college, but she said that many younger voters feel it’s time for the system to have an overhaul.

"Young Black voters have become disillusioned with electoral college primarily because we are recognizing that both parties have a stake in upholding the current criminal justice system there is," said Swan.

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