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The American Nonvoter$
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Lyn Ragsdale and Jerrold G. Rusk

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190670702

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190670702.001.0001

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The National Campaign Context in Retrospect

The National Campaign Context in Retrospect

(p.285) 9 The National Campaign Context in Retrospect
The American Nonvoter

Lyn Ragsdale

Jerrold G. Rusk

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes the book. The central conclusion of the book is that when uncertainty is high, nonvoting decreases. Three generalizations arise about this uncertainty. First, dramatic changes in economic conditions reduce nonvoting. This is true when the economy is moving upward or downward. When there is economic stability, nonvoting rates increase. Second, technology shocks with the advent of new forms of mass communication technology decrease nonvoting. The rise of radio, network television, and the Internet creates uncertainty about how the communication will work and nonvoting decreases. Third, in general, the rising costs of war reduce nonvoting. The greater the uncertainty about the war the more likely people will go to the polls.

Keywords:   nonvoting, uncertainty, national campaign context, economic volatility, technology shocks, war, historical periods

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