Why Americans Don’t Join the Party: Race, Immigration and the Failure (of Political Parties) to Engage the Electorate

Taeku Lee and Zoltan L. Hajnal | Political Science and Law , UC San Diego

The book explores why so many Americans–in particular, Latinos and Asians–fail to develop ties to either major party, why African Americans feel locked into a particular party, and why some white Americans are shut out by ideologically polarized party competition. Through extensive analysis, the authors demonstrate that when the Democratic and Republican parties fail to raise political awareness, to engage deeply held political convictions, or to affirm primary group attachments, nonpartisanship becomes a rationally adaptive response. By developing a model of partisanship that explicitly considers America’s new racial diversity and evolving nonpartisanship, this book provides the Democratic and Republican parties and other political stakeholders with the means and motivation to more fully engage the diverse range of Americans who remain outside the partisan fray. For more info, here is an audio recording of Prof. Lee discussing research from his book at a CRG Thursday Forum: https://www.crg.berkeley.edu/content/political-parties-grassroots-resistance-audio