White support for racial referenda in the deep south

Byron D.Andra Orey, L. Marvin Overby, Peter K. Hatemi, Baodong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This research examines two referenda in the Deep South, both of which can be categorized as antiblack. Specifically, we analyze a 2001 Mississippi flag referendum (in which the electorate rejected a new flag and retained the old state flag containing a Confederate insignia) and a 2004 referendum in Alabama (in which citizens voted to retain unenforceable constitutional language requiring separate educational facilities for black and white students, and a poll tax on voting). Using state election returns and census data, we employ weighted least squares regression to analyze voting patterns. The results reveal that across both states, white voters displayed significantly greater "antiblack" voting behavior in those areas with larger black populations and more urbanized environments. Our findings pose a direct challenge to both those who insist that the "racial threat" perceived by whites is diminishing and those who hold that urbanization will ultimately be corrosive of racist attitudes and behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-558
Number of pages20
JournalPolitics and Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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