Black Presidential Politics in America
A Strategic Approach
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This book focuses exclusively on the question of how Blacks have used presidential elections to exercise political influence. Setting forth the argument that Blacks use the electoral system differently from other groups to achieve their social, political, and economic goals, the work analyzes the tactics employed. It looks at Black participation in the politics of the primaries, party conventions, and the general elections, showing that what happens is the result of both traditional behind-the-scenes bargaining (dependent leverage) and the more recent direct entry of Blacks into the presidential selection process as candidates (independent leverage).
Walters deals with the most significant topics in Black politics studies and electoral studies in general: the prospects for Blacks within the Democratic party, the function of Black presidential candidacies, the independent political movement in presidential elections, the impact of conservatism on Black presidential strategies, and the role of Black elected officials in presidential politics. Understanding the activities and objectives of key voting constituencies, such as Blacks, allows one to understand the dynamics of American presidential elections.
Ronald W. Walters is Professor of Political Science at Howard University. He was an active participant in many of the events examined in this work.