New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

How Do Voters Differ from Nonvoters? And Does It Matter?

January 13, 2014

How do voters differ from nonvoters? And do these differences matter?

Jonathan Nagler, a professor in NYU’s Wilf Family Department of Politics, and American University Professor Jan Leighley explore these questions in Who Votes Now? Demographics, Issues, Inequality, and Turnout in the United States (Princeton University Press).

Their research, which compares the demographic characteristics and political views of voters and nonvoters in American presidential elections from 1972 to 2008, shows that the rich have consistently voted more often than the poor over the past 40 years and that voters are substantially more conservative in their economic views than are nonvoters. They also find that women are more likely to vote than men and that the gap in voting rates between blacks and whites has largely disappeared.

Nagler and Leighley also look at the impact of changes in election laws, which were aimed at increasing turnout. Their findings show that these reforms—such as election-day registration
and absentee voting—have increased turnout when adopted, but “that the effects are more modest than what some reformers may have hoped for,” the authors write.

Nagler, whose research focuses on the impact of economics on elections, is also part of NYU’s Social Media and Political Participation (SMaPP) project, which is examining the impact of social media use on political attitudes and participation.

This Article is in the following Topics:
Arts and Science, Research, Faculty

Type: Article

How Do Voters Differ from Nonvoters? And Does It Matter?

Search News

NYU In the News

NYU Received a Record Number of Applications

Capital New York reported NYU received a record 60,322 applications for the class of 2019, an increase of about 15 percent since last year.

NYU Students Help City Crack Down on Hookah Bars

Capital New York reported that NYU students helped New York City crack down on hookah bars that illegally include tobacco in their hookahs:

Rudin Center Study Says Mass Transit Helps Economic Mobility

The Wall Street Journal wrote about a report by Wagner’s Rudin Center that showed that mass transit could be more important than education in determining economic mobility.

Brennan Center Report Says Campaign Spending Has Jumped

Frontline did a piece about a report by the Brennan Center for Justice that said that campaign spending by outside groups has more than doubled in the last five years.

NYU’s Dorms Ranked Among the Best in the Nation ranked NYU’s student residences third in the country in its list of best college dorms.


NYU Footer